-Welcome back to the show.
-Thank you. -It’s good to be here.
-Good to have you here. I feel like every time you come,
your eyes get a little greener. -All right, Trevor. All right.
-(cheering, applause) -Talk to me now.
-Your face… your face gets a little more… like, you… -How’s life treating you?
-Fatter. No, I wish it was.
There’s no fatter anything here. -I’m doing great.
-Yeah, you’re enjoying life? I am. I’m working hard, I’m
playing hard, I’m having fun. Congratulations on another
season of Grey’s Anatomy. This show’s been going– how
many seasons has it been now? We just finished 15. -15 seasons!
-15. -(cheering, applause)
-Yeah. Yeah. And they’re, like,
the long seasons– like 25-hour-long-episode
seasons. -Right. -Not these little, like,
eight-episode, half-ass seasons. Like, are you throwing shade at all the miniseries people
out there. -“We’re doing real seasons.”
-Yeah. Um, what’s really impressive
about the show for me is, like, I loved watching the show
when I was in South Africa. It’s huge out there.
And then I came to the U.S., and it’s big, and now there’s,
like, a resurgence of people, ’cause some people
watch it on Netflix… Yeah, people binge-watch,
and we have… I’m told we have more new, uh, fans
than we do existing ones. People are discovering it anew–
more of them then there are folks
who’ve been diehards forever. And it’s also
generational, right? It’s 15 years– that means
a whole… whole new generation has been born and turned
into a high schooler by now -watching it.
-Yeah, so you get… Some grandmas, parents, and then their kids
all watching it at once. -So, uh, please keep watching.
-Is that ever… is that ever,
like, weird for you when you have, like,
a generational fan gap? Do you know what I mean?
‘Cause, like, a lot of the time people have, like, a fan rain. -Yeah, yeah… -And then,
now you’re getting, like, a… -12 to 18, 65.
-“I’m-I’m your biggest fan, -and my mom.”
-Yeah. “And my grandma.” -Yes. -And, um…
-(laughter) and they’re aggressive–
grandmas in particular. -Grandmothers are aggressive.
-Don’t… don’t underestimate -your elders.
-Can I tell you, this… he’s not playing–
grandmothers do not play games. -They’re touchy.
-Yes. They’re very touchy. A touchy bunch. They’re bad,
and they’ve got a firm grip. -(laughter)
-I had… I had one grandmother who came up to me
at a meet-and-greet, and then she grabbed my ass
and she said to me, “I don’t have much time.
Let’s do this.” -(laughter)
-Amazing. -I’m serious.
-Ama… I believe it. -Yeah.
-It’s a very… there’s a lot… and it’s… I…
I will tell you, -a lot of times I’ll be,
like, in their grip, -Yes. -and there’s, like, it’s, like,
a whole stomach rub, -Uh-huh. -unnecessary.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Not part of the photo
but just, like, a stomach rub, and, like, rubbing
a little side-boob action, -there’s, uh, side-boob action.
-Living their best life. -Yeah. Yeah.
-Yeah, living their best life. -(laughter)
-I like that. Grey’s Anatomy has been a show that-that’s had an impact
on many people, because– you know what really
intrigued me about the show when it kicked off was,
you have this show that Shonda Rhimes created
where it spoke to so many issues that were happening in
the world, but it didn’t, like, specifically or explicitly
call them out. -Yeah. -So for instance,
you had a black doctor who had grown up
in tough circumstances, but it wasn’t,
like, “his story.” -Yeah.
-It was part of his life. Um, you know,
you had an Asian doctor who was dealing
with her family and her world. You had a lesbian doctor
who was struggling with how she told people
about her sexuality, but it was never like, “This
is the show about wokeness.” In fact, I would even say it… It’s amazing how rarely we ever,
if ever, we mentioned anything. You just happened to have these
people in positions of power and worthy of respect,
and they were, you know, that’s why it’s
such a pioneering show. Everybody always said
you couldn’t do that. -Right.
