×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Will & Grace’: Debra Messing Talks David Schwimmer’s Guest Role

Don’t expect to see Ross Geller on “Will & Grace.”

Debra Messing assures us that David Schwimmer’s character on the upcoming 10th season of “Will & Grace” is nothing like his iconic “Friends” persona.

“He’s as far away from Ross as he can possibly get because he’s already mastered Ross,” Messing told Variety on Saturday night in Los Angeles at Project Angel Food’s Angel Awards, where she was honored with this year’s Founder’s Award. “I think people will be excited to see him in our world playing a different part.”

NBC announced earlier this month that Schwimmer signed on for five episodes as a love interest for Grace. The gig marks Schwimmer’s return to comedy television since starring on “Friends” and a 3-episode stint on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” He co-starred in Ryan Murphy’s 2016 FX drama “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” as defense attorney Robert Kardashian.

Meanwhile, Messing was presented with her Angel Award by “Will & Grace” creators Max Mutchnik and David Kohan. While Messing jokingly called them “assholes” for telling the crowd of 500 that she likes to arrive to work in ripped sweatshirts and pajama bottoms, she got serious and emotional while recalling having to watch her favorite college acting teacher die of AIDS. “He was living alone,” she said of his final days. “He had very little money and he was declining. My fellow students between classes and rehearsals cooked meals and delivered them to his apartment. In December of 1993, at age 41, he was gone. It was a devastating loss.”

Project Angel Food launched in 1989 to provide meals for people with HIV/AIDS. Since then, it has expanded its services to include any person battling a critical illness. It now prepares and delivers 12,000 meals every week throughout Los Angeles County.

“There are living angels all over the world working toward an AIDS-free generation and now that is finally within reach,” Messing said. “There is still a lot of work to do. There’s so much awfulness going on in the world today, so many of us being attacked by this administration — the LGBTQ community, women, minorities, immigrants, children, Muslims, the environment and the press. It is our responsibility — our duty! — to speak up, step out of our comfort zones and stand up for those without a voice.”

Celebrity hairstylist Chaz Dean also was honored with the Corporate Leadership Award.

Cheyenne Jackson performed a three-song set, including Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” and “Let Me Be Your Star” with Messing’s “Smash” co-star Megan Hilty. “Fuller House” actor Juan Pablo Di Pace performed, “You Raise Me Up,” while the evening’s presenters also included Jolie Fisher, Pauley Perrette, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Charlie Sheen, Charo and Stuart O’Keefe, co-host of the new Food Network show, “Let’s Eat.”

More TV

  • Former 'Project Runway' Casting Professionals Launch

    Former 'Project Runway' Casting Professionals Launch Vital Casting

    Three former “Project Runway” casting professionals have launched Vital Casting, a woman-led casting company whose mission is to help production companies, networks, studios, and streamers cast unscripted content with a focus on inclusion, equity and diversity in representation. Founders Alissa Haight Carlton, Jen DeMartino, and Rebecca Snavely met as freelance casting directors while they were [...]

  • Front row: CBS THIS MORNING co-hosts

    'CBS This Morning' Brings Audience on Set in A.M. Experiment

    Stay out of Gayle King’s way on Wednesday morning. As the clock approaches 8 a.m. tomorrow,  King and her “CBS This Morning” co-hosts, Anthony Mason and Tony Doukopil, will have to whisk themselves from their home studio to another one at the multi-tiered New York broadcast facility that hosts their program. They will have to [...]

  • Isaac Perlmutter Disney Marvel

    Does Kevin Feige's Marvel Promotion Mean Ike Perlmutter's Endgame?

    Last week’s move giving Kevin Feige charge of Marvel’s television, animation and print editorial operations should come as no surprise. As the architect of the company’s enormous film success, Feige arguably has the most enviable track record of any contemporary entertainment executive. Extending his creative control over more of the Marvel universe seems like a [...]

  • WarnerMedia Ups International Comms Exec Oliver

    WarnerMedia Ups International Comms Exec Oliver Herrgesell (EXCLUSIVE)

    WarnerMedia has upped seasoned communications exec Oliver Herrgesell to become executive vice president of communications for WarnerMedia Sales and International. Gerhard Zeiler, WarnerMedia’s chief revenue officer and president of WarnerMedia International Networks, told staff about the change in a memo issued Tuesday. “Oliver has 20 years of experience as a communications and governmental affairs professional, [...]

  • More Than Half of the World's

    More Than Half of the World's New TV Dramas Hail From China

    More than half of the world’s new TV dramas now hail from China, market research firm Ampere Analysis said Tuesday in a new report on global content production over the past six months. In the last half year, top Chinese broadcasters and OTT platforms have commissioned almost 300 new drama series – as many as [...]

  • Banijay Close to Securing $2.2 Billion

    Banijay Close to Securing $2.2 Billion Deal for Endemol Shine

    Banijay Group is on the verge of sealing a deal for production and distribution powerhouse Endemol Shine, sources tell Variety. Vivendi-backed Banijay and Endemol Shine’s joint owners, Disney and Apollo, are understood to have scheduled a meeting for Thursday after talks accelerated in recent days, with Banijay now on the brink of finally closing a [...]

  • Discovery Launching Free Streaming Service Dplay

    Discovery Launching Free Streaming Service Dplay in U.K., Ireland

    Discovery is making a free-streaming play in the U.K. and Ireland with the launch of Dplay. The ad-supported service launches this week. It will be programmed with content from Discovery’s bouquet of free-TV channels in the U.K., which include Quest, Food Network, and former UKTV brands Really and Home. The lineup of launch titles includes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content