He joked throughout the interview, saying, "That song! So romantic for our interview!" when a Frank Sinatra tune came on. He later said — after the interviewer ordered the same dish he did — "It must be a gay thing: the pasta with chicken. It's all the craze!"

He was a little more straightforward when he said, "I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never."

Hayes also took the gay media to task for criticizing actors who aren't 100 percent open about their sexuality. "I feel like I've contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, and if anyone wants to argue that, I'm open to it," he said. "What more do you want me to do? Do you want me to stand on a float? And then what? It's never enough."

It's been nearly four years since the sitcom ended, and now the 39-year-old is preparing to make his Broadway debut in the first revival of the 1968 musical "Promises, Promises."

For years, Hayes was mum about his sexual orientation, despite co-starring in the gay romantic comedy "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss" and, later, "Will & Grace." In interviews, he would deliver stock answers like "When I play a gay character, I want to be as believable as possible. And when I'm playing a straight character, I also want to be as believable as possible. So the less that people know about my personal life, the more believable I can be as a character."