The actress opens about about her time playing Grace Adler on 'Will & Grace.'
Debra Messing is getting candid about her sitcom days.
On Monday, the actress participated in The Magic of Will & Grace at The Paley Center for Media and made a reveal about a former NBC executive who wanted to make a change to her character, Grace Adler's, body.
"The very first fitting, they had the chicken cutlets to make me bigger," Messing told the audience. "I just wasn't a fan of like the whole idea of it."
The 54-year-old actress said that she had no problem speaking up for herself and said that if the executive wanted to make the request, he would have to say it to her directly.
"I was like, 'You know what? I don't need that,'" she said. "And they're like, 'Well, it's the president of the network [saying this].' And I said, 'If he wants it, then he needs to come here and tell me to my face.'"
Messing played Grace opposite Eric McCormack (who portrayed Will Truman) from 1998 to 2006. The duo, along with Sean Hayes (who played Jack McFarland) and Megan Mullally (who took on the role of Karen Walker) reprised their roles for three seasons from 2017 to 2020.
Messing has been open about the challenges she faced with her body during the early days of the show. In 2020, the actress was a guest on the Earwolf podcast I Weigh with Jameela Jamil, and discussed the standards placed on her body at the start of her career.
"When I started Will & Grace I was a size eight, and what happened was, every time I would go in for a fitting, I couldn't fit into clothes. Eighty percent of it I couldn't fit into, and I would just leave hating my body and hating myself," Messing recalled. "I loved my costume designer, she would always say, 'Don't worry,' and she would talk to her assistant and say, 'OK, can you call over and get a larger size?' And that was sort of the thing that was always on repeat all the time."
"So of course, I thought, 'My life would be so much easier, and it would be easier on everybody trying to do their job, if I just lost weight," she continued. "So I started doing yoga every single day and I did one of those meal delivery services. I started to get smaller and then I was a six, and they were like, 'You're losing weight, you look amazing!'"
Messing concluded her story by telling Jamil she ultimately ended up getting down to a size two.
"I was way too skinny," she confessed. "But, you know, going in for those fittings, I fit into everything. And all of a sudden, I literally could fit into anything that was high fashion. So all of a sudden, everything seemed to open up for me, because I was a two."
"For awhile there, I was maintaining that, and then I got sick," she added. "My body just could not hold out. My adrenals crashed, I was exhausted and it just became clear to me that I couldn't be healthy and a size two at the same time."