Following his departure from Grey's Anatomy, the actor will make his Broadway debut in a revival of Take Me Out next spring

By Katie Campione
June 18, 2021 09:45 AM
Advertisement

Jesse Williams is ready for a new challenge.

After his departure from Grey's Anatomy last month, the actor, 39, has his sights set on the stage, where he'll make his Broadway debut in a revival of Take Me Out next spring. Williams is taking on the lead role of Darren Lemming, a star baseball player who must overcome prejudice from teammates and friends after he reveals he's gay.

During an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show this week, Williams opened up about the part, which includes a fairly lengthy moment of full frontal nudity.

"What?!" Williams joked, pretending to be surprised when guest host tWitch asked if he was prepared for the scene. "Yeah, that's true. I got the memo."

"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," he continued. "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."

Jesse Williams
Credit: Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Williams was just three weeks into rehearsal last year when productions shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"So we had to abandon ship there," he said, adding that they were "incredibly lucky" to be able to return and "get another shot at this thing."

Take Me Out is expected to open on Broadway in spring 2022 at the Helen Hayes Theater.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Williams made his final appearance on Grey's Anatomy in May after 12 seasons as plastic surgeon Dr. Jackson Avery. Announcing his departure, Williams said he "will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities" the show afforded him.

"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," he 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."