NBC's Will & Grace revival is in full swing now, but fans have noticed a huge Rosario-shaped hole in the new episodes. Even though nothing will replace everyone's favourite housekeeper, the series' showrunners finally addressed the glaring lack of Rosario, played by Shelley Morrison.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, even without having Morrison on the show, Rosario was present, bringing the cast together by having an off-screen heart attack.
THR adds that Rosario's subsequent death wasn't just one way to have her on the show without actually having her on the show –having her funeral was an opportunity for fans to say goodbye. While it might have been a surprise to viewers, one person was in on it way before the show even started filming: Morrison herself. The show's writers contacted the now-retired actor and told her about their plans for the funeral before production started.
"We knew that we weren't going to have Shelley anymore and so the character wasn't going to be on the show," Max Mutchnick, one of the show's creators, told The Hollywood Reporter. "As writers, it just presented us with a situation that was too interesting to not explore and to write. To deal with Karen dealing with death and how that character would manage herself and how she would ultimately have a moment of truth in dealing with it — that was too rich of an area for us to not write to and so we went for it."
But Rosario wasn't the only cast member to get a sendoff. The writers took the time to bid farewell to Debbie Reynolds, too. She played Grace's mother, Bobbi, on the series. The new episodes have featured a photo of Grace and Bobbi, but this is the first time that the cast has acknowledged her death. Grace tried to console Karen with a heartfelt tale about her own mother's death, but Karen ended up mourning Rosario in her own way.
"It was actually a very emotional night and it was something that we took very seriously. There was a hush on the stage the two times that Megan delivered her goodbye to her best friend," Mutchnick said. "It was something that I will never forget and one of the best nights I've ever had on the stage of making this show. It was an incredible thing to witness and highly emotional."
Even without actually being on the show, fans and the cast felt Rosario's presence during the funeral-turned-quinceñera. There's no bigger honour than that.
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