Debra Messing Reveals She Plays 'a Very Heightened Version' of Herself in Hilarious Bros Cameo

·2 min read
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Actors Debra Messing and Billy Eichner are seen on set in Midtown on December 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Actors Debra Messing and Billy Eichner are seen on set in Midtown on December 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

Raymond Hall/GC Images

Billy Eichner's upcoming romantic comedy Bros is groundbreaking in that the vast majority of the cast is made up of actors from the LGBTQ+ community.

One exception: Debra Messing, who appeared at the invitation of co-writer and star Eichner. "I was shocked and just so grateful that he reached out and was like, 'We can't do this without you. You have to be in this,'" the Will & Grace alum tells PEOPLE.

"When I read the script, I was even more excited because it's really funny," the 54-year-old continues. "But it's also a very earnest, romantic comedy between two gay men. And it's incredibly diverse. I think more diverse than any movie set I've ever been on."

The movie—about high-strung gay New Yorker Bobby (Eichner), a podcaster and the director of an LGBTQ+ museum who falls for gorgeous lawyer Aaron (Luke Macfarlane)—costars Chicago Fire alum Monica Raymund, former Married… With Children star Amanda Bearse, Scandal favorite Guillermo Díaz, RuPaul's Drag Race winner Symone, activist and TV personality Ts Madison, and Saturday Night Live standout Bowen Yang, among many others.

In the mix is Messing, who reveals her role to PEOPLE: "I play Debra Messing. A very heightened version, which was very, very fun to do," says the actress, who promises nods to Will & Grace, but is mum on specifics involving her appearance.

The cameo was a natural fit for the Emmy winner, who has known Eichner for years after she appeared on his unscripted 2011-17 series Billy on the Street, in which he ambushed New York City pedestrians by shouting random questions. "He and I had some very memorable and fun runs through lower Manhattan," she continues. "Since then, I've been in love with him."

RELATED VIDEO: Billy on the Street: "It's Debra Messing, You Gays!"

Eichner previously told The Hollywood Reporter that making a movie like Bros was a "dream." Said the Difficult People alum, "After queer actors have spent decades watching straight actors capitalize both artistically and professionally by playing LGBTQ+ characters, it is a long overdue dream come true to be able to assemble this remarkable, hilarious cast."

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"And while Bros may be the first of its kind in several ways," he continued, "my real hope is that it is only the first of many opportunities for openly LGBTQ+ ensembles to shine and show the world all we are capable of as actors, beyond just being the wacky sidekick, token queer or a straight movie star's 'gay best friend.'"

Bros opens in theaters nationwide Sept. 30.