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“Will & Grace ”star Eric McCormack defends straight actors playing gay roles: 'It’s part of the gig'

“Will & Grace ”star Eric McCormack defends straight actors playing gay roles: 'It’s part of the gig'

"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 is weighing in on straight actors playing LGBTQ+ roles.

The actor, who is straight but best known for his role as gay lawyer Will Truman on the groundbreaking NBC sitcom Will & Grace, said on Monday's episode of ITV's Good Morning Britain that he believes the "best person for the role" should be cast in projects, regardless of sexuality.

“That’s a tough one for me, because I didn’t become an actor so that I could play an actor,” McCormack said when asked about his thoughts on the subject. “There’s no part I’ve ever played where I wasn’t playing something I’m 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."

The actor continued, “So this is what we do. I’d like to think that I represent it well. I came from the theater, and one of my best friends was a gay man. So I think I took their spirit and their message in what was otherwise just a sitcom and, represented it, I hope."

<p>Ryan Emberley/Getty </p> Eric McCormack

Ryan Emberley/Getty

Eric McCormack

Does McCormack think he would be cast if the sitcom were made today? “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 responded. "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.”

Created by Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, Will & Grace centered on co-dependent best friends Will, a meticulous lawyer, and Grace (Debra Messing), a neurotic interior decorator, who share an apartment in New York. Airing between 1998 and 2006 during its original eight-season run before returning for a brief revival between 2017 to 2020, the sitcom was considered groundbreaking for its depiction of LGBTQ+ characters at a time when queer characters were rarely represented on TV.

<p>Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty</p> Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, and Debra Messing on 'Will & Grace'

Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, and Debra Messing on 'Will & Grace'

Elsewhere in the ITV interview, McCormack said longtime pal Elton John and the musician's partner David Furnish might have been the first people in the U.K. to watch the sitcom. "I sent VHS tapes to David and they watched them on their vacation," he said.

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