The revival will premiere in fall 2017 with all four original actors reprising their popular roles.
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BURBANK, Calif. – “Minnows!”
The reunited cast of Will & Grace — Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally — sit around a rectangular table covered in stacks of pink paper representing the day’s script, laughing over jokes about peaches and overpriced almond butter.
Then Minnie Driver walks up. It’s Hayes who spots her first, calling out the nickname. “It’s so surreal!” says Driver. Messing, clad in a ‘Dance Like Russia Isn’t Watching’ T-shirt, hugs her and takes a selfie.
Driver is reprising her role as Karen’s nemesis, Lorraine Finster, on an upcoming episode of NBC’s comedy (Thursday, 9 ET/PT). Surreal, indeed: More than a decade later, the cast looks (amazingly) the same in person, and so do the sets.
So what’s changed here? First of all, forget the teary finale (and the kids who came with it).
Instead, say all involved, it’s simply 11 years later. Grace is wildly successful but newly divorced from Leo and temporarily living with Will, who is burned out in his corporate law job but enjoying the single life.
Jack “is kind of stuck,” says Hayes, though he’s freshly trademarked a new acting method called “jackting.” Karen still works for Grace, but now she’s “besties with Donnie and Melania, and she spends a lot of time with them at Mar-a-Lago,” says Mullally.
But the TV landscape has morphed dramatically since 1998, when the network sitcom was considered groundbreaking for featuring unapologetically gay characters.
It begs the question: What can Will & Grace do for us now?
“What’s topical about it is these characters are living fully. Despite what happened a few years ago with marriage equality in 50 states, (gay rights are) more under fire than ever,” says McCormack.
In 2017, Hayes no longer shies away from addressing his sexuality in interviews. “I think just by living my life as Sean Hayes and making silly Facebook videos…