Jesse Williams Takes It Off Again for ‘Take Me Out’

Joan Marcus

The Tony-winning Broadway revival of Take Me Out returns this fall, and Jesse Williams is back and ready to bare it all again. The former Grey’s Anatomy actor plays a biracial baseball player who comes out as gay at the height of his career.

Earlier this year, footage of Williams leaked and left fans cheering for an encore. Although the Broadway show Take Me Out has a strict “no phones” policy, someone broke the rules. A theatergoer snuck their phone into one a performance of the show and captured footage of Williams. Photos and a video went viral on Twitter, and pretty much everyone suddenly wanted tickets to the show.

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The leaked footage was captured during a shower scene in the play Take Me Out, which opened in April. The footage hit the Internet on the same day Williams received a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play. Clearly, that’s not the only award he deserves and the Internet had a lot to say.

Jesse Williams on Baring All Again in ‘Take Me Out’

In an interview with Variety, Williams opened up about taking it off and whether or not he felt nervous to do so. “There was a pocket of time — maybe a couple of months before we came in for rehearsals — when I was thinking about it all the time: ‘Is it necessary? Maybe there’s some way to do it with an obstruction?'” Williams said.

He continued, “I kicked it around and quickly realized I had to let that nervousness move through me. It’s important for the audience to experience what the characters experience in the shower scenes, which is “Oh shit, what do I do now? Where do I look? Where do I stand?” Everybody’s naked every day, but why does it feel so foreign, so weird? What is it about being a straight man that is so fragile that if my eye moves a quarter of an inch down, then my identity is yanked out from under me?”

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“But once we started doing the show, it is what it is. I’m not me; I’m embodying a character with his own objective and baggage. I’m not precious about this stuff. We have a short life; I’m not holding too tight,” He concluded.

When asked if he was worried about footage leaking again, Williams replied, “Nah, I’m bigger than that. We’re doing something bigger than that here.”

Twitter Responds to Jesse Williams in ‘Take Me Out’

To see the play, 2nd Stage Theater requires audience members to place their phones and smart devices in a sealed Yondr case before the show “out of respect and support for our actors and in order to create a phone-free space.” Apparently, to unlock a Yondr case, you have to connect it to a device in the lobby.

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At the time, Williams admitted he felt “terrified” of putting his body on display for the show. “Then I noted that that was what I asked God for,” he said. “I asked to be terrified. I asked to do something scary and challenging and made me earn it and made me feel alive and not comfortable.”

Jesse Williams Takes It Off Again for ‘Take Me Out’
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