Megan Mullally Reveals Eric McCormack “Didn’t Want To Play Gay” On ‘Will & Grace’

will-and-grace-heroEric McCormack is often praised as being one of the first straight allies to positively portray an openly gay man on primetime television, but a new interview with his Will & Grace co-star Megan Mullally suggests he wasn’t always down to play gay.

“All four of us originally passed on the roles,” Mullally said in an interview with Larry King this week, referring to herself and McCormack, as well as Sean Hayes and Debra Messing. “Eric McCormack had been playing a manly cowboy on a series in Canada and didn’t want to play gay.”

Mullally also revealed that she wasn’t originally impressed with the role of Karen Walker, which eventually nabbed her seven consecutive Emmy nominations, saying it was “quite a lot like Christine Baranski’s role in the series Cybill…and I didn’t really know how I can make it any different, because she did a pretty damn good job.” She says Karen Walker’s “weirdness” became a creative collaboration between herself and the show’s producers, who eventually fell in love with her new vision for the character.

Watch the full interview here to learn about Mullally’s new indie film, and hear if she’ll ever come back for a Will & Grace reunion episode.

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  • yaoming

    “Didn’t want to play gay”? Then why was he auditioning for a gay part? Seems kind of dumb, if he did.

  • B Damion

    Someone is desperately vying for a spinoff of this show. Non of the actors from this cast has gotton any further success since this show. And poor Sean’s new show just smells like “cancelled” lol. I wish they would just let it be already the show is history.

  • AndrewIB

    Megan Mullaly who I presume played Karen was the best thing in this series..

  • Dustolio

    This is such old news. Megan ‘revealed’ something that was openly discussed in the series finale special of “WIll & Grace” where all the actors turned down the show and Eric McCormack talked about not wanting to play a gay character initially.

    Literally none of this is new.

  • Dustolio

    @yaoming: Actors rarely audition for the lead roles on TV shows, they are offered them and have the ability to turn them down or accept them.

  • Wilbready

    I LOVE Sean’s new show! Somehow, I think some big shot Hollywood producer learned some sordid details of my past life and decided to have Sean Hayes play my roll. I Wil be awaiting my royalties!

  • Dixie Rect

    This show is long over, who gives a crap now? Sounds like desperate actors looking for work and saying ‘hey remember me’?…….

  • Rad

    Don’t forget, before the show came on the air, very few characters on television were portrayed as gay, let alone a lead character. It was a lot to think about for any actor. Back then, the prospect was terrifying. I like Megan’s comment about the show “Cybil”. That is one show I wish they would bring to TVLand.

  • yaoming

    @Dustolio: Maybe if you’re a big name in TV, but these actors certainly weren’t household names before W&G.

  • dunivant66

    @B Damion: Sean Hayes (Jack) is the executive producer on a series, perhaps you might remember it “Grimm”

  • brief12H

    But he was so good as the, ahem, Ted Eckles the bartender at the gay club in the Commish episode called ‘Video Vigilante (1992)…

  • Jonty Coppersmith

    Debra Messing just finished 2 seasons of Smash, and Eric McCormack stars in Perception which is pretty good. As mentioned above Sean Hayes’ show Grimm is doing well too.

  • Lane103

    Sean is executive producer of Grimm, Hot in Cleveland, The Exes, and Soul Man…so he is not sitting around looking for work..

  • Nateman

    They are all doing fine professionally…they’ve all had series, behind-the-scenes success and success on stage.
    However, I must say that I attended several Will & Grace tapings back in the day. Eric McCormack did not interact with the other cast members between takes, while Megan Mullaly and Sean Hayes would clown around, play to the audience and genuinely enjoy their work.
    I got to meet Eric and Megan. She was sweet, funny down to earth and kind. Eric was rude, dismissive, completely obsessed with himself, and had 2 “bodyguards” with him. It was really disappointing to say the least. I’ll guess this is Mullaly’s discreet dig to say that she didn’t enjoy working with him.

  • Greg

    What’s funny is I thought for sure that Eric McCormack wasn’t playing gay. He really seemed gay to me. Jack was obvious. There was no question.

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