-Nobody would watch it. Do you think that’s why people
connected with it? Because it was just–
it was about human beings, and they happened to be
as diverse as the world is. Yeah, I think it started
with the heart, it started with
the actual humanity, -and it’s not– that’s not
an Asian surgeon, -Yes. -that’s Yang, that’s somebody
you love. -Right. Right. It’s not,
it’s not the black chief who’s demonstrating
that he’s black by doing -or saying something ridiculous,
-Yes. he’s just, he’s just, uh,
Richard Webber. The way you said it now,
I just picture him like, what is
a black surgeon chief? -Like this, like, this, like…
-No, no, no. -some neck jivin’…
-I was just picturing– Yeah. -Yeah, that’s what I mean.
-Yeah. Yeah. Just be like,
“I need a (bleep) cot.” -Exactly. (laughs)
-But-but-but-but… But let’s talk a little bit
about, like, -that world that you’ve created.
-That’s definitely been done. -I’m sure. I’m sure. Yeah.
-Somewhere. Somewhere. It sounds like a sketch. Um, you’ve been doing it
for so long that I feel like you should
have, like, an honorary, like, -degree in medicine.
-I could be a– I could be a fully credited
surgeon by now. Do you think you know, like,
some– You know enough fake medicine
to do real medicine? I could– I could slow
your death. -Um… (laughs)
-(laughs) I could buy you
a few extra minutes. Um, but, you know what’s funny
is that, like– and I think I’ve said
this before, I’ve had, I’ve definitely had, like, at
least two instances on a plane, where somebody has gone, “Is there a doctor
on the plane?” And then a, uh, a flight
attendant looks directly at me. It’s like, “Lady. The one thing
you know about me. “Unlike anybody else
on this flight, the one thing you know about me
is I’m not a doctor.” -But it’s like, “Y-You.”
No. No. Please don’t. -But, no. Fine. All right. We’ll just
go through the motions. -I don’t know what…?
-I-I… This is how bad
of a doctor I am. -Yeah. Is that how you do…?
-I don’t know. I’m just stretching
is what I’m doing. -That’s your CPR? -It’s just
like a little cabbage patch -or something, yeah. -I like it.
That was a very sexy CPR. That was like… That was like, “Yo. I don’t know
if you’re coming back to life, but you’re going out happy.” -It’s just like… -Yo, what is
that? What is that? Side boob? -Yeah. Nice little move there.
-Oh, okay. Um, you’re also directing
in Grey’s Anatomy now as well. Yeah. Yeah, the episode I,
uh– yeah. We have a-another episode
I directed is this Thursday. -Congratulations, man.
-Thank you. Thank you. -Really. That’s like a big step.
-I really… -I enjoy it.
-(cheering and applause) I actually– I enjoy it
maybe more than acting. -You enjoy it maybe more
than acting? -Yeah. -Why? -It’s just something
I’ve always felt like I was going to do,
I could do. You know, I went to film school,
I shot shorts in-in college. I, uh, I enjoy it. So it’s like a natural
evolution. Yeah, and I knew it was gonna
happen, I just didn’t want -to start it until I was ready
to keep doing it. -Got it. And, uh, and,
by the way, you know, I’ve got a great place to do it,
a place that I know and love, and top-notch incredible crew
and all that. How-how does it work, though,
when you’re directing people who you’ve worked with
for so long? You’re gonna take out
all your grudges. Yeah. You get to give-give
people hell -that have been giving you–
-Yeah? No, no. It’s– It really–
it really helps to be able to speak the language
of the actor, you know? I mean, it’s– I have found
with some directors that they don’t quite know how
to speak to actors in a way, -and sometimes it’s a delicate
thing. -That makes sense. Keep in mind this show has been
on for 15 years, so we actually know
our characters better than almost anybody else
on the set. So somebody showing up–
if we do 25 episodes, this may be 16 directors,
’cause some repeat, so new people coming in,
trying to feel out, they don’t quite know– Everybody’s got different
personalities in ways you receive information. But being able to understand
how actors work and the way we communicate, and you can say a lot
with a little, and it’s more of an emotional
conversation than technical, telling them
how you would like it, without telling them
how to do it. Um, so it’s-it’s a ti–
a bit of a tightrope, and we can be a fickle bunch. It’s a conversation
that you can have, which-which, um,
which I, like, I enjoy. I love it when actors
get into directing and when they get to control
a bit of their craft. It might be a little bit
like that with comedians when you talk
to other stand-ups. -You guys kind of speak
a language… -True. -Yeah, we do. We do.
