‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Jesse Williams Calls Spring Premiere ‘Pure Insanity’ (Exclusive)

the Grey’s Anatomy The spring premiere may have been delayed a bit, but Jesse Williams promises it’s worth the extra week of waiting.

“It’s crazy,” Williams tells ET’s Katie Krause about the March 11 comeback, while recently promoting her new ad campaign for Old Spice, for which she is a spokesperson. “I have to say that we have found a way to have really concentrated and dense episodes towards the middle of the season with a lot of this incredible combination of loss, joy and progress in the lives of these characters. But when [we] coming back, yeah, it’s going to be pretty scary and exhilarating. “

The last time we left the doctors at Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital, Meredith Gray (Ellen Pompeo) was apparently on the mend after her COVID-19 diagnosis, but she was simply at a “high COVID level.” After reviving a patient, he found himself in worse shape, collapsing in the doorway to the patient’s room, his lungs blasting and on a ventilator, the latter something he was vehemently opposed to. Since that December episode, Meredith’s prospects for survival look terribly bad.

“There are a lot of personal journeys and a lot at stake losing control of what is real and what is stable in life, and dealing with the pandemic on the show has been really cathartic for viewers,” says Williams. “Yes, it has value to imagine yourself elsewhere, but there is also value [in] understanding. A show like this is news to some people, and I don’t want to say that it’s all a fact, but it’s a way to put a human side to statistics, stories, and nameless and faceless stories. These are real people who have loved ones who were born like their sister, a mother, and a brother, and they are struggling with that, they are not just a statistic or a demographic, so that’s important. “

Williams, who played Jackson Avery in Grey’s Since season 6, he admits that he even feels uneasy about how Meredith will fare when the show returns.

“I’m a little nervous myself,” he says, but kept an optimistic outlook on his exit from this even stronger coronavirus battle. “There has to be hope. From what I can see, there is hope. She’s a really fun chick; I’m calling her because she’s one of the last chicks we have. In many ways we’ve all invested a lot in this and she represents so much absolute terror like the very real and reasonable feeling we have of what has been affecting this. But also our struggle, our[-ness], ‘our preparation and really puts it in perspective, live your life now. “

“Form your relationships now and people will remember how it makes them feel,” adds Williams. “I don’t think there is anyone in the history of television that has made people as full as Meredith Gray.”

Although Williams hasn’t shared scenes with any of the returning OGs Grey’s Stars like Patrick Dempsey or TR Knight, he’s personally hopeful that former cast members like Eric Dane, Jessica Capshaw and Sandra Oh will appear this season.

“She’s a beast. She’s an amazing actress,” Williams says of Oh. “Eric Dane, I had so much fun working with them. We had a fantastic cast. I really enjoyed all of them and would love the opportunity to work with them again. All of these people we’re talking about are both incredibly funny and incredibly powerful as dramatic actors and they can get in and out of that in quite an incomparable way. “

As Williams co-star Camilla Luddington hinted in December, she confirmed that there is a more shocking comeback than McDreamy’s in the season 17 premiere. “I think so,” Williams muses. “Everything is relative and who do you invest in, but I think so.”

He shared his own thoughts on what he looks forward to the most Grey’s fans will experience when the second half of the season starts again in a month.

“I am very excited that our fans are seeing us really pushed to the limit by what is happening in our world. I really feel empathy for the people around us as it is shocking and in much harsher ways than it could be for us. “, anticipates. “I would like it to be a cohesive experience that brings us together, brings us a level of understanding for our brothers and sisters around us, and also shows us being able to come out of this with more force and make us really think about what. What we want to do with our lives? It’s not promised. How do you want your days to go? And it starts there. “

Going back to Old Spice, Williams pokes fun at himself in the new ad, where he declares that he will stop taking his shirt off on television.

“It was an acknowledgment that that’s been a part … that I’ve been on a show and that’s part of the bread and butter of it or it was at the beginning,” Williams explains. “I have always encouraged Grey’s to recruit younger guys so they can take over that mantle and I can move on. So I was trying that, but in some of the alternate shots, I joked about the story and what makes sense for the story. It is not frivolous and it does not make sense. You take off your shirt to clean something and there’s a napkin available, that’s ridiculous. But have a bit of fun with the reality of the things and situations we find ourselves in to get the job done. “

Williams also shows a dumber side of himself in the new venue, a point he felt was important to show in tough times.

“I really understood the value of perspective from the beginning because this has been a difficult year for everyone. And we found ourselves in a state of panic and we did not get out of our sweatpants moving around the house and without structure and finding a difficult time to motivate ourselves and doubt ourselves and need to rebuild something solid so that we can remember what our dreams are and remember what we want to achieve and what we should be doing with our time, “he says. “It’s easy to talk about it and now that you have time, what are you doing with it? Particularly for people who identify as men, sometimes it’s hard for us to be honest about it and express that doubt and that insecurity and that vulnerability. so I thought it was a good opportunity to demonstrate a pep talk to do what you need to do to be the best you can be, do what you need to do to get excited, if it’s that cold shower, if it’s that particular. this case – smell. Ready for anything, something to make me feel safe, I know I smell good, I feel good even though I hardly leave home, it motivates me “.

“I have found in my personal life a value in manifesting myself. You are talking about things so that they exist,” says Williams. “Seeing the finish line, not only ‘I’m going to try to do this’, [but] ‘I’m doing this, I’m going to finish writing this book.’ Get into that rhythm. I thought it was a good opportunity to put that in the mix for people and also yes, to be silly and playful and shoot myself. That was also important. “

Grey’s Anatomy returns Thursday March 11 on ABC. For more information, see below.

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