Posts Tagged ‘ Debra Messing ’

Debra Messing: “Being a Mother Feeds Me in a Way That Nothing Else Can.”

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Best known for her role as Grace Adler on Will & Grace, Debra Messing also plays another role she loves: mom to 10-year-old Roman. Her most recent gig, Outside Mullingar, was just nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. Now she looks forward to spending summer allergy-free and enjoying the outdoors with her son thanks to Zyrtec. Debra caught up with Parents to talk about juggling her career and motherhood, her most memorable Mother’s Day, and thoughts on her upcoming television series The Mysteries of Laura. 

P: Congratulations on Outside Mullingar‘s nomination for a Tony Award. What was it like to juggle being a mom to a 10-year-old and acting on Broadway since time to leave for work is basically dinner, homework, tucking-in time?

DM: It was very very difficult. I’ve been offered plays in the past and it’s always been something that I couldn’t consider because normally when you sign on for a Broadway show it’s for a year. I just felt I couldn’t do that as a mother—that wasn’t the best choice for my family. This play came in and it was a limited run, just three months. I sat Roman down and told him what it would mean in terms of the structure of our week changing and he said “Mom, do it! You gotta do it!” It was hard to miss that time. But, being on that stage was a lifelong dream of mine since I was maybe 7 years old and it came to pass when I was 45. It just made me feel like it’s never too late for anything.

P: What is it like in general to juggle being a mom and a full-time acting career when your schedule is changing depending on your current job be it TV, film, theater?

DM: I try and just take it hour by hour. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed as a working mom. Juggling is just a constant part of your life. I happen to be a single mom, so there are extra challenges in that. It’s a matter of leaning on family, friends and people who can step in and be some support when needed. I think flexibility is really the key, but also trying to keep certain things a constant so that there is a feeling of consistency.

P: What are the kinds of things you and Roman enjoy doing outside now that your allergy symptoms are managed?

DM: He loves sports, all sports. Playing soccer, playing baseball, playing basketball, going on his little scooter, anything. He’s a very very active boy. It’s great. [With Zyrtec] I no longer have to worry about “Am I gonna be able to participate?” It’s like, “You wanna go? Let’s go!” That’s comforting.

P: Is there anything that Roman does that is just like you when you were a kid?

DM: Yes. [Laughs] He is a very very curious child—and I celebrate that and encourage that—but sometimes he can be a little too curious for his teachers and can ask too many questions in a class. When I was in third grade my parents were called in for a meeting with the teacher and they said, “Debra asks so many questions we are going to limit her to three a day now because there are other children in the class and there’s just literally no time for anyone else to ask a question because she’s always asking questions.” That’s a family story that people like to share because it is funny, but I’ve had similar conversations with Roman’s teachers along the way. I recognized it immediately. I was like, “That’s my fault!”

P: Where does Roman get his name? Is it a family name?

DM: Roman is not a family name. We just wanted a name that was strong and confident, unique, but not pretentious.

Download our Baby Name Chooser app to find a great pick, like Roman, or find tips in the video below.

Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name

P: Well, with a strong name and precocious personality, what is the parenting rule that you always seem to give in on?

DM: I try and do candy just on special occasions, so just at birthdays. Inevitably something will happen. We’ll be at the Harlem Globetrotters and they’ll have some guy walking around and saying, “Here kids! Here’s some candy!” Roman will look at me and say, “Mom?” I just can’t say no.

P: Does he ever outsmart you?

DM: He’s very tricky. He’s tricky and he’s smart. I think he’s discovered lying for the first time. I’ve caught him in a few fibs. He’s being a typical boy.

P: Mother’s Day is around the corner. Do you have a favorite Mother’s Day memory?

DM: I can’t remember if it was when Roman was 2 years old or 3 years old: He made a special book for me with pictures of us and he wrote in his hand little love messages he scribbled. It just meant everything to me.

P: Your upcoming television series The Mysteries of Laura is about a working mom doing her best to balance it all. Aside from being a working mom, how are you similar to Laura, if at all?

DM: I think that’s pretty defining, being a working mom. She’s also going through a divorce, and she’s very very passionate about her work. It’s something that she’s very good at and she loves. I related to that because I am fed in a way through my work that nothing else can [match]. In a similar way, being a mother feeds me in a way that nothing else can. I can’t imagine either not being a part of my life. But, one hour she is doing well balancing and the next hour she’s really messed up. I just relate to that. I relate to baby steps and little victories and trying not to beat yourself up over those mini failures.

Add a Comment

Debra Messing and Post-it Team Up to Support Children’s Education

Monday, August 27th, 2012

On August 22, actress Debra Messing appeared at the P.S. 15 Roberto Clemente School in New York City. Working with Post-it’s Your Words Stick with Them program, Messing was on hand to pledge her support for children’s education. The Post-it program asks parents and teachers to leave kids personalized handwritten notes to encourage them throughout the school year.

At the event, Messing also announced that Post-it adopted all of the classrooms in P.S. 15 through a partnership with, which will help teachers purchase the school supplies they need for the year. had a few moments to chat with Messing about her 8-year-old son’s back to school routines, his favorite snacks, and the power of a handwritten note:

How do you and your son prepare for the back-to-school season? What are some of his favorite supplies?

He just finished day camp and now we are heading back to school, so we’re in the process of picking out a backpack for the year, which is always a big thing. I like to encourage him to choose the notebook that he wants, the colors, the shapes, everything, so that he can practice decision-making. I take care of the clothes; he wears a uniform to school so it’s not very difficult. We’re transitioning into school so I’m trying to get back into our scheduled reading time which, during the year, is always every night right before bed.

What are some of his favorite books? What do you like to read to him?

He loves the Geronimo Stilton books. Now we’re just about to start Harry Potter.

What is your son’s favorite school lunch or snack? Does he have a favorite meal?

I make sure that he either eats a raw piece of fruit or raw vegetables with his lunch every day. He loves chicken nuggets. He used to be a soy butter-and-jelly sandwich guy because he went to a nut-free school in Los Angeles. Now he would eat pasta and pizza every day of his life if I allowed him.

The Post-It campaign focuses on the importance of promoting positivity and discouraging bullying. What are some ways parents and teachers can encourage good behavior for kids in school? Do you have any personal experiences with bullying?

Oh, I absolutely experienced bullying when I was a child. School became a source of anxiety for me and that was when my parents started writing handwritten notes. I could refer to them when I was feeling insecure or scared or sad throughout the day and it made me feel like they were with me. I try to encourage my son to be as communicative as possible and to be a good friend, so if he sees something happening, to speak up, to get a teacher. It’s something that just can’t be tolerated, period.

Image: Debra Messing poses by her inscription on a large Post-it that reads, “Believe in yourself!!”; via Noelia de la Cruz.

Add a Comment