Jesse Williams Hasn't Ruled Out a Return to 'Grey's Anatomy' Before the Series Ends (Exclusive)

The actor left the medical drama at the end of season 17.

Despite leaving Grey’s Anatomy, Jesse Williams says he would consider returning before the long-running medical drama comes to an end. Recently renewed for season 19, it’s unclear how much longer the show will continue, but that doesn’t mean Williams can’t reprise his role as Dr. Jackson Avery in the meantime. 

“I’d consider it,” Williams told ET while promoting his upcoming Broadway debut in the revival of Take Me Out. “He still exists in the world of the show. So, yeah, it’s totally a possibility.” 

First introduced halfway through season 6, Williams went on to play Avery for nearly 12 seasons and over 250 episodes. During that time, Avery famously romanced former surgeon April Kepner (Sarah Drew) and the couple was commonly known among fans as “Japril.”

Ahead of his character’s exit at the end of season 17 in 2021, Grey’s Anatomy brought back Kepner so that the two could tie up loose ends while giving Jackson a “satisfying” farewell.

When asked if he thinks Japril is still together, Williams said, “I would imagine they’re definitely around each other and they’re definitely seeing each other, for sure.”

“I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow castmates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen [Pompeo] and Debbie [Allen]. As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds,” Williams said in a statement to ET at the time of his exit. 

He added, “The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”

Since leaving the series, the actor has been busy preparing to take the stage as a professional baseball player named Darren Lemming who decides to come out as gay at the height of his career. First written by Richard Greenberg 20 years ago, the play tackles themes of racism and homophobia in a major sports world that has yet to see an active athlete come out. 

“[It’s] an exploration into who these people are,” Williams said of the play, which sees his character confronted by his teammates over his decision. 

The actor also shared that he’s reached out to his former co-stars, including Allen, Chandra Wilson and Sara Ramirez, all of whom have made their mark on Broadway. “I think folks will all show up. Nobody’s responded to any texts yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s probably a signal issue,” he quipped. 

Given the anticipation building around this one, it likely won’t be much longer before he hears back from them.  

Performances of Take Me Out begin March 10 at the Hayes Theater.