Debra Messing knows that the world has changed a lot since Will & Grace ended in 2006, but the actress still believes that the lives of Will, Grace, Karen and Jack are as relevant as ever in this new political climate.
“It’s a whole new world now where being gay and lesbian is not something that people are hiding like they did when we started almost 20 years ago,” said Messing in a new interview with The Huffington Post.
“I think that there’s an opportunity to now celebrate all the other initials of LGBTQ. It will be great to come out of this next round and feel like we’re normalizing an even larger segment of underrepresented people on prime-time television.”
Since Will & Grace Messing has starred in The Mysteries of Laura and Smash on NBC, but she is still most known for her role as Grace Adler and her activism for the LGBT community.
“I feel proud that we were able to finally represent the gay and lesbian community in mainstream media and change minds and hearts,” she said. “Of course, we couldn’t do everything all at once, but I think we pushed the ball very, very far down the field. Now, the goal post is in a different place and I think that there’s obviously more to go.”
Seeds for the revival were planted when the cast and creators reunited last fall for a video urging fans to vote for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.
“Will & Grace has always been political. It’s always dealt with what is happening in our culture and in our country. It’s absolutely going to be addressing in real time what’s happening,” Messing explained. “That’s what we always did. That was never the agenda but that’s just part of the DNA as a TV show. That’s not gonna change.”
She also notes that Americans need a good laugh now more than ever in these turbulent political times.
“It’s a scary and confusing time in our country and we just felt like we wanted to make other people laugh right now. And also continue to do what Will & Grace always did, which was to push the envelope, take chances and be a little bit outrageous.”
In addition to starring in the Will & Grace revival, GLAAD announced that the actress and activist will be honored at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards for her work on the sitcom and for being an ally to the LGBT community.
“Debra Messing is a champion of the LGBTQ community and many marginalized groups today,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president & CEO of GLAAD. “Through laughter, warmth and pure heart both on and off-screen, she accelerates acceptance and inspires everyone to raise their own voices.”
Will & Grace begins filming in August, but you can catch Messing next in ABC’s Dirty Dancing remake, airing in May.