When the cast of Will & Grace reunited for a sketch supporting Hillary Clinton, it was the first time Debra Messing had been the same room with all three of her former costars — Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally — in over 10 years. For any fan of the long-running sitcom, that fact might be hard to believe (you're telling me Karen Walker and Jack McFarland don't hang out every day?!), but it's also the reason NBC's upcoming revival of the series is going to be that much sweeter. As fans of the show might remember, the eighth season finale ends with a pretty massive time jump, which sees Grace and Will reuniting in 2026 after years of feuding, but ends on a happy, hopeful note. How will the reboot continue their story?
With information about the show being kept extremely close to the vest, we recently sat down with Messing at an event to celebrate the Dirty Dancing actress's exciting new partnership with CoolSculpting, which she credits with giving her a massive boost of self-confidence just in time for filming Will & Grace. Although she hasn't seen scripts for the show just yet (it doesn't start filming until August), Messing revealed a few choice details about everything from what it's really like on set to how she feels about introducing Grace Adler's story to a whole new generation.
1. Season nine will tackle the time jump ASAP.
"The amount of time that's passed will be addressed very quickly. I don't know exactly how, but it will be addressed. It will start in present day, and then we're off to the races."
2. The jokes will be just as bold as you remember (and probably aimed at Donald Trump).
"It's the classic Will & Grace where the objective is to make you laugh, but also we were known for being edgy, progressive, and for shining a light on every aspect of our culture. Politics, pop culture . . . everything is going to be fodder for comedy. Obviously because of what's going on in our country right now, we felt the need to laugh, so we also wanted to make other people laugh."
3. It's staying true to its sitcom roots.
"Will & Grace was an old-school comedy. It was a four-camera comedy, and there aren't a ton of those left. It's a classic show, so it'll be great to sort of introduce a whole new generation of people to it so they can go back and discover everything that we've done before. I hope that we can make people laugh out loud. Also, I'm excited for them to see the power of storytelling. That was the thing that was so gratifying about doing the show originally, because storytelling is a very important tool. It educates and pushes boundaries and raises questions about what you believe and what's important to you. I look forward to doing that again. "
4. And yes, the cast adores each other.
"[Being back on set] really feels like coming home. We got together for the 10-minute election skit, and it was the first time the four of us were together in 11 years. We've been together in different configurations, but we've all been so busy with wildly different things all over the world, so the opportunity of us all being in one place just didn't come up. And then here we were, just standing on our set, and we all looked around at each other in stunned silence, and then we just started giggling. I was like, 'Oh my God, this is incredible.' I know it's going to be daily laughs again, which was the thing that was so beautiful about the job for eight years. Eric [McCormack] says, 'It's like riding a very old bike.'"