Going Gaga For Debra! John Patrick Shanley Shares Why He Cast Debra Messing in Outside Mullingar
January 10th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
The entire world fell in love with Debra Messing for her honest and hilarious portrayal of interior designer Grace Adler on the ground-breaking sitcom Will & Grace.
Then in her next major TV gig, Messing inched closer to the Great White Way with a starring role on the theater-centric drama Smash.
Now, she’s actually here with us, making her Broadway debut as tough Irish lass Rosemary in John Patrick Shanley’s new romantic comedy Outside Mullingar.
BroadwayBox caught up with Shanley recently to discuss the show, and we were wowed by his words about casting Messing and her fateful career as a TV star.
“In case of Debra, I gave her her first job a million years ago  as an understudy in Four Dogs and a Bone, and I ended up putting her on in both roles during the run because she was just sensational. The first time I saw her on stage with an audience, I knew she was a killer. I said to her, ‘You are so gone, you are going to have your own show and that’s going to be it.’ And she said, ‘And you’re going to write it.’ And I got sad and I said, ‘No, I’m not; the nature of my talent is not that at this time,’ and off she went. She’s extraordinary. She has that ability to be both comic and dramatic and that’s key to this character. She was my first choice for the role, and I was delighted when I got her.”