Now that his hit show is leaving the air, Eric McCormack should have more time to spend in his beloved Vancouver.


After eight seasons, five Golden Globe nominations, and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Eric McCormack is saying farewell to Will Truman, the funny, foppish foil to Debra Messing in the hit series Will & Grace. The classically trained actor now has time to reflect, looking beyond the fictional New York apartment where he roamed on W&G and back to where it all began - not in his hometown of Toronto, but across Canada, in Vancouver.

"I lived in Toronto until I was 30, but in 1992, I flew west to Vancouver to visit a friend and to see what the work situation was like - and I never left," he recalls. "I was sleeping on a buddy's couch. And within a few months, I was a regular on a series and I had done three movies of the week. Vancouver was very fertile ground at the time, particularly for American movies of the week and a lot of Stephen J. Cannell series. It was sort of a banner year for me, and from there I went to L.A. But Vancouver, from then on, sort of became my home away from home."

In Vancouver, McCormack appeared onstage and landed his first television films and series - including his role as Colonel Clay Mosby on Lonesome Dove: The Series - all of which set the stage for his roaring run on Will & Grace. Now, he, his wife, Janet, and their three-and-a-half-year-old son, Finnigan, are based in L.A., where ­McCormack and his wife are developing various scripts and projects. This April, McCormack will star in a feature film called The Sisters, a modern interpretation of Anton Chekhov's renowned play The Three Sisters. This summer, McCormack will star in the off-Broadway play Some Girls, written by Neil Labute. The play begins previews on May 17 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

But every chance McCormack gets, he heads to the city where it all began. Here's a sojourn into the woody and western Canadian city where his career was born.

Tell us about your introduction to Vancouver. There's an incredible fireworks competition every year in Vancouver, usually starting during the first weekend in August. It's an international thing. It's three different countries every year, and they each have a special night where they put on, like, a 20-minute fireworks show. So over the course of a two-week period, you'll have four different fireworks nights. My wife and I met in Calgary, where I was shooting Lonesome Dove. The first time we came to Vancouver together, I had a small apartment downtown, and the cab was coming over the Burrard Street Bridge, and he had to stop. He couldn't go any farther because the traffic was blocked off for the fireworks. So we had to walk, with our luggage, a long way from the Burrard Street Bridge to my little apartment. But we were walking through the hundreds and hundreds of people who were lined up on the hills watching the fireworks. And the only people moving were my wife and me, and it was like we were the king and queen, and everyone else was on bended knee, and we were just walking through the crowd with the fireworks going off. It was a pretty cool way to say hello to the city.

What should you know before you go? The thing about Vancouver is that no one in the rest of Canada really knows about it; they don't talk about it. No one in Vancouver wants the rest of Canada to come there. It's the best-kept secret - there's no winter. I mean, I arrived on February 2, and people were in T-shirts. It was just stunning. And the Pacific Ocean is a big part of the city. It's not like L.A., where the Pacific Ocean is only really part of Santa Monica. In Vancouver, the ocean is part of the whole city.