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Jesse Williams is looking back at his last time in Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
While appearing on the June 18 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jesse—who played Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey's Anatomy for 12 seasons—revealed that he was actually surprised at how "emotional" he got while watching his final episode, which aired in late May.
"It was a little more emotional than I expected, to be honest," Jesse shared. "It's been a long, beautiful, just spectacular journey."
The 40-year actor revealed that the hit show was not only one of his biggest acting roles to date, but that it's also where got his first experience as a director. He also explained that it was when he watched a montage of himself playing his well-known character throughout the years, that's what when things really got sentimental.
"Seeing this young kid start and what that character's journey was, you know, it did contextualize it for me a little bit," he noted. "It's pretty nice."
Following the news of his departure (which left some fans devastated), Jesse shared his thoughts in a statement to E! News back in May. "As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many," he said. "And I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds."
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."
For more on the star's current life—including which childhood characters his 5-year-old son best emulates—check out the interview above!