Eric McCormack has thoughts on straight actors in gay roles

Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes take a photo together
Image: Instagram

Will & Grace actor Eric McCormack has given his thoughts on the interesting topic of whether straight actors should play gay roles.

The actor is straight but played gay lawyer Will Truman on 246 episodes of the landmark sitcom, from 1998 to 2006 and again when the show was rebooted in 2017.

Eric has explained in a new interview that his goal as an actor is to play men different to himself, including Will.

He said he hopes in any case “the best person for the role” would be cast, regardless of their sexuality.

“I didn’t become an actor so that I could play an actor,” he told Good Morning Britain.

“There’s no part I’ve ever played where I wasn’t playing something not. It’s part of the gig.

“And I’ve always said: ‘If gay actors weren’t allowed to play straight actors, Broadway would be over.’”

Eric said he’d “like to think” he played the role of Will authentically.

“I came from the theatre, and one of my best friends was a gay man,” he said.

“So I think I took their spirit and their message in what was otherwise just a sitcom and represented it, I hope.”

But he said if Will & Grace was being cast today, things would be a bit different.

“Well, I guess the answer would be, they’d have to say in the casting room: ‘And you’re gay, right?,’ which I don’t think they can say,” he said.

“So I still think, as you say, it’s hypothetical. I would like to think in general that the best person for the role, the one that comes in and knocks it out of the park, is the one that gets the part.”

Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes host podcast

Eric McCormack got four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Will. He finally won in 2001.

Last year, Eric and former co-star Sean Hayes reunited for their brilliant Will & Grace rewatch podcast Just Jack & Will.

The duo are currently almost two seasons into the project. Episode by episode they share behind-the-scenes stories as well as discuss the sitcom’s legacy.

Will & Grace is streaming in Australia on Stan.

Read lots more on Will & Grace:

Sean Hayes watching Will & Grace for first time in recap podcast

Megan Mullally talks ‘bullying’ after Will & Grace feud rumours

Will & Grace cast remember Leslie Jordan after tragic death

Tributes flow after death of Will & Grace’s Shelley Morrison

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    22 March 2024

    Actors make their living playing characters of all persuasions.
    I’m happy to see the best person get the role, regardless of their sexuality.

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