Jesse Williams Opened Up About His Friendship With "Grey's Anatomy" Costar Ellen Pompeo

Williams told BuzzFeed News he and Pompeo are such close friends, their families take vacations together with their kids.

Jesse Williams, one of the stars of the long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, revealed what his costar Ellen Pompeo is like when she’s not in character as the “dark and twisty” Meredith Grey.

“I mean, she's really not like that character at all,” Williams said during an interview on BuzzFeed News’ Facebook Watch show, Profile, that is set to air Sunday. “She's kind of a street chick.”

Williams, who has been a series regular on the show since 2010, when he began playing the character Jackson Avery, said Pompeo has “seen a lot of shit.”

“I don't want to speak out of turn, but she's actually surprisingly kind of down,” he said before revealing that Pompeo “almost stabbed [him] once,” though he didn’t provide any additional details.

The two actors are friends in real life, Williams said, revealing to Profile host Ashley Ford that they’ve “taken vacations together with the kids.” He said that their friendship is “really cool, like, it’s not a forced thing.”


Staying on the subject of Grey’s, which is wrapping up its 15th season, Williams briefly discussed the dissolution of his onscreen marriage to April Kepner (Sarah Drew) in Season 12, which broke the hearts of fans who affectionately referred to the two as “Japril.”

With Drew having departed the show this year, Williams mentioned how he felt about the two being an item and weighed in on his new love interest, Maggie Pierce, played by Kelly McCreary.

Grey’s is known for “figuring out ways to get you invested in something just to rip you apart,” Williams said. “And I reminded folks that, you know, maybe for different reasons, but that Japril was a hard pill to swallow for fans as well. They didn’t like us.”

He said fans weren’t initially thrilled about the two characters as an item — “but then you figure out a rhythm and a chemistry.”

Williams teased that the last episodes of the current season “are going to be pretty impactful for Jaggie” — a mashup name for his burgeoning romance with Maggie.

But the actor did say he isn’t sure how long he’ll continue at the ABC series.

“Do you think you’re gonna stay on till the ship goes down?” Ford asked.

“I think that ship would have to be steered down,” Williams said with a laugh, “ … ’cause we are staying afloat in an amazing way.

“I work with amazing, amazing, talented people, like, top to bottom,” said Williams, who directed his second episode for the series this year, “What I Did for Love.”

“It's such an example and a pioneering show in so many ways, particularly in inclusion — not as charity,” he said, “but inclusion because it's the best way to make things work to get shit done."

Watch Williams’ complete Profile interview when it airs Sunday on Facebook Watch.

Skip to footer