Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Sean Hayes: The Interview He Never Gave

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Sean Hayes: The Interview He Never Gave

Article excerpt

As Will & Grace draws to a close, The Advocate thought it fitting to have a long chat with Sean Hayes. Since Hayes turned down our interview request--as he's done for eight years--we culled material from various Hayes sit-downs to construct the interview we wish we had. Our heart-to-heart doesn't really answer the long-simmering questions about Jack McFarland's mystifying alter ego, but it sure as hell made us feel better.

Sean, what are your feelings on Will & Grace ending?

They couldn't pay me to do a spin-off, not as Jack anyway. As an actor, I want to play another character. [Toronto Star, August 6, 2000] Jack kind of sucks up all the energy in me. [Scripps Howard News Service, March 31, 2000j

Some viewers complain that Will & Grace features stereotypical gay characters played for a straight audience's laughs. What do you say to those critiques?

[Jack] is very eccentric, like Martin Short or Robin Williams. When I think of a stereotypical gay guy, I think of In Living Color's "Men on Film," with the snapping and all that. That's completely different from Jack. [Entertainment Weekly, October 23, 1998]

Would you play a gay character again?

Because my Jack McFarland is so well-known in TV circles, most of the projects I get offered have a gay theme. I don't want to play gay guys for the rest of my career. That's not why I became an actor. [The London (Canada) Free Press, July 4, 200]]

What's wrong with gay guys? A lot of people think you're gay,

I love that people think I'm gay. I love that people think I'm straight. I think it's fun. I think it's so much fun. [Entertainment Weekly, November 22, 2002]

Um, why?

It's the right way for me to be. Every time you see Tom Cruise on the screen, what you don't see is a character.... You see Tom Cruise, the guy who sued some guy who said he was gay. Every time you see Ellen DeGeneres or Anne Heche ... it's everything but the part that they're playing. [Entertainment Weekly, November 22, 2002]

But what about people who came out of the closet and prospered? Ian McKellen? Melissa Etheridge? Even your old Will & Grace costar Rosie O'Donnell, who had such a tough time when she first came out, is doing well these days.

I don't know [Rosie] at all, but my experience with her is that . …

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