Debra Messing Talks Campaigning in Ohio After Will & Grace's Election-Themed Reunion
Messing calls this election cycle "extreme and absurd – and that's what Will & Grace was always sort of delighting in"
Like her impassioned character Grace Adler, Debra Messing knows the candidate she wants occupying 1600 Pennsylvania next year.
Like Grace, Messing hopes to elect the country’s first woman president and “send a message to little girls and little boys who are going to be little girls and little girls who are going to little boys” that we are all “a part of the America that finally shattered that glass ceiling.”
Messing spoke with PEOPLE about the lead-up to the reunion video and what she might do if she finds her own undecided Jack McFarland out on the trail.
This mini reunion was prompted by the election, how did it feel for you joining this project and having it all come together?
For me personally because I am so invested and so politically active and a fervent supporter of Hillary Clinton, obviously I was over the moon. Our show was always about sort of dealing with whatever was happening in the zeitgeist and being really irreverent with it. And when the idea was brought up, it just made perfect sense that this is something the our show would be addressing, if it was still on the air, in a very comical way because as everyone talks about – this election season is unprecedented.
The intent of this was just to revisit that world that we loved so very much and to revisit it with each other, everybody from the original group was there so it was this wonderful reunion. But also to say everyone needs to vote. That’s the most important thing, there’s so much at stake with this election and our right to vote is the great equalizer. Everyone’s vote is weighted the same and it’s a very important right of ours and to not have anyone squander their opportunity to let their voice be heard.
It was also really really fun and satisfying, especially because we laughed so hard. That was the beauty and the blessing of the TV show – every day we got to work and we worked really really hard and we laughed really really hard. This election season has been stressful so it was really wonderful to be able to take a break and just gather with my friends and do a little skit and just pretend like we had a two-week hiatus even though it’s been 10 years.
Now that you’re helping with the campaign, are you looking for your own Jack McFarland?
Oh that’s funny, the new clip just was on last night and people that I’ve been running into today say they loved it. I’ve been hearing from so many people that it came at a really good time to get them to laugh and it made them really miss the show. They really appreciated the intent behind it. I haven’t as yet ran into a Jack McFarland, but if I do I will hug him and tickle him and jump on top of him.
And escort him into the polling office …
That’s right, you know Jack thought on the skit that election day was on December 1, so I would make sure he knew exactly when and where he needed to go in order to vote.
During the run of the show if someone had come up with the idea of Donald Trump running for president, would you have been shocked by that?
Oh, I mean I think I would’ve felt back then the way I feel now, which is it’s really unfathomable to me. Had it been 10 years ago, the conversation would’ve been, “Oh, this is a joke, right? This is a joke.” But obviously it’s not and now it’s a very, very close race and it’s between the two of them. But yeah, had this come up 10 years ago while doing the show I would’ve said, “Oh my God, that’s perfect!” It’s extreme and absurd, and that’s what Will & Grace was always sort of delighting in. And Will and Grace loved political figures. I remember there were flirtatious lines about then [then] Senator [Barack] Obama in one or two of our episodes back in the day, so nobody’s immune when you get back into the world of Will & Grace.