“Will & Grace” Stars Open Up About Reuniting After 11 Years and the Show’s Cultural Impact

In an interview with the Today show, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes opened up about what it was like to reunite after several years, and how the sitcom manages to remain relevant and honest.

The stars of the revival series sat down in the stylish New York City apartment set of Will Truman (McCormack) and Grace Adler (Messing) and reflected at the much-awaited ninth season, ET reports.

“When we came to work, we were like children in a kindergarten class that all got along,” McCormack remembered of the cast’s immediate on-set chemistry. “And that just came back instantly.”

Will and Grace premiered in September 1998 and originally ended in May 2006, the story had jumped to 20 years ahead in which the group had all drifted apart. But for the revival series, the writers are basically throwing that old season finale and starting off on a different note.

The decision to toss out continuity is supported by Mullally, who stars as the hilarious Karen Walker. “I think you’re allowed to throw that one away, because it was the series finale, or so we thought and believed at the time,” Mullally explained. “But that changed, so the rules don’t apply.”

The show will start some years after the finale, after both Will and Grace’s romantic relationships have fallen apart and they are living together once again. But it seems Grace’s return to being Will’s roommate will be something of a new development for the beloved duo. “In the first episode, you learn that it’s a recent thing, moving back in right after my divorce,” Messing said.

The sitcom was the first primetime American series to feature two openly-gay lead characters and it was revolutionary for its positive and candid depiction of gay men and women and their relationships.

For Hayes, who plays the outspoken Jack McFarland, the honesty and positivity in the sitcom’s portrayal of gay characters comes from showing the genuineness of the character’s lives.

“These characters, as well as they are written, are just speaking their truth, and people were just responding to that,” Hayes shared. “[Audiences] had never seen the pairing of all of these four different relationships on television. Whereas for me… I’m around gay people every day, so to me, it wasn’t so newsworthy that there were gay characters on television. I mean, I understand why, but to me, it’s been my normal life. So we’re just sharing that part of our lives with you.”

The new series will include a number of former guest stars, such as Harry Connick Jr., who stars as Grace’s ex-husband, Leo. According to TV Line, Minnie Driver will also be reprising her role as Lorraine Finster, Karen’s nemesis.

The new season of Will & Grace premieres on September 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.