Will and Grace’s Debra Messing on Teenage Son Roman: ‘I Don’t Think He Thinks That I’m Particularly Cool’

Debra Messing Son Roman
Debra Messing with her son Roman Walker Zelman at The Project Angel Food's 2018 Angel Awards on August 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California.  Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Project Angel Food


Will and Grace actress Debra Messing might be one of America’s most beloved sitcom stars, but according to the 50-year-old Emmy winner, her son, Roman, is not quite as impressed.

“I’m just Mom, you know? I think that because I literally brought him to the set of Will and Grace — his entire life has been about visiting me on sets and developing close relationships with my costars,” she told Us of the 14-year-old (whom she shares with ex-husband Daniel Zelman). “It’s just his life. When he first became aware, I think it was actually The Starter Wife … was the first time that he really became aware that Mom was a little different than some other moms because he saw me on a bus. He asked me, ‘Mommy, why are you on a bus?’ And I explained to him that that’s just part of my job.”

She continued: “Roman’s dad is also a creative person, a writer, director and producer, so [Roman] has spent years on sets with his father as well. I don’t think he thinks that I’m particularly cool. And it’s exactly how I wanted it to be.”

Debra Messing Son Roman
Debra Messing with her son Roman Walker Zelman at the “Nightcap” season 2 New York premiere party on June 6, 2017 in New York City. Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

The New York native, who is partnering with Colgate Optic White to remind people of the importance of good oral health, went on to detail the challenges of being a working, single mom in Hollywood. 

“I think that there is an internal part of us that says, ‘I need and want to be with my child all the time,’ but that’s just not the reality of our lives or our culture anymore. Most people I know have both parents working full time. So it’s a fact of life that I have to work, and I also understand that doing the creative work that I do fulfills me in a way that nothing else can. I believe that I’m able to be a better mother as a result.”

Debra Messing Son Roman
Debra Messing with her son Roman Walker Zelman watch a New York Rangers game on February 28, 2017 in New York City. TM/NHL/Getty Images

Messing admits that her connection to Zelman, 51, who she calls her “coparent and friend” helps her find the balance she needs. “I make choices that allow me to be very active and present with my son and because his father and I are so close, we are able to support one another. If one person has to go away for work, the other person is there so that there’s always a parent with him. It’s always consistent for him.”

As for downtime during the holidays? The mother-son duo will take in the sights and sounds in the city that never sleeps. “I love to go ice skating in New York with my son at the Standard Hotel. They have a little rink which I really love. That’s my favorite. ” 

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