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  WINDY CITY TIMES

The mysteries of Debra Messing
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2015-06-24

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This season of The Mysteries of Laura has just wrapped up but Debra Messing and the gang are already gearing up for second time around in the fall. In case anyone missed it the series follows a single mom NYPD homicide detective who cracks cases who is raising twin boys while clashing with her police detective ex-husband.

The Mysteries of Laura stars Debra Messing who many know from NBC's Emmy Award winning television show Will & Grace. She followed her Grace Adler role with another Emmy nomination for USA's six hour television event The Starter Wife.

She then did a two season stint on the TV Broadway drama Smash building a loyal fanbase. Her roots are in theater where she got her start on a pre-Broadway workshop in Tony Kushner's Tony Award winning play "Angels in America: Perestroika."

On the big screen, Messing has tackled several projects, including Nothing Like the Holidays, The Women and Along Came Polly.

In her free time, she supports the Human Rights Campaign, Gay Men's Health Crisis and GLAAD, giving back to the community that has followed her over the years.

Windy City called the talented actress up, along with a group of reporters, for a chat.

Q: Hi, Debra. What originally attracted you to this part on Mysteries of Laura?

Debra Messing: Oh, it was definitely the pilot script. I read it, and immediately I was struck by this homicide case and this mystery really sucked me in. By the time I finished the script I thought, "Wow, this is very unique. They're trying to marry two genres. This is going to be a huge challenge." But I was really excited by the possibilities.

Q: Do you still find that part a challenge now that you've been doing it for quite a while?

DM: Yes. I certainly have a much better idea of the tone of the show and the balance of the show.

I think the trickiest thing will always be finding that balance between the light humor and the sophisticated dark urban homicide case.

In my private life I love mysteries. I love watching all of the homicide shows. It's just something that really fascinates me. So to sit down to read a script and to get into this case, and then, all of the sudden to find myself laughing I was so confused.

Q: Any quirks you have been about to bring from real life into the character of Laura?

DM: Oh, gosh—besides what she does for a living I really relate to her on all fronts. I feel like being a single working mother is an incredibly challenging thing to do. You always have 12 hats in the air. You have to take it hour by hour. One hour you succeed, and the next hour you don't do so well. You just have to keep going because you can't stop.

I also responded to and love the fact that she's the best there is. That she's the smartest one in the room and really, really disciplined and very dedicated to the work that she does do.

I think those are things that drew me to the character and made me feel interested and like I could relate to her.

Q: Eric McCormack guest-starred this season. Any chance of nabbing him for season two?

DM: We just found out the wonderful news a week ago that the show is coming back and we're the only show on NBC that premiered last year that is coming back. So we are very grateful and excited. The focus is really just getting on track for starting up in less than two months.

We want to have as many exciting guest stars as possible. The better the guest star the better the show in terms of just the quality and the investment that the audience can have in each episode.

Specifically about Eric coming back, I don't have any information.

Q: Has there been any talk of a Will & Grace reunion or movie?

DM: No; there has never been. I know that every once in a while Twitter explodes with these rumors that something is in the works but, unfortunately, no one has spoken to any of the cast members about it.

So my assumption is that means that nothing is in the works. I always say, "Never say never."

I just am so grateful to our fans. I mean, the Will & Grace fans are really the most passionate fans around. They write me that they watch it every day still. So that is pretty wonderful.

Q: Megan Mullally was just in Chicago so you should come visit again, too.

DM: I would love to!

Q: Is there any storyline you like to see explored in the upcoming second season?

DM: I know that everybody is very excited about making the homicide cases as smart and surprising as possible. Much like the TV show Sherlock, we want to keep them as sophisticated as possible. The light moments that have to come when her private life sort of interjects itself. I think you're going to see more of Jake and Laura spending more time together. It's going to be the show that you know, our fans have come to really love and be entertained by. It's just making it a little bit sharper.

Q: Did you celebrate by splurging on something when the second season was picked up?

DM: I'd like to say that I went out and I bought me something really snazzy and spectacular, but I didn't because I just bought an apartment in New York City—and that's as snazzy as I could go right now.

I did go out and celebrate with some of my cast members who are still in New York. I'm just enjoying this time off, catching up on sleep. This season is a trying one, so [it's] very physically exhausting.

Q: How about a crossover from Mysteries of Laura with another show?

DM: Oh, yes—[Law & Order] SVU, please. Mariska Hargitay is my best friend in real life. I've been on her show as a guest star and that was just awesome. I think it would just be wonderful and hilarious to the audience if we were able to somehow interact with each other.

Q: With the girl power of Mariska on SVU and Sophia Bush on Chicago P.D. Do you get to hang out and give each other tips?

DM: Well, unfortunately, I haven't been able to hang out with Sophia because she is in Chicago. We have done some press together. I just saw her at the up fronts and we had a big snuggle and giggle fest together. I think she is so wonderful. I can't say enough about her.

Mariska and Sophia had definitely become close because of those crossovers. The cast of SVU flew out to Chicago and spent a lot of time together.

Q: Do you get to collaborate with the creative team on Mysteries of Laura?

DM: I'm working nonstop every day, so it's hard for me to be involved at every stage of story development. When the script gets to me then I will look for opportunities to make it a little bit more specific. For example, one of the first episodes Laz's character, Billy, gets hit in the face and he's bleeding. I pull a sanitary napkin out of my purse and stick it to his face to stop the bleeding. That was my idea.

Q: I heard you are making a new film.

DM: Yes, I am going to Bulgaria. I'm playing a queen. It's a mix between Lord of the Rings and The Princess Bride.

Q: How has the move to New York been, as opposed to living in LA?

DM: Oh, gosh—now, it's pretty wonderful being here and realizing that this is my home again.

Smash brought me here and I have an 11-year-old son. He really has just blossomed since we've moved here. Regardless of whether or not Smash was going to continue or not we decided that we were going to stay in New York.

Like I said earlier, I finally bought an apartment instead of renting. I definitely feel like now I have roots. I'm a homebody in real life so having roots really does a lot for me. It feels just like an exciting new chapter of my life honestly.

Look for The Mysteries of Laura season two this fall on NBC.


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