Debra Messing is opening up about a major issue she had during the original run of Will & Grace over 14 years after its season finale.
The 51-year-old, who earned a Primetime Emmy for her role as Grace Adler on top of several other nominations, told actress and podcaster Jameela Jamil that she was “too skinny” while on the series.
“When I started ‘Will & Grace,’ I was a size 8, and what happened was, every time I would go in for a fitting, I couldn’t fit into clothes,” she recalled. “You know, 80% of it I couldn’t fit into, and I would leave just hating my body and hating myself.”
“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,” Debra 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 6, and they were like, ‘You’re losing weight, you look amazing!‘”
Then the compliments about her thinner physique began which only twisted Debra’s head. “Oh, this is making them happy, so I should do more of it,” she said.
Her weight struggles then found its way to the major ceremonies she would attend. “This was supposed to be the greatest moment of my life, being nominated for best actress in a TV show I loved for an Emmy and walking on the red carpet. I walked out and I immediately felt so incredible, and then I was standing next to all of these other actresses who were half my size, and I felt fat, and I felt ugly.”
The stress she felt also bled its way into photo shoots. “It was always a source of intense stress,” she said, “because I would arrive and they would only have sample sizes in all of their clothes. And sample sizes were size 0, size 2. And I was a size 8. They were like, ‘OK, well, we’ll leave the back open and OK, we’ll tape the back to your body.’ It was always this problem-solving that had to be done: ‘What are we gonna do with Debra’s body?'”
Now all this time later she can view those photos with a much more positive outlook. “I look back at those pictures and I was beautiful! I mourn the fact that that was my interpretation of reality and that was the torture that I put myself through,” she shared.