For eight years, Debra Messing played a gay man’s best friend on the classic sitcom “Will & Grace.”
So indelible was her performance as the wacky Grace Adler, you can’t blame her for wondering if she would ever be able to find another role that even came close.
But Debra has indeed been able to leave Grace behind in rerun heaven thanks to the success of “The Starter Wife,” the miniseries in which she plays Molly Kagen, the ex-wife of a Hollywood studio boss who must start her life again after a publicly humiliating divorce.
“I was not looking to work right away, but the script found me and it could not be denied,” Debra told me when we chatted at a recent event. “It was just such a great script. It was just an extraordinary experience creatively and personally and professionally on every level.”
Based on the novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer, “Wife” has been given the OK as a regular series on the USA Network. Work on that, like everything else, has been put on hold because of the writers strike.
Debra, who won an Emmy for “Will & Grace,” was nominated for both the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globe awards in recent months for “Wife” and also got an Emmy nomination for her performance last fall.
“I gotta say, it means a lot,” she said. “I really thought that I was being nominated for “Will & Grace” in large part because of its social importance, which is tremendous. I thought my time was over. So to be nominated again for something else is very encouraging and very gratifying.”In addition to “Wife,” Debra also has a role in the all-star remake of the 1930s classic “The Women,” which also stars Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, Meg Ryan and Bette Midler - among others.