After three seasons sans
a man, is Will Truman the eligible gay bachelor that Eric McCormack
plays on Will & Grace
landing a boyfriend? And of all people, could it be Patrick Dempsey
, that adorable geek from such '80s romps as Can't Buy Me Love
"I'm at the height of my heterosexuality on my honeymoon in Bora Bora and I get a call saying, 'Would you be interested in doing Will & Grace?,'" the actor tells TV Guide Online. "I thought, 'This is really risky.'"
But Dempsey took a gamble and got back on our radar by guest-starring as Matt, the TV sportscaster who browsed Will while shopping at Banana Republic last November. And he's back for two more episodes starting tonight. "I go on my first date with Will," he previews. "But [there's trouble when] I'm not upfront about my sexuality with my bosses because I'm afraid it's going to hurt my on-camera job."
Dempsey felt similarly self-conscious about accepting this role. "If you're a straight guy, the challenge is to allow yourself to be flirty with another man," he says. "You feel, 'Oh my god, people are going to perceive me as being gay. Therefore, that's awful.' Or is it? I had to let it go."
No stranger to challenging parts, he wraps up his recurring stint as Sela Ward's schizophrenic brother on Once and Again in early Spring. In May, he co-stars in the CBS miniseries Blonde, based on Joyce Carol Oates' novel about Marilyn Monroe. "I play Charlie Chaplin's son, who likes the boys as well as the girls," he winks.