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Debra Messing Actress

Debra Messing

The star of NBC's comedy hit "Will&Grace", Emmy Award winner Debra Messing understands the unique bond of friendship that exists between her character, interior decorator Grace Adler, and the character of Will Truman. “Grace is very dedicated and disciplined when it comes to her professional life,” says Messing. “But her personal life isn’t nearly so together, and Will is her stabilizing force. She’s a little neurotic, and she knows Will is the only person who understands her and can help her put things in perspective. But Grace is also a lot of fun, and her humor helps balance Will’s more serious personality. They’re the kind of best friends who know each other’s history and can finish each other’s sentences.” Messing was nominated for Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actress in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and won the Award in 2003. She has also received five Golden Globe nominations, two SAG nominations, two People’s Choice nominations, two American Comedy Award nominations and won a TV Guide Award for her performance as Grace. Next Spring, she will star in her first lead film role in director Clare Kilner’s romantic comedy, “Something Borrowed” (opposite Dermot Mulroney) for Gold Circle Films. This year, she was seen in Universal’s “Along Came Polly” opposite Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. Also on the big screen, Messing recently appeared in Woody Allen’s comedy “Hollywood Ending,” as well as the thriller “The Mothman Prophecies,” alongside Richard Gere. Messing’s other feature film credits include Allen’s “Celebrity” (having been hand-picked for the part by the director) and Alfonso Arau’s romantic love story, “A Walk in the Clouds” opposite Keanu Reeves.

Born on August 15, 1968 in Brooklyn, NY Debra Messing and her older brother were raised in a quiet community outside Providence, Rhode Island. She received her liberal arts education at Brandeis University where she majored in theater arts. She spent half of her junior year studying in London’s prestigious B.E.S.G.L. program, which featured dramatic arts teachers recruited from various distinguished institutions such as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Cambridge University and Oxford University. Upon graduating summa cum laude from Brandeis, Messing was accepted into New York University’s elite Graduate Acting Program and received her master of fine arts degree. On the New York stage, Messing garnered praise for her performance as Harper Pitt in the pre-Broadway workshop of Tony Kushner’s Tony Award-winning play “Angels in America: Perestroika.” She appeared as Cecily in a Seattle production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Upon returning to New York, she was cast as the understudy to Mary-Louise Parker and Polly Draper in the off-Broadway premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s “Four Dogs and a Bone.” She also co-starred in Paul Rudnick’s “The Naked Truth” and co-starred with Maria Tucci in the acclaimed two-woman production of Donald Margulies’ “Collected Stories,” which was chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

On television, Messing starred for two seasons in the comedy “Ned & Stacey” opposite Thomas Haden Church. She had a recurring role on “NYPD Blue” as Gail O’Grady’s conniving sister, Dana Abandando. On “Seinfeld” she played Jerry’s ideal, but elusive, love, Dr. Beth Lookner. She also starred as the young bio-anthropologist Sloan Parker in the drama series “Prey” and appeared as Mary Magdalene in the critically acclaimed 2000 miniseries “Jesus.” She resides in Los Angeles with her husband screenwriter Daniel Zelman and their son Roman Walker Zelman, who was born on April 7, 2004, 5 pounds and 14 ounces.

 

'Will & Grace' Star Not Just Messing Around

Debra Messing is best known as a star on the hit TV sitcom "Will & Grace," but she's also put together a respectable film career. She stars in "The Wedding Date," and hopes to build on her previous movie experience.
McHale's Navy (1997) - Messing is still trying to forget this lousy comedy adaptation of an old TV show. She co-starred with Tom Arnold - not exactly something to brag about.

Celebrity (1998) - Messing got to work with the venerable Woody Allen in this opus on fame and failed relationships. Her role was just a tiny one, though. She is credited as "TV Reporter at Lupus Office."

The Mothman Prophecies (2002) - Teaming with Richard Gere in this horror film, Messing shows her dramatic range. The story is about a mysterious, otherworldly entity that is able to predict, and perhaps cause, deadly cataclysms.

Hollywood Ending (2002) - Good news: The Woodman called Messing back and gave her a bigger role. Bad news: The film is Allen's worst ever. It's an aimless, unfunny comedy about a blind director.

Along Came Polly (2004) - Star in a comedy released in 2004, and odds are Ben Stiller is in the cast with you. Messing plays his unfaithful wife, who runs off with a diving instructor, allowing Stiller to put the moves on Jennifer Aniston's character.

