Debra Messing recently sat down for an interview on Jameela Jamil’s I Weigh podcast, where she dropped a few bombshells.
The actress spoke about being pushed to drastically lose weight while on Will & Grace, and the consequences that had on her mental state.
The 51-year-old star said she felt too skinny and ugly while filming the series after going from a size 8 to a size 2.
Messing stated: “When I started Will & Grace I was a size 8 and what happened was, every time I would go in for a fitting, I couldn’t fit into clothes. Eighty percent of it I couldn’t fit into, and I would just leave hating my body and hating myself. I loved my costume designer, she would always say, ‘Don’t worry,’ and she would talk to her assistant and say, ‘OK, can you call over and get a larger size?’ And that was sort of the thing that was always on repeat all the time. So of course, I thought, ‘My life would be so much easier, and it would be easier on everybody trying to do their job, if I just lost weight. So I started doing yoga every single day, and I did one of those meal delivery services. I started to get smaller, and then I was a 6, and they were like, ‘You’re losing weight, you look amazing!’”
She went on to say: “The message I heard as a woman was, ‘Oh, this is making them happy, so I should do more of it.’ Then I was lucky enough to be invited on the red carpet to the Emmys and the Golden Globes, and that was the same time that Ally McBeal was at its height and Calista [Flockhart] was the ‘It’ girl, and Portia de Rossi also was so so slim, and she’s spoken openly about her anorexia, so it’s all within sort of the same theme. I would try to fit into these gowns, and of course, they weren’t sample sizes, and it was like, ‘OK, we have to let out the seams, etc.”
The TV star explained how her weight issues ruined the best moment of life: “This was supposed to be the greatest time of my life, being nominated for Best Actress in a TV show I loved for an Emmy and walking on the red carpet. I walked out, and I immediately felt so incredible, and then I was standing next to all of these other actresses who were half my size, and I felt fat, and I felt ugly. I look back at those pictures, and I was beautiful! I mourn the fact that that was my interpretation of reality, and that was the torture that I put myself through.”
She concluded by: “I was way too skinny…but, you know, going in for those fittings, I fit into everything. And all of a sudden, I literally could fit into anything that was high fashion. So all of a sudden, everything seemed to open up for me, because I was a 2.”
Messing is now free to tell her story.