Debra Messing has called playing Grace Adler on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace a “gift.”

The comedy, which ran for eight seasons, is television's most successful series with lead gay characters. The sitcom received 83 Emmy Award nominations and earned 16 during its entire run.

In an interview with MORE magazine, Messing, 44, said she rejected the role more than once.

“I didn't want to be, for lack of a better word, a fag hag,” Messing said. “And I didn't want to be just the pretty, straight girl in the corner while the guys did all the funny stuff.”

Messing changed her mind after discussed the role over drinks with creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick.

“So I took the leap and said, 'Let's do it.' And it ended up the greatest thing to be a part of, a gift,” she said.

In 2003, Messing won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on Will & Grace.