Debra Meesing's new movie 'Wedding Date'


Nothing you haven't seen before, but cast does fine. "The Wedding Date" is a sweet, mindless diversion that is reminiscent of dozens of other romantic comedies. You know the ones: someone walks down the aisle with all the predictable confusion, angst and wackiness the writers can wring out of that rite of passage.

However, this particular wedding-cake walk does feature the excellent comedic timing of Debra Messing and the charm and sex appeal of Dermot Mulroney, which will likely combine to make this film a hit with the date crowd.

Messing plays Kat Ellis, a New York City career woman who is preparing to attend the wedding of her half-sister in England. There's just one little problem -- she doesn't have a date for the wedding, and the best man at the upcoming event is the same guy who recently dumped her after seven years together.

Her solution is to hire a professional male escort -- sight unseen -- to go with her to London and pose as her boyfriend.

In real life this strategy would have resulted in a nightmare of a guy, one more hulk than hunk. But this being a Hollywood movie he turns out to be a perfect gentleman named Nick Mercer, played by Mulroney.

That's all you really need to know. The plot is paper-thin and will shred under closer examination. It's obvious first-time screenwriter Dana Fox has watched "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" way too many times.

British actor Peter Egan joins the always reliable Holland Taylor in playing Kat's parents, Bunny and Victor Ellis. Taylor, now a star of "Two and a Half Men," has played this slightly daffy, off-center mother role numerous times and has it down pat.

The nasty ex-boyfriend is portrayed by Jeremy Sheffield, a suitably good-looking cad. Amy Adams ("Catch Me If You Can") plays Kat's selfish half-sister, and another British actor, Jack Davenport, is great as the slightly clueless groom. And "Wedding Date" director Clare Kilner makes the most of the beautiful locations in the Surrey countryside of England.

It's a nice turnaround to have the man in a film being the sex object instead of the woman. Mulroney plays a great hooker with a heart of gold and even makes more money than Julia Roberts made performing the same type of role in "Pretty Woman." She only got $3,000 for her services; Mulroney's Nick makes twice that amount. (Of course, it HAS been 15 years.)

Messing doesn't stray too far from her role as Grace Adler in her hit TV sitcom "Will & Grace" so she's on firm ground here. Of course, the results are far from groundbreaking.

But this little romantic piece of fluff serves its purpose of being a total "chick flick," thereby filling a niche that always comes in handy around Valentine's Day.

TV star Debra Messing slips into big-screen roles



This year's winter movie lineup is shaping up as the "Battle of the Network Stars."
Will & Grace's Debra Messing, The King of Queens' Kevin James and WB prank-host Jamie Kennedy are among the TV actors trying to transform some of their broadcast fame into box office clout.

"It's the first time that I'm carrying a film, and that's certainly new and a little scary and very exciting," says Messing, who makes her leading-lady debut Friday in the comedy The Wedding Date. "I'm aware other people will be assessing ... whether or not the film works creatively, whether it works financially and whether they're interested in working with me in the future."

The coldest months of the year can heat up a TV actor's movie career. For one thing, expectations for a movie's performance are lower in January and February, typically a dumping ground for lesser movies amid the Oscar hopefuls.

"If you do it at a time when the competition is not at its peak, it gives you more opportunity to be seen," says Henry Schafer of Marketing Evaluations Inc., which provides "Q ratings" that rank the popularity of celebrities for advertisers and studios.

That strategy worked for Saturday Night Live's Will Ferrell in 2003's Old School, and That '70s Show regular Ashton Kutcher with last year's The Butterfly Effect. But it proved that not everybody loved Ray Romano when his Welcome to Mooseport flopped last February.

Already this winter, That '70s Show's Topher Grace has had success with In Good Company, rebounding from last year's dud Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! But Alias star Jennifer Garner followed her 2004 spring hit 13 Going on 30 with Elektra, a fizzle this January.

"It's a big-time test," says Kennedy, who goes from TV's The Jamie Kennedy Experiment to Son of the Mask, opening Feb. 18. "I'm scared out of my mind. I'm up for a couple movies, and nobody is ready to pull the trigger until they see what this does."

King of Queens' James, who plays opposite Will Smith in Hitch next week, says he felt safer playing the sidekick in his first big movie role.

"If you're out there alone and the film doesn't do that well, you might not get a second shot," James says. "For anybody who wants to break into film, I would highly recommend that they get themselves a Will Smith."

