Debra Messing Would Revisit 'Will & Grace' in 30 Years 'If It Was Like 'Golden Girls' in Boca Raton'

Messing, who's starring in Netflix's 13: The Musical, tells PEOPLE she nearly turned down the chance to play Grace Adler before ever reading the script

Debra Messing Would Revisit Will & Grace
Debra Messing on Will & Grace. Photo: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank

Debra Messing can see a future for Will & Grace — a distant future.

Messing, who's starring in Netflix's upcoming 13: The Musical, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue she has no immediate plans to revisit the groundbreaking NBC sitcom.

Will & Grace — which followed the relationship between high-strung interior designer Grace Adler (Messing), her attorney best friend and roommate Will Truman (Eric McCormack) and their laugh-a-second sidekicks Karen (Megan Mullally) and Jack (Sean Hayes) — enjoyed an initial eight-season run on NBC from 1998 to 2006, then returned to primetime for three more seasons in from 2017 to 2020.

According to Messing, the revival "was supposed to be only 10 episodes, and then it turned into three seasons."

She continues, "It was a gift to all of us to reacquaint ourselves with all of these characters as middle-aged people [dealing] with middle-aged issues. That was really a privilege that when you're doing a sitcom, you don't have."

Debra Messing Would Revisit Will & Grace
Debra Messing on Will & Grace. nbc

However, after filming nearly 250 episodes of the series, which won Messing a 2003 Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, the 53-year-old is content to leave the past in the past — for now, at least.

"The only way that I could see another iteration is if it was like Golden Girls in Boca Raton," she says. "So I think we're going to have to wait another 30 years. So we can talk again in 30 years and see where we're at. Until then, just watch reruns."

The actress, who shares 18-year-old son Roman with her ex-husband, screenwriter Daniel Zelman, also tells PEOPLE how she nearly turned down the chance to play Grace without ever reading the script.

"I was doing an hour-long drama on ABC called Prey, working 15, 16, 17 hours a day," Messing recalls of the short-lived 1998 series. "I would come home, and sit on the couch and before my head hit [the pillow], I'd fall asleep. When it ended, I just told my agents, 'I'm going to be in bed for the next three months, don't call me.'"

The phone rang anyway. "They said, 'There is a script and it's special.' I was like, 'No.' They said, 'Stay in bed. We're going to messenger it over to you, and we want you to read it.' And so in my bed, I read it, and I was like, 'Oh.'"

13 The Musical. (L to R) Debra Messing as Jessica, Eli Golden as Evan, Peter Hermann as Joel in 13 The Musical. Cr. Alan Markfield/Netflix © 2022.
Debra Messing in "13: The Musical". Alan Markfield/Netflix

Decades later, Messing also took a chance on 13: The Musical, an adaptation of the coming-of-age Broadway show about Evan Goldman, a teen who's about to make his bar mitzvah. When his parents split up, he moves to a new town and must start all over. Messing plays Evan's mom, Jessica.

"That I would have to sing was something that was terrifyingly enticing," says Messing, who was nervous because she had contracted COVID during the pandemic. "I had been affected in terms of lung capacity," she continues.

In the end, she didn't let that stop her from doing what she loves. "When something scares me," she says, "it usually tells me I have to do it."

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13: The Musical premieres on Netflix Friday, and Will & Grace can be streamed on Prime Video and Hulu.

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