If Mullally seems to have a streak of becoming modesty, maybe she does. Raised in Oklahoma City and reaching Los Angeles via the Chicago theater scene, she seems pleasantly untouched by Hollywood hauteur. She radiates a serene but amused take on the world around her.
And for this recent interview she is turned out smart but casual in jeans and a fuchsia silk jacket, a reflection of the personal style she describes as "very average-Joe."
Unlike, say, the character with whom she became so identified (winning a second Emmy only last month for her portrayal).
"I loved playing Karen," Mullally declares in a voice that seems several octaves below Karen's helium squeak, "and I definitely would have done `Will & Grace' for like 40 more seasons."
It's a character that clearly connected with viewers.
"I've had so many people come up to me over the years and say, `Honey, you're so real.' And I think: How do you get `real' from Karen Walker, a super-wealthy, alcoholic, pill-popping, inappropriate bee-atch?!"
But behind Mullally's outrageous performance, viewers could detect something authentic: The actress herself, savoring Karen right along with them.
Now Mullally is about to let the audience meet her with no one in between.
She likens the sensation of appearing as herself to an out-of-body experience where she can keep tabs on herself to keep it real.
It starts even before she goes on camera.
"I lock myself in my dressing room and just look at my knee, or a spot on the wall," she confides. "You have to get out of everything for a minute, and just be an organism functioning on the globe. Otherwise, you're this entertainment robot in a dog-and-pony show and you don't have anything to offer of yourself."
That's not the itch she's looking to scratch.