If there was anyone who defines the word “infectious” it’s Debra Messing. That signature laugh and side splitting comedic time have set the standard for comedic women in recent years. As “Will & Grace” has come roaring back to our television screens this season, I sat down with “Grace Adler” herself, Debra Messing, where we talked about her storied career, her experience with CoolSculpting, our current political climate, and what it’s like getting the band back together after all these years.
Staying beautiful in Hollywood and maintaining the standards of beauty that seem to have been set are a constant discussion. It seems like CoolSculpting is one of the procedures that is truly taking off though, wouldn't you say? Oh yes, absolutely! I really think it is amazing technology! I am someone who is not happy in a gym. I am a single mom who works full time and I am not very interested in having surgery either, being put under and having a very long recovery time. None of that works for me in my life. I went in to my dermatologist and they told me about it. I pointed to a little bulge on my stomach that I have had since I gave birth and asked “can you do this”? Their response was “sure”! I sat down, they put the machine on for an hour, and I did work on my phone, and suddenly they said “all done”! I swear to you, there was no pain, no scars, nothing. It was just really cold. In a month to three months, they told me I would see my stomach flatten out. Well lo and behold, within two months I looked down and the bulge was gone; It was like “Oh My God it really works”! It was these two doctors from Harvard who figured out that if you freeze fat cells at a certain temperature, it can be eliminated from your body, the same way it does when you exercise, either through your sweat or through urine. You go in, you do it and you leave. It is an amazing option for people who want something that is pain free and that has no risks, and no recovery time. If that is what someone is looking for, I think it’s a brilliant option.
You liked it so much you have entered into the global partnership with them. Sounds like they have found a real fan! Yes I did, I am very proud to partner with them. Like I said, this isn't about completely changing who you are. It’s not like liposuction where you are sucking out big chunks of your body. This is about smoothing out what your body looks like. It feels like if you accept yourself and what your body is and you don’t want to wear Spanx anymore, I think this is an incredible tool to have more self confidence without having to do something very drastic and scary.
You are a New Yorker, but having to travel to Los Angeles means you can cover things up, but then conversely have to expose them all over again. Absolutely. Because I am an actress, I sometimes have to dress up for things. and I found myself having to go up a size and then have to take it all in because I just barely didn't fit into the smaller size because I had a little bump. For it to be gone and for me to be able to put on clothes and for the clothes to be able to fit me better, it just really is a boost to my confidence and definitely makes dressing up more fun. It really just made me feel better!
Speaking of feeling better, you have made the nation feel better bringing back “Will & Grace”. We needed you and the rest of the gang now more than ever! Well it made me feel better too, thank you so much for saying that. It has been so much better than we ever thought that it could be. We were very excited about coming in and playing in our playground again with each other. It’s been eleven years though, so we really had to think long and hard about if we were sure that it would be what we wanted it to be, if we were coming back for the right reasons, things like that. When we realized that we were all on the same page and just wanted to do what Will and Grace always did, which is commenting on what’s happening in pop culture and in politics and to be a little outrageous in its comedy. We were thinking that if we could go back and do the same thing that we have always done with the same director, with the half of same writing staff, the same hair and makeup staff, I mean, it;’s literally a reunion. I think its also a testament to how bonded we became over those eight years. The fact that eleven years later people made concerted efforts to come back for this reunion makes it a very happy place. It’s a blessing to be able to have a job where you get to go and laugh every day.
The storylines that we have seen so far are so culturally relevant and timely as well. From conversion therapy to mentoring younger people to of course, the political climate. you have managed to weave in current topics without banging the viewers over the heads with it. Absolutely That is what Max (Mutchnick) and Dave (Kohan), the creators of the show did the first time around so brilliantly. I think it’s why all four characters were embraced the first time around. It was balanced in a way that you laughed more than anything else, you know? These very important issues could be addressed as long as we were making people laugh at the same time.
For any Debra Messing fan, having you ease back into the role of “Grace Adler” is complete bliss. Some of us have been following you since your role as Dana Abandando on “NYPD Blue”, which was your first role. Oh my God are you kidding me?! That was my first role, and you remembered by character’s name; that’s crazy! I love that role too.
It seemed almost natural for you to go from “Wil & Grace” to play “Julia Houston” on “Smash”. The community definitely followed you to Broadway! Oh “Smash”.... That was a painful loss. I wish they had not fired the show creator (Theresa Rebeck) after the first season. She was the voice of the show. We were grateful to have those two years, and the cast was incredible. Just an amazing cast... I have been blessed, that is for sure.
One thing about you that so many people gravitate towards is that you are very vocal about your beliefs and you stand in your truth, passionately. You stood up for example, for the Yulin Dog March very vocally. Is it hard to stand up and say what you believe in no matter who may not like it? Honestly, I think it is harder for me to stay quiet. You are right, there are a lot of people in the public eye who don't want to talk about issues and politics and things like that, because it is very divisive. A lot of actors are worried that they are going to lose viewership or people are not going to watch their movies and what have you, and those are valid concerns. I think it’s just in my DNA that I have to be honest about my feelings. If people stop watching me because of my belief’s about equality, than so be it. I can live with that. It’s a decision that I have made that is just something I am more comfortable with.
How is it for you to raise a child in such a polarizing climate? It seems like every time we turn on the news, it’s something else. It’s a scary time. You are right, every day it is something. It’s scary for me and it’s particularly anxiety provoking because I am a mother. I think what I always come back to is that I always believe in the fundamental goodness of people. I believe that eventually things will be righted. Unfortunately we have veered off and it has brought us backwards in many ways, it’s very upsetting, frustrating and enraging. And very scary. I think there are more people out there who believe in equality and freedom, and that the minority voice that just happens to have the loudest voice right now, will lose. I believe that this will be righted.
The loudest voice, as we all know, does not always mean they are the right voice. Correct. And I think that is an important lesson that my son is learning also, through this whole experience. He is having to ask himself, what do I believe in and what do I think is right? It is never a bad thing to check in with yourself and challenge yourself to do better.
Grace Adler is notoriously making the inside of everyone’s world beautiful, both on screen and with your amazing portrayal. How does Debra Messing make the outside of yourself beautiful and do your best to be your best daily? I eat really really really well. I have learned that food is medicine, so I have more energy when I eat really well. As I am getting older, I have learned that the people that I spend my time with, it has a direct affect on my feeling good about myself. I try to make choices now that perhaps I did not make twenty years ago, without a doubt.