Ten years after Will & Grace signed off and just hours before the fall’s first presidential debate, all four cast members returned for an election-themed mini-episode. Megan Mullally, whose boozy, busty socialite friend of Trump provided a foil for the left-leaning title characters, reveals how the project came together.
How was it stepping back into Karen Walker’s shoes – or should I say push-up bra – after all these years?
First of all, I wasn’t wearing a bra. And second of all, the whole thing felt like we’d just gone on hiatus for a week and we’d just come back. It was just like no time had passed. It was so effortless and fun. We just snapped right back into it, and we were just laughing and having a blast.
Were there any moments you felt a wave of nostalgia wash over you?
Oh my God, yes. It was unbelievable. We went into the studio where we were going to shoot it, and there was the real set with every throw pillow and tchotchke just as it had been. We walked around and were flipping out. It’s hard to explain, but it’s kind of a contradictory process of being flipped out and excited but also feeling totally normal. It was as if we had just been there.
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What about the current climate made it the right time for this reunion?
The idea came from [co-creator] Max Mutchnick, who had this idea of Karen having a wall installed in her house to make [her maid] Rosario practice climbing so that when Trump builds the wall, she can get back over it to get to work again. It’s so funny because, during the last year or so when I’ve been asked in interviews, “What do you think Karen would be doing now?” I’ve always said I think she’d be married to Donald Trump.
Max sent out the email to the four of us. It was great because everybody immediately said that they would do it – I mean everybody: not just the cast but [director] Jim Burrows and all of our department heads, our costume designer, our set designer, everybody, even our line producer and our supervisor – they were all on board. So it came together right away.
Will & Grace was always a very topical show and so this was just like a normal episode. And if the show was still on the air, we would be doing episodes about Orlando or we’d be doing episodes about a lot of things. It was the right time to [come back together] right before the first debate.
How do you think this #VoteHoney hashtag could change the campaign?
I wouldn’t presume to think that we’re going to, like, change voters minds, but I think it’s intended as a celebration of getting everybody back together but also a moment to think about what’s happening in the election and to just vote. I’m hoping that it’s all coming to a tipping point, I guess. Isn’t that sort of what happened with gay marriage? Right before gay marriage was legalized, everybody was just losing their minds and, like, the worst possible things were happening, and it was just all like it couldn’t get any worse and then it suddenly got a lot better. So I’m hoping that’s what’s happening right now.