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Entertainment & Arts

Q&A: SAG Awards host Megan Mullally breaks down her wardrobe issues ahead of Sunday’s show

HOLLYWOOD,CA --SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018--Megan Mullally, from NBC’s “Will and Grace,” photographed i
“Will & Grace” star Megan Mullally is hosting the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Megan Mullally will host the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards this weekend, but ran into major issues dressing herself for the occasion, a plight she chronicled on social media last month.

The “Will & Grace” star, beloved for her role as the wisecracking Karen Walker, talked to The Times last month about how few major designers were willing to dress her — despite her high-profile hosting gig — and how she resolved the issue.

Mullally, who has won four SAG Awards, also talked about how she hopes to lift up her colleagues and how her woodworking husband, fellow actor Nick Offerman, might pitch in when the ceremony takes place at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

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I heard you’ve had some issues in the wardrobe department. How’s that going?

When I found out that I was hosting, I told Lori [Eskowitz-Carter, costume designer for “Will & Grace”], and I said, “Can you help me?” She said, “Yeah.” Over the course of those many weeks, she reached out to every designer, every recognizable design brand. Not one person sent one dress, except for Alexander McQueen, who sent two dresses. I thought that was very nice. Nobody else sent a dress. We’re used to that.

I think that I’ve never been — even in the heyday of “Will & Grace” — I was never anybody’s like, “Oh, you have to dress her.” You know, I was already almost 40 when that show started. I’m not saying that they don’t wanna send me a dress because I’m 60 or they don’t wanna send me a dress. I have absolutely no idea why. I just think it’s kind of funny and interesting. ... It would be nice if it were a little more egalitarian maybe.

We ended up getting a couple of dresses from smaller designers. I think we’re gonna use a couple of those.

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Is this something that happens once you have four SAG Awards of your own? They’re like, “We can’t give her any more statues. Can we just have her host?”

That’s really sweet. I always have such fond memories of the SAG Awards. Well, I was lucky enough to win a few, but also just the event itself is fun. You sit at a big table and you get to see all your friends. I love actors so much...That’s true. It’s in the press release, but it’s so true.

I always love just going and seeing people we already know, but then also ... I really wanna meet [“The Favourite” star] Olivia Colman. There’s a big part of me that’s a fan. I love actors. I feel like I’m a big encourager of talent.

This image released by NBC shows, from left, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mul
Eric McCormack, from left, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally in “Will & Grace.”
(Chris Haston/NBC)

The complete list of 2019 SAG Awards nominees »

Talk a little bit about working as an ensemble on “Will & Grace” versus doing your own thing?

At this point, 20 years in, I feel like we are such a well-oiled machine. I think we probably were saying that the first time around, little did we know. I think now it’s even gone to the next level of knowing each other and understanding each other and knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Even just in rehearsal or in a run-through, to laugh at each other’s jokes, laugh at each other’s punchlines. That’s the only group of actors that I ever have worked with for that length of time and probably ever will.

Are you terrified of hosting?

No. I’m rarely terrified. I think it’ll be good ... The whole show is celebrating and lifting up actors. I want it to be light and funny too. If I can come up with some jokes, I’d definitely like it to be funny and fun and kind of smart.

If all else fails, Nick can come out and build a bird house, right?

Yeah. I would like that.

Just keep that in your back pocket.

I mean, I could just be playing it on a loop behind me for the whole [show].

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This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Libby Hill is a former Times staff writer. Staff writer Nardine Saad contributed to this report.

Workers at the Shrine Auditorium unload a large SAG statue and wheel it toward the venue to be placed.


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