Already have an account?
Get back to the

Eric McCormack Weighs in on Straight Actors Playing Gay Roles: ‘It’s Part of the Gig’

Eric McCormack Defends Straight Actors Portraying Gay Characters
Ryan Emberley/Getty Images

Eric McCormack is weighing in on the debate about whether straight actors should be allowed to portray gay characters.

McCormack, 60, who identifies as heterosexual, played gay lawyer Will Truman in the NBC comedy series Will and Grace for 11 seasons.

During an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain show on Monday, March 18, cohost Susanna Reid asked McCormack what he thought about straight actors playing gay characters.

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

LGBTQ TV Characters Who Became Icons

Related: LGBTQ TV Characters Who Became Icons

McCormack won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2001 for his role in Will and Grace. He was also honored with the GLAAD Vanguard Award in 2003 recognizing outstanding representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

During his conversation on Good Morning Britain, McCormack also addressed the flip side of the debate.

“And I’ve always said: ‘If gay actors weren’t allowed to play straight actors, Broadway would be over,’” he said.

Eric McCormack Defends Straight Actors Portraying Gay Characters
Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, and Sean Hayes star in ‘Will & Grace’ Paul Drinkwater/NBC/Getty Images

McCormack starred in Will and Grace in its original run from 1998 to 2006, and during its revival from 2017 to2020. As he looks back at his work in the series, he says he is proud of his portrayal of a gay character.

“So this is what we do. I’d like to think that I represent it well, you know, literally. I came from the theater, and every one of my best friends was a gay man,” he said. “So I think I took their spirit and their message in what was otherwise just a sitcom and represented it, I hope.”

Good Morning Britain cohost Ed Balls also asked McCormack whether he felt he would be cast as Will if the show were being made today.

Will & Grace Cast Where Are They Now

Related: ‘Will and Grace’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

“Well, I guess the answer would be, they’d have to say in the casting room: ‘And you’re gay, right?,’ which I don’t think they can say,” the Canadian actor responded.

“So I still think, as you say, it’s hypothetical. 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,” McCormack continued.

In Will and Grace, McCormack’s character, Will Truman, initially dated interior designer Grace Adler, played by Debra Messing, until he came out as gay.
She was so hurt that they didn’t speak for a year, but they eventually reconciled, lived together and became inseparable best friends.

In this article

Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!