Hines Exits Will & Grace
Tap dancing legend Gregory Hines
will take an early-season break from his recurring role on NBC's Will & Grace
to direct Red Sneakers
, a movie for Showtime. The actor tells TV Guide Online that before he heads out, viewers can expect a surprising twist in his character's romance with Grace (Debra Messing
"Something interesting is going to happen between me and Grace," reveals Hines, who plays Will's ruthless boss, Ben Doucette, "and then I'm going to leave to direct this film, then I'll come back. But I can't tell you what's going to happen." An NBC spokesperson teases that the plot twist will be revealed in the Nov. 2 episode, Hines's final before taking off.
With Karen's (Megan Mullally) housekeeper Rosario (Shelley Morrison) becoming a regular this season, there's speculation that Hines may be next to come onboard full-time. And although producers haven't approached him with such an offer, Hines admits, "If they asked me to become a regular, I think I would. Not that they need me, because they're so amazing."
Emmy voters apparently agreed, bestowing the gay farce with trophies for Outstanding Comedy Series, Supporting Actress (Mullally) and Supporting Actor (Sean Hayes). "I was so happy for Sean and Megan," says Hines, adding that he knows the secret to Will & Grace's success.
"The writers are never satisfied," marvels Hines, who this spring can be seen as famed dancer Bill Robinson in the Showtime film Bojangles. "I mean, on the table-read day, the script is funny hilarious but they're not satisfied with funny. They just keep going. That's very impressive to be around and to be a part of. So I really felt like they deserved it."