During a recent chat with his pal, Sean Hayes, the 43-year-old actor admitted that he had been let go from Will & Grace last year.
“I was fired from your show,” Shepard recalled on his podcast, Armchair Expert. “Which is my only firing experience of my life.”
“Over a year later, it’s pretty funny,” he added, discussing the moment his agent gently delivered the bad news after a table read. “In the middle of her compliment parade, I go, ‘Did I get fired on Will & Grace? And she goes, ‘They are going in another direction.’“
He also discussed the impact of the moment, mostly because the show’s cast, especially Hayes, are close with Shepard.
“The only thing I cared about is that you and I were involved,” he stated. “Had it been any other thing with a bunch of strangers, I would have been like, ‘Oh, whatever. I was at a table read for 45 minutes and then I got fired. Who gives a sh*t?’"
“The only thing is there was no anonymity to it for me,” Shepard continued. “I knew many of the people at that table read. I think maybe that was the only element that I was like, ‘Well, that’s kind of embarrassing. These are people that I know, and then I got canned.”
Hayes responded to Shepard’s recollection by saying that he’d largely shut it out because it was such a difficult moment for his longtime friend.
“I almost don’t remember it,” he said, before adding, “Of course, I remember it, but I almost blocked it out, because it was horrible that it happened… I can’t believe they fired you.”
In hindsight, Shepard is able to see the upside of the situation, admitting that the job would have kept him from seeing his daughter, Lincoln’s, preschool graduation last year.
“This all worked out exactly as it should,” he concluded to Hayes.
The surprising revelation comes just days after Shepard took aim at a report claiming he cheated on his wife, Kristen Bell, with Julie Andrews' step-granddaughter, Kayti Edwards, years ago. The reporting included photos of Shepard and Edwards locking lips in a photo booth.
"Hey Daily Mail, that photo is 13 years old, not 9," he responded on Instagram. "Also, Kayti has sold stories to tabloids about Matthew Perry, Jack Osbourne, Kid Rock, and now me. I look forward to her next one. Fingers crossed it's about my #1, Brad Pitt :)"