Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size

Megan Mullally's Healthy Take on Living

The TV actress swaps sitcoms and laugh tracks for a talk show that offers a healthy take on living.
By
WebMD the Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

If you ever spot Megan Mullally in a restaurant, don't waste your money sending over a martini. After catapulting to fame portraying the pill-popping, brash-talking boozehound Karen Walker on NBC's just-wrapped hit sitcom Will & Grace, people seem to expect Mullally to indulge in a drink or two ... or five.

Off the set, Mullally is more of a teetotaler. "People do think of me as quite the lush, but in real life I never drank hard alcohol until a few years ago ... I just never liked the taste of it," says the 48-year-old actor and eponymous host of The Megan Mullally Show, which debuts mid-September in syndication on various networks. Mullally's colorful character made for "must-see TV" every Thursday night for eight seasons. And while she says it was a blast to play someone as out of control as Karen, the three-time Emmy Award winner usually "only drinks water or herbal tea."

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

The Power of Praise

By Gretchen Rubin I'm a real gold-star junkie. One of my worst qualities is my insatiable need for credit; I always want the recognition, the praise, that gold star stuck on my homework. Recently, I was grumbling to my mother about the fact that some extraordinarily praiseworthy effort on my part had gone unremarked upon. My mother wisely responded, "Most people probably don't get the appreciation they deserve." That's right, I realized — for instance, my mother herself! I certainly don't give her...

Read the The Power of Praise article > >

Apparently, obsessive Karen fans and talk-show junkies who are expecting the helium-induced lilt made so famous on Will & Grace are in for a big surprise this fall. Not only is Mullally breaking away from her sitcom comfort zone -- launching a show, with nods toward Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin, that is part-variety, part-talk, featuring skits, a live band, and correspondents -- she's also playing herself for the first time.

So will the real Megan Mullally please step forward? Her voice is deeper and raspier than one would expect, and the other differences don't end at happy hour. Where Karen Walker rebuffed all solid foods, Mullally is an organic-food fan. "I don't eat a lot of sugar, and eating unprocessed foods makes a big difference in my weight and energy. As you get older, your body just doesn't really tolerate outside interference, including alcohol and junk food," she says.

Mullally's husband -- carpenter and actor Nick Offerman -- is a role model for her in this regard. "He grew up in a small town where people don't have the healthiest eating habits, and he has retrained himself to eat healthier and work out ... he's really self-motivated."

She is relying especially on his healthy influence lately, as she prepares to take center stage in her latest creative endeavor. "I'm just trying to get a lot of sleep and eat healthy. I am psychologically gearing myself up for the change in workload," she says.

Gaining Inspiration

To keep from drowning in the competitive talk soup that is daytime television, The Megan Mullally Show plans to break new ground. But Mullally thinks she's found the right formula to help her stand out from the crowd: Her show features an interactive web site, where viewers will be asked to participate in creative challenges, including decorating a room on a budget, shooting a documentary about what is weird and quirky about their hometown, or writing an essay -- in no more than 100 words -- describing where they are in their life right now.

Today on WebMD

Hands breaking pencil in frustration
Quiz
Dark chocolate bars
Slideshow
 
teen napping with book over face
VIDEO
concentration killers
Slideshow
 
man reading sticky notes
Quiz
worried kid
fitArticle
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Woman opening window
Slideshow
 
Woman yawning
Health Check
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
brain food
Slideshow
laughing family
Quiz