June 14, 2024

Jesse Williams to appear nude in new Broadway play: ‘It’s terrifying’

Actor and Oscar-winning producer Jesse Williams is gearing up for a new adventure in his career.

After leaving Grey’s Anatomy last month, the 39-year-old is getting ready to make his Broadway debut in a play called “Take Me Out,” where he will have to strip naked for the role, People reports.

Williams opened up about this new venture on the Ellen DeGeneres Show with guest host tWitch, calling his upcoming chapter “terrifying.”

“The character does call for a little bit of nudity, so what I will say about that is it’s terrifying in all the right ways,” Williams shared. “I’m looking to be challenged in new ways. To be scared and excited, to be pushed. One of the beautiful things about the job that I’ve had for so long is the comfort it creates. So, I’m excited to do something new.”

Williams also expressed excitement about transitioning into new entrepreneurial endeavors and starting an education platfrom called Assemble, which will support “BIPOC creators, Black and Brown women innovators all over the country,” he shared. 

While the multifaceted actor is looking forward to the next chapter, he described to tWitch how he grew emotional about watching his last episode and leaving Grey’s Anatomy after twelve years.

“It was a little more emotional than I expected, to be honest,” Williams said on the show. “It’s been a long, beautiful, just spectacular journey. I’m just beyond grateful to everybody involved, starting with Shonda [Rhimes] all the way to all of the incredible crew that we spent time working with both as an actor and director.”

Williams said he started directing television during that period in his life and has a lot of gratitude for where his journey has taken him.

As theGrio previously reported, Williams — who is an activist in real life — has been with the show since its sixth season in 2009.

In a statement, he wrote, “I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow castmates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen and Debbie,” referring to Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, showrunner Krista Vernoff and co-stars/producers Ellen Pompeo and Debbie Allen.

“As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds,” Williams continued. 

“The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact, and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”

“Take Me Out” is set to open at Hayes Theater Second Stage Theater in spring 2022 after being postponed due to COVID-19.

New York Theatre Guide shared the following description about the Broadway production: “‘Take Me Out’ celebrates the personal and professional intricacies of America’s favorite pastime. When Darren Lemming, the star center fielder for the Empires, comes out of the closet, the reception off the field reveals a barrage of long-held unspoken prejudices.

Facing some hostile teammates and fraught friendships, Darren is forced to contend with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question tradition, their loyalties, and the price of victory.” 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today!

theGrio’s Biba Adams contributed to this report.

About The Author

Past Interviews

Download Our New App!

Umoja Radio Amazon Mobile AppUmoja Radio Amazon Mobile AppUmoja Radio Android Mobile AppUmoja Radio iPhone Mobile AppUmoja Radio iPhone Mobile App