Where There�s a Will

9.21.2004

By Eddie Shapiro

As Will & Grace enters its seventh (!) season, gay fans of the show are finally seeing something they have been waiting for a long time: Will has a real, honest-to-goodness boyfriend. We caught up with Eric McCormack, who plays Will, to talk about this revelation, as well as what he did on his summer hiatus.

So, what have you been up to this summer?
I did a movie! It's called The Sisters. It's basically Chekhov's Three Sisters set in modern times.

Where do they want to go? Not Moscow?
They are in New York and they want to go back to North Carolina.

Naturally.
I play the crazy bastard that murders the teacher, in this case the teacher being Chris O'Donnell. The sisters are Maria Bello, Erica Christensen, and Mary Stuart Masterson. It's totally indie, so hopefully someone will buy it. It was really fun to do.

So Bobby Cannavale, who was featured in Out's October issue, is back. Will officially has a real boyfriend!
Now, tell me, for the gay people who watch the show, this is good news, right? Because he's so handsome and he's so funny...

And there's real chemistry. For people rooting for Will, it's great.
Well, we've tried [giving Will a boyfriend] in the past. With Patrick Dempsey for a couple of episodes, it was a good, sort of a toe in the water thing. Then it was the four episodes where I made over Dan Futterman. I loved those episodes but we lost numbers. People were a little scared. They didn't know what to make of it. So again we kind of backed off and thought, 'How do you do this?' And how you do this is you find the right guy at the right time and this was the right guy at the right time. It was a funny storyline and a funny way in.

Do you think that with the political landscape and what's going on with gay marriage, people are a little bit more ready for Will to be in a relationship than they were?
I hope so. I don't know. A friend of mine was telling me that he recently went to movie or a play and it was clearly a gay story but as soon as the two men kissed, people went 'Ew' and left. I used to say to political journalists who would ask, 'When are you gonna kiss?', 'Trust me. You don't want us to kiss.' We won't be on the air for seven or eight years if there's a kiss. We won't. Our numbers will drop, the network will drop us. How does that help anybody? What's helped is to be in people's faces, just the way we have been, for a long time. If we last 10 years, how much more good did we do? And you know what, I don't want to watch sitcom characters kiss anyway. Gay or straight. It's a sitcom. Think about Mad About You. Do you wanna see them kiss?

Nope. Rob and Laura Petrie. And that's it.
That's what I'm talking about!

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