Debra Messing stars in "Along Came Polly"



It is no surprise that Will and Grace's Debra Messing was positively glowing when we met to discuss her latest movie, Along Came Polly, starring Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller. Looking radiantly pregnant, the 35-year old Emmy Award winner is clearly excited about impending motherhood. "It's a wonderful thing," the quietly spoken actress exclaims smilingly. Married for three years now to actor/screenwriter Daniel Zelman, whom she met at university, the couple is expecting their first child. Messing says that her pregnancy will definitely not be written into Will and Grace. "We spoke about it for maybe a minute and then it just became very clear that everyone across the board agreed that it just didn't feel right. The story lines were such, and the tenor of the show was such, that it didn't feel like it was going to add anything to the show. There are also all these precedents of other shows hiding it. Julia Louis Dreyfuss had 2 babies on Seinfeld and they hid it."

Messing says that is not the slightest bit nervous about motherhood, nor is concerned at balancing motherhood with career. "It's always been really important for me to try to maintain a balanced life, professional and personal, and this was absolutely something that my husband and I had hoped for," says Messing. "Whatever consequences come as a result, in terms of work, I'm fully prepared to embrace because it's a priority to me to be a mother." The actress adds that she is going to plan her new maternal life one step at a time. "I'm still working at Will & Grace and very grateful that they have been able to modify the work schedules so that I can be a working Mom at the same time. We're coming back next year and I have some other movies to promote then as well, so I don't anticipate it being very much different in the realm of my professional life; I just think my personal life will feel this."

Messing spent her last Will & Grace Hiatus playing a newly married Jewish wife, who fools around with a French scuba instructor, played by Hank Azaria, in the romantic comedy Along Came Polly. She wants it known that she is far removed from that unfaithful character as is possible to be. "First of all, I'm very devoted to my husband and we've been together for a very long time. I think my ability to stay faithful is better than hers. Also, she's a lot perkier than I am, "she smilingly adds. "I have the ability to have other colours of emotions, not just joy all the time, so hopefully I'm less annoying than she is."

Now entering its sixth season, Will & Grace has established Messing as a major comedic star. Since its debut, Messing says that her fictional counterpart has developed considerably since her TV conception. "I think that she's aged nicely, she's settled down a little bit, and I think she's a little wiser. I also like the fact that of all of her really wacky boyfriends that she had the first 2 seasons, it's nice to see her fall in love and have a successful relationship, as short as that was. I think she feels better in her skin and maybe a little sassier as a result." As for Messing, she, too, has developed much like Grace. "I hope I've aged gracefully since we've started," she begins, laughingly. "I guess everything has changed. I'm married now, going to be a mother. I think professionally, obviously the biggest thing was having the luxury of a consistent job. It's a miracle to be an actor and to know that you have a job to go to a year from now is a rare thing, so I think peace of mind and financial stability come with that. Hopefully I'm a little wiser and have a little more perspective in my life than I did then."

Messing has also had to cope with the increasing pressures of fame, the paparazzi, and has even ended up in a police station. Yet, she says, she has learned to cope with those pressures. "You talk to people who know more than you about it, have perspective about it and realize that it is happening because you have the good fortune of doing what you love for a living and also trying to not give your life over to it in a way where you're crippling yourself, locking yourself in your house and not doing the things that you need to do to live a normal life and just trying to find ways to protect yourself and the people you love and protect the life. But it's not easy."

As to the future of the show, Messing is somewhat circumspect. "Right now we're in the middle of our sixth year and we're coming back for sure next year. I don't have a timeline or cut-off point for myself. I'm a little commitment phobic, in that I've always been someone who likes to take things one year at a time because as we all know, a year can change everything in your life. Who knows the circumstances of your life but my prerequisites haven't changed, it's still intact and as long as we're all still having fun, which we are, and we all still feel like the writing is funny and fresh and that there are more stories to tell, then there is no reason to stop." Messing won't elaborate on plans for her TV husband, except to add that her marriage remains in trouble. "I can't spill any beans but I can say that Harry Connick, my TV husband Leo, comes back from Cambodia towards the end of the season."

Beyond motherhood, Messing has two other films in the can. "I did a film in London last summer called Something Borrowed, a kind of romantic comedy which has darker elements to it, with Dermot Mulroney. Then I played Bill Murray's girlfriend in Garfield, playing Arleen the cat." The later sounds perfect for a future mother.

 

Debra Messing Reveals Herself 100%

As Will & Grace marks its 100th episode, its vibrant star gives us her all: about her Court TV addiction, her piles of unpaid parking tickets and her total commitment to french fries.

