He’s not a real doctor, but he plays one on T.V. Actor Jesse Williams has been setting hearts afire the past two seasons as surgeon Jackson Avery on ABC’s primetime sudser “Grey’s Anatomy.” But don’t be fooled by Hollywood’s hottest new man candy, Williams is far from your average male bimbo. In his new movie Cabin in The Woods, Williams plays with moviegoers’ perceptions in his role as Holden, a geeky egghead–or is he?
The Urban Daily spoke with Williams and rounded up some interesting tidbits about the sexy rising star.
5. Before working for ABC, Jesse was teaching them
A graduate of Temple University, Williams taught African and American History in low-income Philadelphia public charter schools. After catching the acting bug, he moved to New York, performing off-Broadway. On his move from teaching to acting, Williams says “It’s a mathematical equation like A+B=C. You study, get your degree, then you can teach. Whereas, with acting, you can strike out for 12 years before being discovered.”
4. “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful”
Williams was voted one of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” in 2010—he came in ninth. Williams has also modeled for Kenneth Cole and appeared in music videos for Rihanna (“Russian Roulette”) and Estelle (“Fall In Love”). You can also spot Williams as one of Diddy’s entourage in the Sinatra-esque Ciroc ad.
3. Jesse Williams is fighting the good fight
Williams is lending his celebrity and time to “Question Bridge” a transmedia art exhibit meant to open America’s eyes to what it means to be a black man living in America. What does Williams hope to achieve with this project?
“Question Bridge is meant to facilitate this dialogue to show the diversity of black men socially, culturally, economically. We’re not a monolith. What we’re doing with this 150 hours of footage (where we interviewed 150 black men) is showing that we are human beings.
We’re seeing a huge response from White people coming to see the exhibit, who are seeing the humanity in black men they probably had never seen before. They usually see being a black man as an act of aggression and you see that in how black male students are being pushed, expelled from school, brutalized by the police and locked up in prison.
We can’t wait for mass media to demonstrate blackness for the larger population—we have to show there’s a human being beneath all that. So with Question Bridge we’re doing our part to fill in the gap.”
(For more information on Question Bridge click HERE)
2. “Hi, My name is Jesse and I’m a Twitterholic”
In an interview with Glamour Magazine, Williams admits a weakness for social media. “Nowadays it’s kinda become my RSS feed for news. I’m on Twitter or The Huffington Post or BBC.” Who does he like to follow? “Comedians. Or The Onion. And someecards.com always has funny links to stuff. I’m always trying to find the next comedian that just gives me something a little funny to combine with all of the depressing news that I’m processing.”
1. Why does the Black guy always have to die first in horror movies?
When offered the role of Holden in Cabin In The Woods Williams admits he wanted to find out the fate of his character. “When I got the script I did look through it. Most mass media produced these days works on stereotypes. Luckily I didn’t have to deal with any of that because my character is written as a human being. Those are the roles I seek out.”
Follow Jesse Williams on Twitter: @ijessewilliams
Cabin In The Woods opens in theaters nationwide today.
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