‘Will & Grace’ Star Eric McCormack On Straight Actors Playing Gay Roles: “I Didn’t Become An Actor So That I Could Play An Actor”

Eric McCormack identifies as heterosexual and played the role of a gay man on Will & Grace across 11 seasons, eight in its original run and three in its revival.

The actor recently was interviewed on the UK’s ITV, where he was asked about the debate of a straight actor taking on a gay role.

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“That’s a tough one for me because I didn’t become an actor so that I could play an actor,” McCormack said on Good Morning Britain. “There’s no part I’ve ever played where I wasn’t playing something I’m not. It’s part of the gig.”

He continued: “If gay actors weren’t allowed to play straight actors, Broadway would be over. So this is what we do.”

McCormack noted that he wants to think that he represented the LGBTQ+ community well, noting: “I came from the theater, and every one of my best friends was a gay man. So I think I took their spirit and their message in what was otherwise just a sitcom and represented, I hope.”

Will & Grace premiered on NBC in 1998, and society has advanced since then. Although there have been some huge strides in giving opportunities to underrepresented groups, there’s always more that can be done.

McCormack was also asked if he thinks that he would be cast as Will if the show would be premiering now.

“I guess the answer would be, they’d have to say in the casting, ‘And you’re gay, right?’ Which I don’t think they can say,” McCormack said. “I would like to think, in general, that the best person for the role, the one that comes in and knocks it out of the park, is the one that gets the part.”

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