Jesse Williams, 40, is revealing his fears about his Broadway debut in Take Me Out. The actor has to strip down naked on stage in the show and admitted it “terrified” him to do so, in a new interview with Page Six.
“I was terrified but then I noted that that was what I asked God for,” he told the outlet. “I asked to be terrified. I asked to do something that was scary and challenging and made me earn it and made me feel alive and not comfortable.”
Jesse, who stars as Darren Lemming, a baseball player who recently came out as gay, in the revival of the 2002 play, announced he was leaving his role as Dr. Jackson Avery in Grey’s Anatomy after 12 seasons in May 2021. Since then, he’s taken on his new role on stage with gratitude despite being “a little nervous” before starting the production.
“Honestly, I just make that excitement. I don’t let it settle. I know it’s going to be fine. I just have to believe that and lean forward,” he further explained about his feelings. “Having said that, I’m incredibly humble about the whole thing. I have no business being here. I’ve never done this before.”
“I’ve never done a three-act play before in my life,” he added. “I just have respect and gratitude for the opportunity to try something on this level. It’s wild to me.”
In addition to facing his fears, Jesse admitted that his experience as a Philadelphia public school teacher, which he did for six years before he started acting, has helped him in his new on-stage acting career. “They’re very similar,” he said. “You have to hold the attention of a group of people that don’t necessarily want to be there and keep them engaged and stimulated. [It’s a] very similar skill set.”
Jesse is also taking his new “challenge” to another financial level. He is reportedly making $1,668 per week for Take Me Out as opposed to the whopping $6.2 million plus $183,000 in residuals he made on Grey’s Anatomy.