Eric McCormack on how Will & Grace helped prepare him for West End debut

Eric McCormack has said his years on Will & Grace helped prepare him for his West End debut as they would film in front of a live studio audience.

The actor, who played lawyer Will Truman in the hit US sitcom, is set to appear in a new musical, titled Wild About You, which will have its world premiere at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on March 25 and 26.

He will star alongside choreographer and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Todrick Hall and stage actors including Wicked’s Rachel Tucker, & Juliet’s Oliver Tompsett, Moulin Rouge!’s Jamie Muscato, and Tori Allen-Martin, who appeared in TV crime drama Unforgotten.

Reflecting on what his time on Will & Grace taught him, he told the PA news agency: “The main thing I took away (was) we always shot in front of a live audience so even though it was a television show, it kept me in the theatre game in many ways for a long time, I love connecting to an audience.

“But more than anything, what Will taught me over time was that it’s what I bring to it.

“I think when we’re young people, we spend a lot of time looking across the room (thinking) ‘Who’s that guy that I’m auditioning against? What’s he got?’.

“Well, what he’s got is what he’s got. If it’s what they want, there’s nothing I can do about it. And just trust that if I’m the right guy for the part then I am. So I think I’ve learned to bring as much of me as possible.”

McCormack starred on the show from 1998 to 2006 alongside Debra Messing, who played interior designer Grace Adler, and featured again when it later returned in 2017 for a further three series.

Before landing the role, the Toronto-born actor started out performing in theatres across Canada and later tried his hand on Broadway in The Music Man and Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, which were both Tony nominated, and he returned to the stage last year to feature in the comedy The Cottage.

McCormack said he was “very flattered” to be selected for the cast of the new musical coming to London as he hailed his co-stars as “brilliant singers”.

“I’m pulling up the rear here, I can’t believe it’s me and a bunch of West End, brilliant vocalists,” he added.

“But this is very much my wheelhouse. Lately, I’ve done much more pop music in terms of concerts rather than Sondheim or anything more heavy musical theatre.

“It’s exciting and nerve-wracking because it doesn’t (feel) artificial.

“I’ve just got to open myself up and sing and act this stuff with some real honesty.”

The actor was brought into the project by his friend and Broadway star Chilina Kennedy, best known for playing Carole King in the musical Beautiful, who has written the music and lyrics for the show, while Eric Holmes, who has previously worked on TV drama The Good Fight, wrote the book.

Wild About You tells the story of a woman named Olivia who has to dig through her messy past to work out which of the loves of her life is her emergency contact after she finds herself in hospital with a limited memory.

As she begins to recall moments from her life, she explores her right to be flawed and loved in all her human complexity.

However, after she regains clarity, tragedy strikes, causing her to move heaven and Earth to reconnect with her greatest love – her son.

US star Hall also said he is “so excited” to be back in London to work on the new project, adding: “Audiences won’t believe what we have in store for them.”

Wild About You makes its worldwide debut at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on March 25 and 26, with tickets available from the show’s website.