Will & Grace stars Sean Hayes and Eric McCormack are dropping behind-the-scenes stories galore in a new podcast rewatching the sitcom together.
The pair launched the podcast, called Just Jack & Will, two weeks ago, revisiting Will & Grace episode by episode.
Eric McCormack told People he and Sean reconnected shortly before the pandemic, and have discussed working together for years.
“We found each other again just before COVID. Now we’ve been closer pals than ever since then,” he said.
“We started to talk about what would we do if we did a podcast. And I said, ‘We could rewatch the show?’”
But Sean then dropped a bomb, telling Eric that if they did, he’d be seeing nearly all of the Will & Grace episodes for the first time.
“[Sean] said, ‘Yeah, I’d have to watch it for the first time, because I’ve never really watched it.’ He said, ‘That’s the show.’”
Fifth character was dropped from pilot
In just the first few podcast episodes, the pair have shared some behind the scenes stories including Eric almost turning down the role, and also a fifth character dropped “two days in” to production.
“There were five characters as regulars, the fifth was my partner at my small law firm,” Eric recalls.
The character was intended to be a straight guy and Black Lightning actor Cress Williams was cast. But he left “two days in” because director James Burrows believed he was “one character too many”.
Eric McCormack also recalled after he was “unofficially” told he’d got the role shortly before Christmas, he almost talked himself out of it.
“Something happened over Christmas for me. People have said to me, ‘Did you suddenly doubt that you should play a gay man?'” he said.
“That had nothing to do with it. In fact, that was the thing about the show that would rise above the rest.
“I suddenly just got afraid of commitment.”
Eric pulled out. But Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick personally called the actor at home and told him, “I’m just calling to tell you that you just made the biggest mistake of your life.”
“It haunted me over the holidays,” he said.
After New Years, Eric recalled, he turned to his wife and I said, ‘I think I made a terrible mistake.’ And she said, ‘Yep.'”
Will & Grace stars ‘rediscovering who we were’
The beloved gay sitcom Will & Grace ran from 1998 to 2006 and then again for three reboot seasons from 2017 to 2020.
Eric McCormack explained the Just Jack & Will podcast is “Sean and I watching the show, but really watching the minutiae.”
“Rediscovering who we were. The choices we made. You shoot 24 episodes, sometimes in a season, you’re not stopping to think. You’re not stopping to breathe,” he explained.
“You’re kind of marveling at your young self, like in Back to the Future where he sees his mother as a young woman.
“We’re watching ourselves going, ‘Huh, would I still make that choice? Did I become funnier? Did I become better?’”
Just Jack & Will is out everywhere you get your podcasts. Both Will & Grace and the reboot series are streaming in Australia on Stan.
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