In addition to Liu and Groff, those in attendance will also include William Ivey Long, chairman of the American Theatre Wing; Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing; Nick Scandalios, chairman of The Broadway League; and Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League.
The nominations will be broadcast on “CBS This Morning” and in their entirety at www.TonyAwards.com and NY1, where available. Playbill.com will also post the full list of nominees when they become available.
The Tony Awards will be broadcast June 8 in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall on CBS beginning at 8 PM ET. Tony winner Hugh Jackman will once again host.
For more information on the Tony Awards visit www.TonyAwards.com
Jonathan Groff caught up with HitFix for a pretty in depth in-depth interview, where he talks about season one of “Looking”, as well as the surprise success of his film “Frozen.” You can read the full interview below. Enjoy!
Jonathan Groff is an amazingly nice guy. No, really. It’s not just an act. There are many actors who would blow off an interview after a scheduling mishap, but not Groff. Either he was raised by saints or he really believes in his new HBO series “Looking.”
Or, maybe it’s a combination of both.
It’s been something of a breakout year for the still 28-year-old actor best known to many for his time on “Glee.” Not only has he earned critical kudos for playing the somewhat naive Patrick on “Looking,” but he was the voice of Kristoff in Disney’s Oscar-winning blockbuster “Frozen.”
Groff patiently took sometime on Friday to revisit the entire season of “Looking” and talk about who he hopes Patrick ends up with in season two (granted, that was something of a tease). The conversation was so in-depth we didn’t even get to chat about his role in another upcoming HBO production, Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of “The Normal Heart.” Yep, it’s not bad to be Mr. Groff at the moment.
Before I ask you about “Looking,” were you in L.A. for the Oscars for “Frozen” last weekend?
I was. I was there sort of all weekend out and about. It was so fun. It was so exciting.
What has that experience been like? Beyond the fact it’s 180 degrees from “Looking,” the reception could not have been what you expected.
Yeah, I mean I think everybody thought like we did like a cast screening of the movie in October before we did press for it. We were all like kind of blown away by how great we all thought it was and how powerful it was and how good the music was. It felt like an old school Disney movie that we hadn’t seen in a long time. But you don’t know how it’s actually going to do because you don’t know what people are into or if that sort of model would still work. Would [it appeal] maybe just to girls, but not to boys or what the audience would be for it. And I think even like the executives at Disney were completely shocked when it started doing the numbers that it did. It was like a total surprise.
Do you find mothers of girls under the age of ten introducing you now as your character?
Yes, absolutely and I get a lot of videos of “This is my daughter singing ‘Let It Go.’” I get a lot of those, which I love.
That’s amazing. And I hear there might be a sequel?
Oh my God I hope so. I hope so. That would be awesome.
Well, let’s talk about “Looking” because that’s the one thing I really did want to chat with you about. Did you get the scripts as the filming was going along or did you get them beforehand?
We knew sort of where the story was going, where the sort of broad story was going. We knew that there would be a wedding. I knew that I was going to have sex with my boss in the final episode. So, we knew kind of where it was all heading to, but we didn’t get the scripts until we were finishing the current show we were working on.
So, you knew by the end that this love triangle would be set up between Patrick, Richie and Kevin?
Yes, I was aware. I didn’t know how specifically it would all play out but I knew that that was kind of their vision for [the end of the] season.
When you were doing certain scenes were you always cognizant of that? For example, I’ve had a lot of debates with my friends about the scenes in episode four where Patrick and Kevin are hanging out at work. Kevin asks Patrick to go out to dinner and Patrick says no. I felt that was a distinct choice of his to say, “No I’m not going down that road.” But, by the end of the season he somehow is seduced by Kevin. Is that how you wanted it to be seen?
Yeah. I mean, I love that moment. And it’s funny that you speak of that specifically. That’s one of my favorite moments for Patrick in the season. That scene was written in the final hour of shooting that episode by one of our writers, John Hoffman, who really felt like in order for Patrick to go to that club and really be open to Richie he had to say no to Kevin. And he had to say no to sort of an “unavailable man” in order to find himself in the position to except one that was available. And so that scene was not in the original script for episode four before then. It got added while we were shooting it. And we were talking about the character development and how we wanted to go into episode five, which is the episode where it’s just me and Raúl [Patrick and Richie]. And in order for that to kind of play we needed a moment where Patrick says no. This guy is clearly just like sort of using me on the side when he’s got a boyfriend. And it was a really sort of empowering. I think it’s a really empowering moment for Patrick. And I feel like he starts to grow a sack in the scene and I really liked that.
Then how do you see Patrick being sort of seduced by Kevin in the finale? What makes him change his mind do you think?
