Openly gay actor Sean Hayes says he was overwhelmed and scared by his sudden fame after the debut of Will & Grace.

The 43-year-old Hayes returned to television in the new sitcom Sean Saves the World.

In speaking with The Los Angeles Times, Hayes, who is best known for playing Jack McFarland, Will Truman's campy gay best friend, for 8 seasons on NBC's groundbreaking sitcom Will & Grace, said the attention as a result of the show's success was “scary.”

“I was so young,” Hayes said. “It made me go back in the closet [with the media] because I was so overwhelmed at 26 or 27. I didn't want the responsibility, I didn't know how to handle the responsibility of speaking for the gay community. I always felt like I owed them a huge apology for coming out too late. Some people in the gay community were very upset with me for not coming out on their terms. They don't stop to think about what's going on in somebody's personal life, and the struggles that they're having. It was all very scary. We got death threats. It was a really rough time for me, but I was also having the time of my life.

Hayes added that he didn't receive many offers after Will & Grace ended.