Friday, June 21, 2024

Jesse Williams Replacing Jussie Smollett in ‘Take Me Out’ on Broadway?

Jesse Williams

UPDATE: We were contacted by a rep for Williams who made clear that the actor never replaced Jussie Smollett in “Take Me Out.” As deadline reported, Smollett “read” for the role (along with a lot of other actors), but he was never cast.

Read our original story below.

*“Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams will make his Broadway debut next year in a production of Richard Greenberg’s “Take Me Out,” a role previously won by disgraced actor Jussie Smollett.

The Tony-winning drama gained notoriety in its original run for locker-room scenes featuring full-frontal nudity, TheWrap reports. The play debuted on Broadway in February 2003, and ran for 355 performances. It won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Play.

Smollett was set to take on the lead role, but was dropped from the production after police arrested him for alleging staging a hate crime against himself in Chicago. 

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Williams will play Darren Lemming, the star center fielder for the Empires, who comes out of the closet and is faced with hostile teammates and friends and the challenges of being a gay man of color.

With Williams now Broadway bound, what does this mean for role on “Grey’s Anatomy”?

The season 15 finale saw his character, Jackson, disappear into the fog after a fight with Maggie (Kelly McCreary).

A rep for the series tells ET that, “Jesse will be back next season, but that is all I have to share at this point.”

Additionally, executive producer and showrunner Krista Vernoff explained to ET: “Disappearing Jackson into the fog felt really unexpected and it felt like the beginning [of a new journey]. It felt a little bit like in the previous scene, we completed our ‘season of love’ and in the final scene we teased the beginning of next season,” she explained.

“The fact that Jackson disappeared at one point this season and the fact that he fell suddenly at the end of one act in the finale, both of those things helped mislead. You didn’t expect that Jackson was actually going to disappear when he took that walk into the fog. Whereas when characters walk off into the fog on Grey’s Anatomy, traditionally you get really worried. But we didn’t expect Jackson to disappear again because we played that beat.”

“Take Me Out” will begin previews April 2, 2020 and officially opens on April 23, 2020 at Second Stage’s Hayes Theater.

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