JUSTIN Chambers can’t help but laugh at his sex symbol status. He may well be the Calvin Klein model turned Grey’s Anatomy actor, but he sees himself as anything but the ladies’ man.
Chambers, who plays the sometimes-arrogant, smart-talking Alex Karev, has been married for 18 years and is a father of five to Isabella, twins Maya and Kaila, Eva and Jackson.
It seems odd that the cast member with such a settled, conventional home life is the one who receives the avalanche of mail — not all of it positive— from viewers.
Much of the correspondence stems from the fact Chambers plays a character who has had more than his share of sexual conquests and can be so abrasive.
Asked about the weirdest mail he’s received, he says: ‘‘ Something negative, involving interracial marriage. It was really dark and evil. I consider it weird (that anyone) would have that point of view.
‘‘ The weirdest is that I’ve gotten some clothes. I appreciate it, but I just don’t need it. Golf shirts, socks. It’s just weird.’’
Chambers’ career began when a modelling agent noticed him on a Paris subway. It was a dream start in showbiz, but it followed plenty of trauma.
Chambers had an at-times difficult upbringing in Springfield, Ohio.
As a result of his parents having jobs as sheriff’s deputies, he became accustomed to hearing tales of murder and lawlessness.
Never was this darkness more apparent than when Chambers’ high-school friend, a teenager named Rodney, met a grisly end.
A man from the neighbourhood suspected Rodney and other boys were stealing from him. The man reacted by bursting into Rodney’s home, shooting him, his baby brother and their siblings.
A second incident, where a woman and her son were butchered by her boyfriend, also left Chambers rattled.
‘‘ It was kind of nasty, some of that stuff,’’ Chambers says.
‘‘ I did a movie about the Zodiac serial killer (in which he played a 1960s detective) and it (experiences from his teens and having cops as parents) played into that. You know, weird things happen in small towns.’’ Grey’s Anatomy, Channel 7, Thursday, 8.30pm Sexy: Justin Chambers scoffs at claims he’s a ladies’ man.