While Jesse Williams made us swoon for a decade as Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy, it’s his current role on-stage that is bringing the most buzz to this acclaimed performer. As one of the focal points of the Broadway revival of Take Me Out (which won a Tony Award for Best Play during it’s first run in 2003), Williams was just announced as one of the nominees for the 2022 Tony Awards (for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play) He shares the honor with two Take Me Out co-stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Michael Oberholtzer in the same category. Telling the story of queer baseball player Darren Lemming who is struggling with the aftermath of coming out, the full frontal nudity has been an ongoing (and buzzed about) aspect of the performance. While phones are strictly locked up to prevent any below-there shots from leaking out, one stealth theatergoer recently snagged some shots of Jesse Williams in all his glory. (You can see the shots for yourself here and here) Additionally, a quick video of Williams as Darren is in a scene with Shane Mungitt (played by Michael Oberholtzer) while they’re both standing naked in the locker room showers.
While the shots leaked earlier yesterday evening, Williams appeared on Watch What Happens Live last night with co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson (who remains clothed during the production) along with some of his co-stars from Take Me Out who served as bartenders in the Bravo clubhouse. When host Andy Cohen probed about Williams and his cast members feeling on the on-stage bare all, Williams took the questions in stride, whether the questions involved how the audience reacts to the nudity or if the all-important “fluffing” took place prior to the actors taking center stage. Williams also commented on his feelings on nudity being a part of his first Broadway stage experience, and simply said “I won’t be scared of anything after this”.
Broadway star Jesse Williams dishes on audience reactions to his nude scenes in TakeMeOut. #WWHL
Andy Cohen did ask Williams if he heard or saw the audience react to the full frontal nudity. He stated that, “A non reaction is a really interesting reaction”. He elaborated, “The quiet creates a lot of insecurity, [but] what I’ve learned in my minutes in theater is don’t start trying to read into it because it just creates more insecurity”.
While tickets for Take Me Out are expected to get a brisk pick me up based on the pictures that were released last night, this will not be the only time you will get to see Jesse Williams in baseball pinstripes (or possibly less). Deadline reported in August that:
Williams will play Lemming in the series as well as the Broadway revival…
AC Studios … will serve as the studio on the project. Williams, Greenberg, and Ellis will executive produce the series with David Levine and Whitney Dibo overseeing on behalf of AC Studios.
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