Patrick Dempsey says he created a ‘mock prom’ for his daughter during the pandemic

  • Patrick Dempsey organized a "mock prom" for his 18-year-old daughter, Talula Dempsey, during the pandemic. 
  • "We did a mock prom at the house," he said on Tuesday's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
  • The "Grey's Anatomy" actor explained that it was "so sad as a parent" to watch his daughter get "all dressed up" for a Zoom call with friends. 
  • "You're like, 'Oh my God, my heart breaks for you. You don't have that moment,'" he said.
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Patrick Dempsey tried to recreate the magic of prom night for his 18-year-old daughter, Talula Dempsey, after her senior year festivities were canceled due to the pandemic. 

The 54-year-old "Grey's Anatomy" actor, who's been isolating with his wife, Jillian Dempsey, and their three children, said the pandemic has been particularly difficult for his kids. 

"The isolation for them and the lack of socialization is really challenging, especially senior year. My poor daughter missed everything," he said on Tuesday's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." "And that's the only reason you go back, senior year is proms."

Patrick recalled senior year as a "victory lap" to "celebrate your education," pointing out that Talula had "none of it" since in-person classes turned virtual early in the pandemic.

To try and make up for the loss of senior year milestones, the actor said the family put together a "mock prom" for their daughter at home.

"We did a mock prom at the house," he told Jimmy Kimmel, joking that he "hadn't reached puberty yet" at his own prom. 

Patrick said that it was "so sad" to watch his daughter get "all dressed up" for a Zoom call with friends. 

"You're like, 'Oh my God, my heart breaks for you. You don't have that moment,'" he added.

Patrick wasn't the only one with the idea to put on a faux prom after in-person events were called off. 

Other high schoolers created their own proms via Zoom during the pandemic, allowing them to at least get dressed up and see their friends' faces. Many even made up for canceled proms by having photo shoots in the outfits they would've worn to the event and sharing the pictures on social media. 

Prom wasn't the only thing Talula missed out on. Like many seniors, the actor's daughter also celebrated her high school graduation in May from home. 

"Congratulations on your graduation @taluladempsey I love you and I am so proud of you. I can't believe you're all grown up," the actor wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo of Talula in her graduation outfit. 

His wife Jillian also posted the same photo and wrote: "My 'fav' baby girl graduated high school virtually today. Proud mom, congratulations."

During an interview with News Center Maine in June, the actor explained that he and Jillian began homeschooling their sons, 13-year-old twins Darby and Sullivan, before the pandemic, so they were "up to speed" when it came to remote learning.

However, Dempsey said his "heart goes out" to the students graduating from high school in 2020, including Talula.

"They missed the proms. They missed all of the fun things in your senior year. So we've been doing that, sort of remotely. It's been a surreal experience, really, to do that," Patrick said. 

And while he joked that his family, like so many others, also get tired of doing the dishes and other chores, it's been "nice" to be together during the pandemic. 

"We're having more time together than we did before," he noted.

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