After 12 years of saving lives, the doctor has officially left the building. Or Grey Sloan Memorial in this case. Jesse Williams, or Dr. Jackson Avery on the longtime medical show “Grey’s Anatomy,” is saying goodbye to his character after a long 12 years side-by-side. He’s been a main cast member on the show since 2009.
Jesse Williams on Saying Goodbye
As it turns out, saying goodbye is often harder than it seems.
“It was a little more emotional than I expected, to be honest. It’s been a long, beautiful, just spectacular journey. I’m just beyond grateful to everybody involved, starting with Shonda all the way to all the incredible crew that we spent time working with, both as an actor and a director,” Williams said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
Fans saw the last of the dreamy medical doctor on the episode titled “Tradition.” Unlike many of the other characters on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Jackson Avery was actually able to say goodbye. In a fun turn of events, he wasn’t killed off like many of his other co-stars.
He leaves in the hopes of doing good somewhere else. He will move to the Avery Foundation in Boston. His character has become frustrated with inequalities he’s observed in the healthcare world amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has had a profound and disproportionate impact on the marginalized communities in the country.
Instead, he entered the hospital one last time with a resignation letter in his hand. He says goodbye to characters like Dr. Miranda Bailey, Dr. Richard Webber, Meredith, and his friend-with-benefits Jo.
It’s an emotional moment as the show turns the entire event into a little trip down memory lane. As he takes one last look down the busy, crowded hospital floor, a sweet montage appears on the screen. It shows both his present-day self as well as his earlier days as a hospital intern. It features him alongside some of the original core cast members.
His goodbye ends with a teary-eyed Jackson driving home.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star’s Next Project
If you’re a big fan of “Grey’s Anatomy,” or maybe just Dr. Jackson Avery, he’s already moving on to his very next project.
And it’s quite different than what we’re used to seeing — or what he’s using to showing.
He will be making his Broadway debut in the revival of “Take Me Out” next spring. Here he will play the lead role of Darren Lemming. He is a baseball player that works to overcome prejudice when he comes out as gay to his fellow teammates.
Williams wants a new “challenge” after leaving his longtime role. He is taking on an incredibly impactful and important, yet also terrifying, role in the process.
“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. 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 said while on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
You can expect to see the show on Broadway in 2022. It will open at the Helen Hayes Theater.