Debra Messing on ‘Will and Grace’ Revival: “We Didn’t Have to Apologize” | Close Up with THR

Debra Messing on ‘Will and Grace’ Revival: “We Didn’t Have to Apologize” | Close Up with THR

(upbeat music) – You have a show that’s back now after… (drumming on table)
(laughing) The line of what’s funny, has it moved? Are there different things
that make people laugh now than there was then? Do you feel that, as a cast? – I think that because 20
years ago, when we started, the thing that made Will
& Grace very specific was that it was provocative
from the get-go. It addressed what is happening
today in pop culture, in politics, and really
pushed the boundaries. And I think because that
was in the DNA of the show, coming back 11 and a half years later, everyone knew the voice of the show, everyone knew the characters, and so we didn’t have to ask permission. We didn’t have to apologize,
they’re just like, “Oh, they’re doing what they always did.” – (stutters) Okay, he’s a man,
but he’s aged into a lesbian. – Steven Tyler! John Voight! Newt Gingrich!
– Yes! (bell rings)
(audience laughing) She’s… Don’t get me started.
– Jada Pinkett-Smith! – Yes.
(audience groaning) Oh, we want to love her,
but she makes it impossible! – Caitlyn Jenner.
(audience laughing) (bell rings) – Oh, rich, hostage–
– Melania! – Beret.
– Patty Hearst! Yes!
(bell rings) (audience laughing)
(cheering) – Obviously now with
the state of the world, there is a lot more to comment on, and it feels like there’s
a lot more at stake than when we began, but I actually feel like
we are literally just staying the course. (upbeat music) My very first movie
out of graduate school, A Walk in the Clouds, I
was tricked into signing a nudity waiver by the producers,
and they basically said, “Oh, the director just has a big ego.” “We can’t, because it’s
PG-13, we cannot show any, “so if you sign it,
nothing’s gonna happen.” And the day I showed up, they said, “Okay, this is your
lingerie for the first part, “and this is for your nude scene.” And I said, “Nude scene?” And they’re like, “Oh, yeah.” And the producers were
there, and I went in, and I was like, “Wait a
minute, we talked on the phone “and you said that it wasn’t gonna happen, “because it’s PG-13!” And they were like,
“Not in international.” – Oh my god, I’m so sorry. That’s awful. – And you know, I was on
set, and he was lifting up the thing and looking at
me, and throwing it down. Just to look at me, as a power thing. And I said to him, before the shot, that I like to be prepared,
could he tell me where the angles are, and he literally said, “You are an actress, how
dare you ask me to tell you “what my shot is going to be. “You are an actress, it
is your job to get naked, “and that’s it.” (women sighing) I was in L.A., my agent– – I’m sorry that happened
to you, it’s awful. – And I didn’t have the
strength that Molly had. You call your agent, and they’re like, “You could say no, but you’ll be fired.” And I was getting paid scale,
I was getting paid nothing, but it was my big break, you know? And I just– – If I was Sheila, I
would beat him right now. (laughing) (upbeat music) – There’s been a lot of free conversation around Roseanne, specifically, recently. Can you and should you be able to separate the art from the artist? – She made it clear from the beginning that this was her. She was a stand-up comic, and she said, this is just me, I’m just being me. And so that’s very different than saying, I’m creating a different character. And then when you have
someone who is very outspoken on social media, and says things that are incredibly racist– – [Frankie] Normalizing white supremacy, essentially, at its core. – Absolutely. – Yeah, and I think
the problem is that she is more right-wing than her character, and that’s where it
becomes, at least for me, very hard to separate the two. – What is the most amusing
feedback you’ve received, trying out for a part? – I went in, and I did my
thing for the first time on camera, and I was
like, I just killed that, I killed it! And my agent calls me and says, “Okay, you didn’t get it.” And I was like, “Uh-huh…” He was like, “They said
you looked like kabuki.” (laughing) Kabuki, like, what are you
doing with your makeup? (groaning) And I was like, “I’m
doing theater makeup!” And they were like, “No, no, no! “The camera’s right there!” I was like, oh, I do
it for a lot of people in the background! They were like, she
looked like she was 39, and I was 23, and they’re like,
she’s gotta go take a class. – Ironically, at 39, you
look like 23. Joke’s on them. – Oh my god, you will always be my sister. (laughing) – Always. (upbeat music)

34 thoughts on “Debra Messing on ‘Will and Grace’ Revival: “We Didn’t Have to Apologize” | Close Up with THR

  • Molly Shannon was ROBBED of an oscar nom for 'Other People'

    I know it's off topic but she popped up and that was my first thought.

    Will & Grace is everything!

  • Producers:
    James D Brubaker
    Bill Johnson
    Stephen Lytle
    Gil Netter
    David Zucker
    Jerry Zucker

    Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

  • Love Debra Messing so muuuuuuch, hate what they did to her……..😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑

  • Messing is very disappointing with all the anti-trump anti-conservative bullsh!t. She’s tiresome & boring. But she thinks she’s cutting edge. She’s not.

  • She's a great actress and I really like her. I feel I could really be good friends with her if she wasn't such an intolerant, left wing, ideolog. As a true conservative I really doubt she could ever accept me as a friend. Being angry over Roseanne's tweet just shows the blatant hypocrisy of left-wingers. If that shit was said about any conservative they all would have laughed and called it a good joke.

  • I love this circle talk and all these successful and funny diverse women are answering questions so thoughtfully and intelligently and I want more…!

  • Well said on everything Debrah. You have always been a woman to be inspired by in all facets as an actress and as person. Thank you.

  • Many people praise Karen Walker on the show but to me Grace has SO many funny moments. Love Debra Messing!

  • Messing is a nothing, and a nobody, having money in the bank doesn't make you special or smart. You are a douchebag idiot, you have nothing to contribute, you are a member of the circus, a court jester. We don't care about anything you have to say. Just like the rest of us, you have one vote. So shut your filthy mouth.

  • Drew Barrymore is so lovely and sweet it almost makes me cry (and I'm VERY picky about tv shows, but santa clarita diet is great! just silly good fun)

  • Why does she look so horrible on the show and so much prettier in interviews? Answer – horrible outdated bad make up and hair staff.


  • Will & Grace…Trash tv.
    Satan comes as an angel of light seeking who he can devour. He's the deceiver & the father of lies. Wow, sounds like most of Hollywood.

  • Debra, you promote a life style that hurts children, what do you really want to do with your life, I’m looking back at this video. You told the world to get trump voters names to hoarse them. How would you like it if someone gave out your home address? People of strength and dignity would never do what your doing. Bad character.


    0:30 "Provocative from the get go" she says … yah, well, no kidding !!

    … but here's what … it was provocative in a particularly, narrowly contrived way.
    It was … designed to use titillating female sexuality in order to create an irresistible segue into gay sexuality …. passive aggressively twisting the arms of society into getting used to GAY SEX !!

    … Debra, bless her manipulative heart, in one scene EXPLICITLY AND EMPHATICALLY declares "gay porn is soooo hot !!"

    … innocuous ? Innocent happenstance ?
    Yah,… guess again !

    Will and Grace, note the biblical term connotations to the title, is a Trojan Horse for the corrupt and corrupting Gay Agenda !!
    I mean, if the agenda were legit, why sneak around ! Right ?

    …. let it be known for what it is !

    Jesus is Lord. God bless you.

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