I give 100%...

...all the time, no matter what I'm doing. I feel like I've always been wired that way. If I'm not going to do something 100%, I'd rather not do it. It all comes from my family's work ethic. My mother's motto was, "Do what makes you happy. And when it doesn't make you happy anymore, make a change without fear." She always said that while you're doing something, you should give it your all.

...I pay parking tickets. You know, you can try to give 50%, but then they charge you all those penalties! Seriously, I have gotten many, many, many tickets in my life. In the past, I'd get distracted and send in a check a little bit late, but by the time they got the check it wouldn't include the late fee, so I'd get another late fee on top of the first late fee... So now, I am fully committed to giving 100% when I pay my parking tickets. Actually, my husband is now in charge of paying the parking tickets.

What holds my attention 100% is...

...Court TV. I can't stop watching it. I am absolutely obsessed! If I'm not reading a book or spending time with my husband, my friends or my dog, I am watching Court TV.

I guess it just plays into my obsession with justice and fairness if I weren't an actor, I'd be a lawyer. To me, nothing is more fascinating or theatrical than real life. These people are in dire situations, where something extreme has happened in their lives. And some of those trials! If some writer in Hollywood went into a pitch meeting with storylines that I've actually seen on Court TV, the studio head would say, "That's ridiculous. No human being would ever do that."
The cause I am 100% committed to is...

...french fries. Seriously.

I feel 100% energetic when...

...I'm arguing and I'm sure I'm wrong.

What would make the world 100% better is...

...actors not giving their opinions about what would make the world 100% better! (Well, that would make the world at least 25% better.)

I mean, everyone whether they're an actor or a doctor or a teacher or whatever is entitled to his or her opinion. But unfortunately, because actors are in the public eye, whether we want it or not, sometimes our opinions carry more weight or influence than they deserve. Certainly I'm grateful for that, because being in the public eye helps me to support charities and causes I care about like the Human Rights Campaign and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. That's an honor that comes along with this lucky thing that's happened to me. But, unfortunately, actors can't just say what they feel without people taking them too seriously, or accusing them of being pretentious, or accusing them of being ill-informed. It just carries too much baggage. We'd be better off keeping our opinions to ourselves.

But, since we're on the subject, the issue that should demand 100% of our attention right now is...

...the worldwide spread of AIDS. It's a shame that it isn't a top issue in this country, because for many countries, it's the only issue.

The person I count on 100% is...

...my agent. Oops, no, that's only 10%.

What I want 100% more of in life is...

...time. There are so many things to explore in our world, and there's just never enough time to do them all.

If I had 10 more hours in each day, I would spend more time with my husband, my friends and my family. I would take singing and painting lessons. I would go traveling in different cultures for extended amounts of time because there's nothing like being submerged in a new culture. I would read more books when I go on vacations. I would take photography classes. I would study the history of fashion. I would study jewelry making. I would probably take classes in law, and business classes, too. God, I just could go on forever. I mean, it's just such an exciting world we live in.

What makes me 100% happy is...

...escaping to some secret, sunny spot with my husband, spending the entire time in bed in our pajamas, reading books, ordering in and just being quiet and being together. We've traveled all over the world together, and what it comes down to is just being alone with him, anywhere. That's what makes me happy.

What it would take for me to be 100% successful is...

...for me not to care whether I'm 100% successful. It's a fine balance, because when you're passionate about something, you want it to be all it can be. But in the endgame of life, I fundamentally believe the key to happiness is letting go of that idea of perfection.

Debra Messing stars in the new romantic comedy ''The Wedding Date''

Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney Star in "The Wedding Date"
In this sparkling romantic comedy, Debra Messing plays Kat, a never-married New Yorker, who is invited to her parents' London home for her younger sister's wedding. What should be a joyous occasion bodes disaster for Kat, however, when she discovers that the best man will be none other than her ex-fiancé, who, two years before, inexplicably dumped her. In a desperate attempt to face the ordeal with dignity, Kat hires Nick (Dermot Mulroney), a charming and handsome professional male escort, to pose as her new boyfriend and escort her to the wedding.
Even more valuable to Kat than Nick's good looks and charisma is his keen insight into human behavior--a well-learned trick of his trade. Over the course of the weekend, Nick takes on the role of the bride's therapist, the father's ideal son-in-law, the groom's new best friend and the object of every woman's affection.

For Kat, what starts out as a pretend relationship with Nick begins to turn into something entirely unexpected: a second chance at love.

