Sarah Drew Gets Honest About Seeing Grey's Anatomy Co-Star Jesse Williams Nude On Broadway

Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew on Grey's Anatomy
(Image credit: ABC)

Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew returned to Grey’s Anatomy for the Season 18 finale, and fans were relieved and thrilled to get confirmation that love between the couple was alive and well. Before Jackson and April’s on-screen reunion, however, the actress made it out to New York to support her friend in Take Me Out, where he’s been taking it all off eight times a week as pro baseball player Darren Lemming. Drew shared her honest reaction to seeing her TV love — and his anatomy — on the Broadway stage.

A lot of fuss has been made over Jesse Williams’ nudity in his Tony-nominated debut on the Great White Way — especially since NSFW footage of the naked actor on stage leaked to social media. But April Kepner would probably be all, “Tell me something I don’t know,” and Sarah Drew had her own nonchalant response when speaking to E! News about seeing her co-star in all of his glory:

The funny thing about the show, is the nudity is not shocking. There's so much of it, the entire row of baseball players is just naked and you just see everybody naked, so by the time Jesse's naked, it's like, 'Yeah, so? So was everybody.'

She may be playing it cool when it comes to seeing Jesse Williams naked, but Sarah Drew admitted she "bought a ticket in the balcony, because I didn't need to be super close,” so it sounds like maybe she did, in fact, feel some of the same awkwardness that another Grey’s Anatomy co-star, Ellen Pompeo, felt

In the end, it’s not like Jesse Williams was the only nude performer out there, as Sarah Drew pointed out, so even given her close relationship with the actor, there was no need for weirdness. That seems to fall in line with what he previously said about the audience’s reaction to his nudity. Because of the intensity of the story and the dense language, Williams said while he expected some kind of reaction to his baring it all, the theatergoers are usually so silent you can hear a pin drop. 

The nudity may not draw a raucous response, but the production certainly has. Take Me Out opened to rave reviews, and its run was extended through June 11. Along with Jesse Williams, Michael Oberholtzer and Jesse Tyler Ferguson received Tony Award nominations for Best Featured Actor in a Play, and the production as a whole was nominated for Best Play Revival. Sarah Drew agreed they were worthy of the praise, lauding the performance on social media as “moving and hilarious and heart wrenching.”

The former Grey’s Anatomy actors reunited on the screen for the Season 18 finale, confirming that their characters — known affectionately to their fans as Japril — did, in fact, rekindle their romance. Sarah Drew — who left the show after Season 14 — made a guest appearance in the Season 17 episode that announced Jesse Williams’ exit. Jackson asked April to move to Boston with him to continue co-parenting daughter Harriet, and given April’s recent split from Matthew, she agreed. 

The couple’s chemistry on- and off-screen has had fans clamoring for a Japril spinoff for years, and it’s a possibility neither actor has shut the door on. We will continue to hold out hope! In the meantime, check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what new and returning shows are premiering soon.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.