'Grey's Anatomy's' Jesse Williams on the musical episode: 'It's not a gimmick'

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Yes, fans are abuzz with the news of "Grey's Anatomy's" musical episode on March 31. But, what if you're over the "Glee" effect and musicals make you cringe? Jesse Williams, who plays Jackson Avery, says he knows where you're coming from, but you shouldn't worry.

"People might not love it. I tend to not like musicals on principle," Williams, 29, tells Zap2it. "But this is not jumping the shark, it's not a trick, it's not a gimmick. It's totally in line with this season and these characters. And it's just incredibly moving."

The musical episode revolves around a crisis with Callie's ( Sara Ramirez) pregnancy and will feature some "Grey's" classics, including songs by Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars, and even the show's former theme song, "Cosy In The Rocket" by Psapp.

"I don't even think this should be called a musical," Williams says. "It's just a regular episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' that's just super-heightened, really intense, incredibly well-written and there's singing in it. Music is a big part of our show anyway, right? We break artists all the time. There's always terrific musical assistance. And this is no different. It's just instead of hearing the original artist's voice, you're going to hear Sara Ramirez or Kevin McKidd or Chyler Leigh or Chandra Wilson, who is phenomenal. One of my favorites scenes is when she sings."

Williams has avoided confirming whether or not he's helming a song in the episode, but he now tells us, "I'm not really singing in it. I'm a really awful singer." 

Of course, that's not without trying. The actor tells us that the producers heard everybody sing, including him.

"It wasn't so much an audition," he says. "They've heard people sing. Kevin McKidd has sung before in a webisode, I believe. Sara Ramirez has won a Tony for a show on Broadway and so has Chandra Wilson. So, they wanted to get a sense of the newer people who they haven't heard sing. I think they thought I was giving them false modesty like, 'Oh no, I'm really not that good,' but maybe I am. Then, they realized, 'Oh my God, he's telling the truth.' That's fine. I'm good at other things and this happens to not be one of them." 

But the fact that he doesn't do any major vocals in the episode hasn't tainted his opinion of the episode. He believes the musical episode will definitely leave an impression on viewers.

"I think like in the finale last year when everyone universally loved it and thought it was amazing and a cool departure from our regular pace," he says. "I think this will be similarly talked about."

What are your feelings surrounding "Grey's" doing a musical episode?
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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