Sean Hayes: the interview he never gave.
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 mys·ti·fy
tr.v. mys·ti·fied, mys·ti·fy·ing, mys·ti·fies
1. To confuse or puzzle mentally. See Synonyms at puzzle.
2. To make obscure or mysterious. alter ego A doctrine used by the courts to ignore the corporate status of a group of stockholders, officers, and directors of a corporation in reference to their limited liability so that they may be held personally liable for their actions when they have acted fraudulently or unjustly or when , 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 The Toronto Star is Canada's highest-circulation newspaper, though its print edition is distributed almost entirely within Ontario. It is owned by Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., a division of Star Media Group, a subsidiary of Torstar Corporation. , 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 John Philip "Jack" McFarland (born February, 1969) was a fictional character on the American television sitcom Will & Grace, played by Sean Hayes. Character personality 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]
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 Ellen Lee DeGeneres (born January 26, 1958) is an American stand-up comedian, actress, and currently the Emmy Award-winning host of the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
DeGeneres has hosted both the Academy Awards and the Primetime Emmys. 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 Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. [Rosie] at all, but my experience with her is that ... She's--you know, she turned on herself in so many ways. She does not like herself a lot. And it's sad. [Entertainment Weekly, November 22, 2002]
That's harsh. Don't you think that when celebrities come out of the closet Verb 1. come out of the closet - to state openly and publicly one's homosexuality; "This actor outed last year"
out, come out
disclose, let on, divulge, expose, give away, let out, reveal, unwrap, discover, bring out, break - make known to the public it helps the straight world see gays and lesbians as less alien?
I so don't want to be a spokesperson for anything or anybody.... It's too much responsibility. [Scripps Howard News Service, March 3], 2000]
Well, that's fair. But do you think being true to who you are--if that is who you are--and being a spokesman are two different things?
Right now I'm just starting. IF I was 40 and had $8 billion and nothing to worry about, I'd tell people when I go number two on the toilet. [Entertainment Weekly, October 23, 1998]
All right. But as far as coming out--I'm an actor first. I've played straight characters--the husband or the guy who gets the girl--in almost every commercial I've ever done, and nobodys ever asked me if I'm straight. Now that I'm playing a gay character, everybody asks if I am gay. [Houston Chronicle, September 6, 1998]
Sean, no one really cares about commercials. People care about actors on hit TV shows, though.
I don't wanna wan·na
1. Contraction of want to: You wanna go now?
2. Contraction of want a: You wanna slice of pie? say I'm straight or I'm gay, I want to keep everything open so as no one can form any opinions about me, because this world that we live in isn't all that forgiving. [Hollywood Online, 1998, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
You don't think refusing to speak about your sexuality About Your Sexuality, or AYS, was a sex education course published by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1970, with further revisions in 1973, 1978 and 1983. The course materials were originally developed by Derek Calderwood. perpetuates that unforgiving mentality?
When I play a gay character, I want to be as believable be·liev·a·ble
Capable of eliciting belief or trust. See Synonyms at plausible.
be·lieva·bil as possible. And when I'm playing a straight character, I also want to be as believable as possible. So the less that people know about my personal life, the more believable I can be as a character. [Detroit Free Press The Detroit Free Press is the largest daily newspaper in Detroit, Michigan, USA. It is sometimes informally referred to as the "Freep". Some still refer to it locally as "The Friendly" -- a slogan from an ad campaign in the '70s. , November 23, 1998]
With your role as Billy in Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, you've played two very well-known gay characters. You don't have any known girlfriends. Naturally, people would be curious.
I'd rather not put that "thing' in people's minds. I'm not dating now. I'm concentrating on work. [People, December 13, 1999]
Thanks, Sean. Good luck on your post-W&G career.
--"Interview" by Neal Broverman