 

Debra Messing enjoys her role in the comedy ''Along Came Polly''


Hank Azaria and Debra Messing may not have much screen time in the romantic comedy "Along Came Polly," but in the short amount of time they do have, the duo manages to steal plenty of laughs.
“Debra makes 'Lisa' sweet and likeable, even though her role makes her out to be someone who dumps on Reuben in the worst way. Hank is obviously one of the great comic actors and he can do any kind of voice. Even though 'Claude' is stealing Lisa from Reuben, I need the audience to think that although the situation is horrible, it’s okay because it’s a comedy. And Hank’s character is very sweet and brings a certain humanity to his role," comments writer/director John Hamburg.

How did you get in shape for this role?
HANK AZARIA: That took about seven or eight weeks to get in that kind of shape.
Every few years Hollywood asks me to be some version of a naked foreigner, and I'm very happy to oblige.
With very little screen time, how do you make your characters memorable?
HANK AZARIA: I showed my butt. That's how I decided to go.

DEBRA MESSING: I tell everybody, “If nothing else, see the movie so you can see Hank Azaria's ass.” We're both scantily clad at some point. That seems to help. I think it all just came from the script. I think that even the smaller parts were really well defined. They really popped off the page. It was a joy to do.

Can you get a little more specific about the script?
DEBRA MESSING: I guess when I approached my character, I just looked at Ben and Jen's characters because they were the core of the movie. [I was] trying to see what was the function of my character and my function was to have that balance of being a viable choice for him. I didn't want the audience to know the very first second that they saw her, that it was a joke and there was no chance that he would pick her. But [I also tried] making her funny and slightly unlikable so that you would cheer and root for Jennifer's character. We just played around. We did some improv in the rehearsal process. We just found little colors of character that perhaps were not on the page. I think that came from John Hamburg because he really encouraged us to play.

Hank, who did you model your character after?
HANK AZARIA: I just tried to do the most authentic French accent I could and get in the best shape possible, seriously, and just commit to what John wrote. It really is well written and it's a flashy little thing to do, to do this kind of weird, naked guy on the beach. It just seemed really funny. It just was funny so I thought, “Why not?” I just tried to get into the best French accent I could and then we sort of figured out the look of the guy.

DEBRA MESSING: The wig was pretty effective.

HANK AZARIA: I have to say, it came together when they put the wig on me. I didn't have a lot of faith in the wig at first. I mean, to put a blonde wig on my swarthy head - I don't think so. But then it kind of worked. Then they apply body paint to you and all these horribly humiliating things.

Debra, is comedy as challenging as drama?
DEBRA MESSING: I love both. I think that they offer two different kinds of challenges and they feed me in two completely different ways. I love comedy. There is something musical about it. If it's well written, just playing it. Drama just requires something different.

I'm always just looking for a great script. I did a film last summer that was a little more dramatic called “Something Borrowed,” that we shot in London. It's going to be coming out later on in the year. That allowed me to flex some different muscles.

What was life on the set like with the ferret?
HANK AZARIA: That ferret is a hell of an actor. He really is.

DEBRA MESSING: Very cute.

HANK AZARIA: Yeah, handsome ferret. No, you're always relieved when you don't have to work with the animal.

DEBRA MESSING: I've never worked with one. I love animals but I think I'm a little grateful not to have worked with it because from what I understand, he bit Jennifer on the face at some point, or on her lip or something.

HANK AZARIA: Well, so did I, in fairness.

Was Ben Stiller anything like his character, Reuben?
HANK AZARIA: No, he's not that fastidious, although he's very meticulous about his work.

DEBRA MESSING: He's got that perfectionist strain throughout. It was great working with him. Obviously, he's funny, but he's a good man. He's just kind and he's really passionate about what he does. Every day was fun.

HANK AZARIA: He's a very generous, warm guy. It’s always impressive when talented comedians are easy laughers or generous with their laughs. He's like that and always trying to help you make your part of the scene better. He's very unselfish that way.

Debra Messing receives Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Comedy

ABC's "Desperate Housewives" are a little happier today - except for Eva Longoria. Longoria , who plays sultry philanderer Gabrielle Solis on the hit Sunday-night series, was snubbed for a Golden Globe nomination yesterday - while head "Housewives" Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross all received nods as Best Actress in a Comedy.
Debra Messing ("Will & Grace") and Sarah Jessica Parker ("Sex and the City") rounded out that category.
Arrested Development," which copped an Emmy last September for Best Comedy, was nominated for a Golden Globe in the same category - sharing that distinction with "Desperate Housewives," HBO's "Entourage" and "Sex and the City" and NBC's "Will & Grace."

