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Debra Messing is an American actress who portrayed Grace Adler in Will & Grace.

Grace Adler

Casting

Messing was playing the lead in ABC's sci-fi series Prey when she was asked to audition for the role of Grace. She admits she was unsure if she wanted the role because she had been working for five straight years at that point and was thinking of taking a break.[1] However, she had a goal to work on an NBC sitcom with director James Burrows so she decided to try for the part.

Nicollette Sheridan, who would later make a guest appearance as a rival to Grace, was also a front runner for the role but producer Max Mutchnick would later recall her reading to be "too desperate" (a reference to Sheridan's later role in Desperate Housewives).[2] Messing was the last to audition and after reading scenes with Eric McCormack at the den of James Burrows' home, she was offered the role. According to McCormack, Messing won over the casting director because she was the first actress to laugh during the scene, showing how her character Grace enjoys being friends with Will.[3]

Portrayal

Messing, who idolizes comediennes Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, did not want to play Grace as the "pristine" and "pretty, straight" woman but rather enjoyed more physical comedy in her portrayal.[4]

According to Eric McCormack, Messing tends to have "sudden comic inspirations" including playfully hitting her co-stars when her character is upset and jumping into their arms out of excitement.[5]

Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Result
2000 American Comedy Award Best Female Performer in a TV Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Sean Hayes, Eric McCormack, and Megan Mullally) Won
Viewers for Quality Television Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2001 American Comedy Award Best Female Performer in a TV Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Hayes, McCormack, and Mullally) Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress Nominated
TV Guide Award Actress of the Year in a Comedy Series Won
2002 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Hayes, McCormack, and Mullally) Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress Nominated
2003 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Hayes, McCormack, and Mullally) Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
2004 Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Hayes, McCormack, and Mullally) Nominated
2005 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Nominated
People's Choice Award Best Female TV Star Nominated
Best Female Comedic Star Nominated
2006 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actress Nominated
DebraMessing

Notes

  • Similar to Grace, Messing is also Jewish and originally has brown hair.
  • Messing is the last member of the main cast to win an Emmy for the first time. She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2003 for the episode The Kids Stay Out of the Picture, which features the climactic argument between Will and Grace about having a child together.
    Debra-Messing-star-780x438 rev1
  • Messing's rider requests include a list in accordance to her many allergies: "Debra is allergic to ALL WHITE FISH, chicken, mushrooms, gluten, dairy, butter (except feta and goat cheese). Debra does not eat game, beans, yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower. She is lactose intolerant. She cannot have cheese or milk (only coconut milk)," the rider said, according to Page Six. But the list didn't end there: "Debra is allergic to wool, cats, cashmere, down feathers, FLOWERS and gabardine [a type of woven cloth]. The only flower she is not allergic to is orchids."[6]

Media

Debra Messing Clairol Commercial (1995)

Debra Messing Clairol Commercial (1995)

Debra Messing wins 2003 Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Debra Messing wins 2003 Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

 External links

References

  1. Will and Grace Cast Interview on Charlie Rose (2000)
  2. Stated in interview on Inside the Actors Studio
  3. Will on Will & Grace. 2003. TV Movie.
  4. Gerri Miller (March-April 2006) "LADY OF GRACE. Actress Debra Messing speaks candidly on motherhood, her Judaism, and saying farewell to Will & Grace." American Jewish Life Magazine
  5. Say Goodnight Gracie
  6. "Debra Messing is allergic to everything". Page Six. https://pagesix.com/2017/05/25/debra-messings-allergy-list-is-ridiculously-long/