Debra Messing is one busy lady, and she’s not about to let spring allergies get her down. In fact, in past interviews, the Emmy-winning “Will and Grace” alum revealed that allergy medication has saved her career! Philadelphia TV Examiner caught up with Debra on March 24 to find out more about her career-changing allergy routine, as well as the latest on her NBC series “The Mysteries of Laura,” and ABC’s “Dirty Dancing” remake.
Examiner TV: As a fellow allergy sufferer, I’d love to know how you handle your spring allergies.
Debra Messing: I handle it very simply now. I wake up in the morning and I take my Zyrtec. I know that I will be symptom-free for 24 hours and can go about my life without concern of disruptive symptoms and discomfort. I have dry eyes anyway, so I like to carry saline drops with me which also help during allergy season when my eyes can get even more sensitive.
I know you have specific beauty routines due to your allergies. What are your best tips?
I have incredibly sensitive skin and I am allergic to most fragrances so the first thing I look for is a pure, fragrance-free product whether it be skincare or makeup. I like to use organic products, the more natural the better, and I am vigilant about throwing away mascaras every few months and keeping my makeup brushes clean.
“The Mysteries of Laura” got some extra episodes for season 2. Any word on a third season? Because the show just can’t end in such a heartbreaking way!
We haven’t heard yet. We’re expecting to hear in May when NBC makes its big announcement for the new season. We are all hoping that the show comes back, not only because we left Season 2 on such a dramatic and exciting note that really demands resolution, but because we really love each other and feel like Season 2 we keyed into what the show really wants to be, and as a result we have the best fans of any TV show.
What’s your favorite part about playing Laura?
I love that she’s a rule breaker. I love that she comes to work in jeans and rock t-shirts and plaid shorts because she knows her brain is her greatest contribution to the precinct, not what she looks like, and I love that she finds “creative” solutions when obstacles lie in her way towards solving the case. Some of those solutions are questionable, but that makes it fun.
How has being a mom changed the way you work? Do you sometimes find that you can’t do it all?
Oh, it’s changed everything. My first priority is and will always be my son, and because of that every decision I make is seeing through that prism. Luckily, work respects my role as a mother and has me work first up in the morning to make sure that I can be home to help with homework at night. I’m just always scheduling things around when my son will be in school and yes, it is hard to do it all. We just have to take it hour by hour and have compassion for yourself. Some days are going to be more balanced than others, but I know where my priorities are.
Fans missed you at NBC’s recent tribute to James Burrows. What’s your favorite memory about working with him?
The most distinctive memory about Jimmy Burrows is that on shoot night he never watches. He only listens. So, while we act a scene he would pace across the sound stage listening to the musicality of the comedy, and if we started blowing a joke or veering off course he would stop us and just say “uh uh uh uh, go back.” He was protecting the joke, keeping it from the audience until it was ready to be heard.
ABC’s “Dirty Dancing” remake is already getting a ton of buzz. Tell me about your revamped role as Baby’s mom. Will you be doing any singing/dancing?
In the remake, my role Marjorie Houseman is more flushed out than in the original film. How she feels about her marriage becomes clear and explored thoroughly. I indeed am singing. I sing a solo, but I’m not going to tell you what the song is, and I’m going to have some dance lessons once I get down to North Carolina. I don’t know how to do the merengue.
Are you happy the network opted to go with a taped production instead of a live musical, or do you get a thrill doing live TV?
I was thrilled that they opted to make it like a feature film. It allows for more immersion in the story and the place in time. I love watching the live musicals on TV. I think it’s thrilling and terrifying. I would imagine that doing a live musical on television would be a vastly different experience than my experience on Broadway doing a live play. My first love is the theater and it always will be. But for this particular project I’m glad that it’s not live.