Accompanied by enough fanfare to make Just Jack blush, NBC recently announced that it had renewed its Must-See Thursday-night smash Will & Grace for a staggering three more years through its seventh season. What the Peacock Network failed to mention, however, is that the $300-million pact doesn't extend to all of the sitcom's stars.
"It's a completely separate deal [from our individual contracts]," Debra Messing confirms to TV Guide Online. "I haven't talked to anybody else in the cast about it, but I'm signed on for two more years, and the show's been picked up for three."
Messing admits that she has yet to decide what she'll do when her contract expires in 2004. "I take it year to year. I have two more years left, and that's a long time," she says. "I feel that, up until this point, the show's writing has been consistent and funny and creatively satisfying, and I do think that the writers have a lot more good stories left to tell. So, as long as that continues, it would be great [to stay on].
"I also feel a great admiration and respect for those shows that go out still on a high note, so that your memory of it is always good," she adds. "It's been hard for me to see some shows that I've loved sort of wither and be on the air another year or two beyond their storytelling potential. So, I don't know how many more years of good storytelling is left [on Will & Grace], [but] I absolutely feel that we're not on our downward slope."
Still, Messing concedes that after four years of relationship hijinks, it's about time someone gets the guy. "I do think, at some point soon, it would be great to see Will and/or Grace find someone that is a great match for them," confesses the actress, whose alter ego dated Woody Harrelson last year. "Whether or not it ultimately ends in marriage... I don't know if that has to be decided upfront."
With the current season of W&G in the can (the finale airs May 23), Messing is busy promoting her role as a ditzy wannabe starlet in Woody Allen's new comedy-romance Hollywood Ending. Although the 33-year-old Brooklyn native plays Allen's girlfriend in the pic (opening tomorrow), it's co-star Téa Leoni who steals his heart and engages in "the kiss."
"Each [Woody Allen] movie has someone who gets 'the kiss,'" she says with a wink. "I understand the kiss is potent... Téa and I have discussed [Allen's] sexiness quotient, and I think it's a given that any man who is brilliant and talented and stands by what he believes in is sexy... He is a small man, but he sort of glows. He makes me laugh and he makes me smile and I think men like that are sexy."