Debra Messing is one of the Hot Mamas '04

Hollywood is experiencing its own mini-baby boom with numerous stars having children and their progress is chronicled in VH1's Hot Mamas '04.

The one-hour show scheduled for telecast Thursday will be packed with information on how the celebrities including Debra Messing, Denise Richards, Courteney Cox, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jenny McCarthy, Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon dress, stay beautiful and navigate the march in Hollywood to mommy-hood.

Hollywood moms-to-be have said goodbye to big t-shirts and sweat pants and designers have provided Hollywood's A-listers with hot clothing, no matter how the waistline expands during pregnancy.

The show also reveals the methods the actresses, models and musicians use to stay in shape while pregnant and where they shop for their children. There will be interviews by the stars as well as their designers, exercise and diet experts and industry insiders.

Debra Messing Will Be Honored at the Trevor Project's ''Cracked Xmas 7''

The Trevor Project Will Honor Messing, Mullally and Wells Fargo at Its Annual "Cracked Xmas 7" Charity Event to Be Held at The Wiltern LG on Sunday, December 5th, 2004.

A night of outstanding musical and comedy performances benefiting The Trevor Project and honoring Debra Messing and Megan Mullally with The Trevor Life Award for their example of acceptance and support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. Wells Fargo will be honored with The Trevor Hope Award for their corporate support of the organization and the LGBT community.

The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization endeavor established to promote tolerance for gay and questioning teenagers, and to aid in suicide prevention among that
group. The organization runs The Trevor Helpline (866-4-U-TREVOR), the only national toll-free, 24-hour, 365-day-a-year helpline for gay & questioning youth who have suicidal thoughts and feeling. Proceeds from "Cracked Xmas 7" benefit the organization and helpline.

Debra Messing helps raise money for the Trevor Project

Will & Grace co-stars Debra Messing and Megan Mullally made the yuletide gay Sunday night by locking lips at the 7th annual Cracked Christmas event.
The dual honorees were helping raise money for the Trevor Project, an organization that helps prevent suicide among gay teenagers. Among the other television stars on hand hoping to get the word out on the toll-free 1-866-4-U-TREVOR hotline: Desperate Housewives' Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman and The West Wing's Allison Janney.

"This hotline literally saves lives," said Messing, and Mullally said she and Messing have received "thousands of letters from young people who say our show helped them feel OK about being gay."

The night got a little weird during a live auction, which was facilitated by Huffman and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Carson Kressley. A "generous" bidder turned out to be a Kressley stalker and had to be escorted away by security. But Messing and Janney quickly restored the laughs by jokingly outbidding each other for a Will & Grace walk-on role. "I was counting on the fact that someone would outbid me," Janney said.

In the end, former porn princess Traci Lords, 36, and out-of-the-closet Who's the Boss? tyke Danny Pintauro, 28, each shelled out $17,500 for the chance to appear on the NBC sitcom in 2005. Will & Grace co-creator Max Mutchnick said he's looking forward to writing both into the show. Asked what she hopes to perform on the sitcom, naughty Lords said, "Honey, I can do lots of things."

Messing and Mullally broke news that Jeff Goldblum will join Will & Grace at the end of the month as Karen's old nemesis and Grace's new flame. And in January: Lily Tomlin comes on board as Will's new boss.

Cross said Housewives will soon reveal the sexual proclivities of her character's husband, Rex, and hopes audiences won't overreact.

Backstage, Huffman and Messing discussed breast-feeding tips, while Janney revealed details of her upcoming wedding to actor Richard Jenik. The two will wed in May and are looking into a Palm Springs ceremony at Frank Sinatra's former estate.

Debra Messing's new film ''The Wedding Date''

Kat Ellis is returning to the London home of her parents to attend her sister's wedding. The only problem? Kat's former fiancé, who lives near her mother and father, dumped her two years ago. She can't bear the thought of a confrontation, and she doesn't want him to think she's just an anxious single girl.

The easy solution, of course, is to hire a top-drawer male escort to pose as her boyfriend. Naturally, hijinks ensue when Kat and her hired hunk run into the ex, allowing for awkward situations galore.

Starring as Kat is Will and Grace's Debra Messing, in what will be her first role where she will be the big-name star power. Her escort will be portrayed by Dermot Mulroney. Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, the BBC's Coupling) will also have a prominent role. (Kim Hollis/BOP)




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