Debra Messing Says She Felt ‘Fat’ And ‘Ugly’ While Filming ‘Will & Grace’ As She Dropped To A Size 2

Debra Messing attends the Ms. Foundation For Women's Annual Gloria Awards at Capitale on May 08, 2019 in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Debra Messing said that while she was filming Will & Grace, she believed she was so “fat” that she reached the point where she got “way too skinny,” dropping from a size 8 to a 2.

As People reported, Messing was a size 8 when she started filming the hit NBC show. But after attending costume fittings where she couldn’t fit into much of the sample clothing, she began to feel bad about her appearance.

“I would leave just hating my body and hating myself,” she said.

While the costume designer told her that she didn’t need to trim down, Messing said that she lamented her proportions every time her team was forced to order a larger outfit for the actress.

“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,'” she said.

So she began doing yoga and ordered her meals through a delivery service to help her manage her eating. After dropping to a size 6 in clothing, she says people began to praise her.

Messing noted that this was a time in Hollywood when the ideal body appeared to be extremely slim. Actresses like Portia de Rossi and Calista Flockhart were considered “it girls” at the time. Both later admitted that they were struggling with eating disorders under the pressure to remain extremely thin.

Will & Grace co?star Debra Messing arrives at the 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, 9/10/00
  Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Messing said that at one point she was invited to appear on the red carpet for the Emmys and Golden Globes, but instead of enjoying it, she was concerned about fitting into the gowns that she was provided. She said that when she was told that they needed to let out the seams on one outfit, it took a toll on her emotionally.

“I walked out [onto the red carpet] 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,” she said.

She continued to drop the pounds, she said, until she reached a size 2, a point that she called “way too skinny” for her health. But she also had a positive feeling because she could fit into all the clothing that was provided to her.

Eventually, she said that she got sick because her body couldn’t maintain her newly slender figure. She said that’s when she realized that she couldn’t maintain that appearance and also be healthy.

The show was rebooted for three seasons, ending in April 2020.