-…that if it was a comedian -directing you in a movie
or something. -Yes. Like, we say “killing,”
“bombing.” Like, we use language
where people are like, -“I’m sorry, what happened
on stage?” -Yeah. -Yeah, exactly.
-You’re like, “Yeah, he died. -He died on stage.”
-Yeah. And then, like,
there was one comedian who actually, like,
physically died on stage, and then all of us didn’t know
what that meant. -‘Cause, no, ’cause, like…
-How do you follow that? …citizens were like,
“Oh, a comedian died on stage.” And we’re like,
“Oh, it happens all the time.” -Yeah, happens all the time,
yeah. -Really. -Yeah. -And then they were like,
“No, d-died, like, actually died.” -We’re like, “Yeah, people die
all the time.” -Yeah, yeah. -And then it was like,
“No, dead dead.” -Yeah. -We’re like, “Oh. Sorry. Sorry”
-Right. Right. Right. It was, like, a weird,
you know… Um, let’s talk about some
of the work that you’re doing -outside of Grey’s Anatomy.
-Yeah. One thing
that has connected, um, so many people
with you and your story is that you have been involved
in social justice. You are somebody who said,
“I have a platform, “and I will use it to speak out “for issues that I…
that I agree with -or disagree against,” you know?
-Sure. And, so, one thing
that’s been really interesting is now you’ve teamed up
with MedMen. -Mm-hmm. Yeah. -Right? Uh, is…
What would it be called? -A cannabis company? Was that,
like, the official term? -Yeah. -The biggest, uh,
in the country. -Yeah. -Spike Jonze and I…
-Yes. …made, uh,
essentially a short film, uh, that they put together. And we got creative
and figured out a way to kind of tell the history
of cannabis in this country. It’s a really fascinating ad, ’cause you play everyone
in the ad, -and you tell the story
of weed in America. -Yeah. And it’s like, you would think
a weed ad would just be like, -“Smoke weed, man.”
-Exactly. -But… Right.
-It’s not that at all. Yeah. It’s… Look,
the cannabis boom is happening. And, so, we know that, so we try to come up
with something together. A mechanism, as well.
Came up with this great concept, uh, of laying some context down. We know this boom is
about to take off. What is the story of cannabis
in this country truly? Because it certainly isn’t
a bunch of people in Colorado and California discovering it
and getting rich. -Right.
-It’s not the gold rush as in you just discovered gold
and you’re selling it. It’s been around forever. We used to force Africans
to grow it on plantations, including the first president,
George Washington. And now there’s thousands
of people locked up in cages -for having it in their pocket.
-Right. So, how did we get there? And, so,
we’re telling this story through this brilliant idea
that… uh, mechanism, and Spike came up with
and we worked on together. Kind of through this museum,
this series of dioramas that take you
through American history. Contextualize the war on drugs
and stop and frisk and, uh, and medicinal uses
and for our veterans and so many different ways
it can be applied. And it’s, uh,
it’s an important… it’s an important issue. I didn’t come to it
from cannabis as the center. That wasn’t my bag,
but it was social justice, and it’s something
that we need to decriminalize because we’re not
adjudicating it fairly. We’re not enforcing
these laws fairly at all. I know in the suburbs,
it’s boys will be boys, -kids will be kids.
-Mm-hmm. Every movie we watch
about coming of age, -partying, is what?
-Yes. Superbad. Everything. -Yes. -Yeah, it’s kids smoke…
finds weed and drinking, both of which
are totally illegal, but we accept it and we laugh
at it ’cause it’s coming of age. But when it’s black kids
doing it or poor kids doing it, they’re filling prisons. -Um, and it’s just not fair
at all. -(applause) So, if you’re not
gonna do it fairly, let’s decriminalize it,
is my view, and start from there
and build up in a sensible manner,
in a way that makes sense. Hey, man, it’s a…
it’s a powerful ad, and I… People have to watch it online
’cause weed is not… Yeah, you can just watch it
on YouTube. Yeah. Yeah, ’cause weed
is not legal federally, so they can’t put it
on networks, which is an interesting
conversation to have -for another day, but…
-Yeah. Congratulations again on Grey’s. Thank you, man. I appreciate it. Congratulations on furthering
conversations out there. -Always fun having you
on the show. -Always. Always. -Thank you. -I appreciate it,
man. Thank you so much. Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays
at 8:00 p.m. on ABC. Jesse Williams, everybody.