Well, I think there’s sort of like a base animal attraction between the two of them that’s always kind of been there from the moment they met. And I think that in episode eight the sex and the sort of moment of connection when Kevin completely takes Patrick by surprise. I think that when Kevin sort of the – suddenly Kevin’s like in the office alone with beers, Patrick is not – maybe subconsciously he’s aware of what’s happening, but I don’t think consciously Patrick is aware that Kevin is kind of out to seduce him. And I think that when Kevin says, “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you” it’s a total shock to Patrick. And then in that moment his sort of like animal instincts and feelings take over. He’s in such a confused place as well because are things over with Richie? He doesn’t really know. He feels really uncertain and so Kevin kind of catches him in a very vulnerable state. And then there is that attraction that’s kind of been there the whole time; it just sort of rears its head.
Well, I talked to [series co-creator] Michael Lannan yesterday and I was joking with him that I’m convinced that over the summer there will be Team Kevin and Team Richie T-shirts appearing everywhere. But I will ask you, as a viewer, as Jonathan and not as Patrick, do you want him to go in a certain direction? Do you want to him to pick one or the other?
Honestly this is not just a PC answer, I feel genuinely torn because I kind of feel like the chemistry that Kevin and Patrick have feels very authentic and real and they feel connected in a way. But Kevin’s also kind of unavailable. He has a boyfriend and there’s something sort of weird and competitive about the work situation and that whole thing. So. I felt mixed about that and then I also love the connection between Patrick and Richie because they come from two different worlds but their connection is also kind of undeniable. And I do feel like Richie is ready for a relationship in a way that Kevin isn’t, but it’s hard to say which way Patrick should go. I kind of like what both of them bring out in Patrick and I think that it’s a true compliment to actors like Russell and Raúl that these characters are both so appealing and that there’s a genuine divide. Even my friends that are watching the show [are torn] as to which person he should end up with, which is kind of not your usual television show. Usually there’s like the one that you know is going to be the one kind of the whole time. I think that’s a testament to the writing as well and to the actors.
One of the things that I was surprised when I talk to Michael yesterday, or at least he didn’t cop to me, is he says he hasn’t paid a lot of attention to what fans have said about the show. Have you been paying attention and is there anything that surprised you in terms of the reaction to the show overall?
I haven’t been reading like message boards on websites or anything. I always read real reviews so I’ve read all of those, but I haven’t been keeping up with like the buzz online per se week to week. Although I am aware — people have told me what the down low is and what people are saying. And I’ve had friends call me an email me about the show and it’s been really interesting to hear people’s reactions.
That was what I wanted to get to because I know you did an interview after the premiere where, I wouldn’t say you were defending the show, but there had been some really sort of shockingly negative takes from the gay community specifically.
Yes. Right. I’ve read those, yes.
I have to tell you, I was sort of stunned by it. Were you surprised at all by some of that reaction or were you expecting it?
We we’re definitely expecting. Because there was so much anticipation and preconceived notions about what the show was. People were saying it was the gay “Sex in the City” or the gay “GIRLS” before we even [started filming] and after we made the pilot. Before we even had like shots of the show there was already this buzz that was created that it was the gay version of those shows, which is great in some ways because it gets people talking about the show, which is a gift in a lot of ways. But then we knew that there would be people that were disappointed, people that felt like they didn’t see themselves. We knew there was going to be people that were expecting us to represent the entire gay community, which I think is more of a reflection of, unfortunately a lack of representation of the gay community. And I think that maybe that’s also where a lot of the negative energy comes from is just that people, you know, the gay community, there’s not a lot out there representing them or us. And so when something comes out in the sort of a very visible way they put a lot of expectation on it, which makes total sense. And so I guess hearing the sort of negative blow back is hard because it’s hard when you hear any sort of negative comments about what you’re working on, but this in particular. I can speak for everyone on the show when I say that our hearts were really invested in this project, for me more than anything else that I’ve ever worked on. I was so invested in the show and so invested in these characters and these stories. So, to hear any sort of negative comments is kind of disappointing when you first hear them. And we were waiting to find out if we’re going to get another season, and then the first week happened and then the sort of negative blowback happened. But then the numbers started to grow like a week to week they started to expand and grow and the show started to find its audience. And that felt really amazing. And then last week we got the green light for season 2 it was just like the greatest news ever. I was like so excited just because I believe in the show so much and to watch it sort of steadily grow and watch people become invested in it. And I think even some of the people that had preconceived notions that were disappointed in the beginning have started to turn around and see it for what it is. And that’s been really amazing.
Another great scene that has stuck in my mind is the scene with you and Julia Duffy on the balcony in episode seven. I’m curious what you thought about that scene and do you think Patrick grew from that moment?
That’s a good question. That was the most rewritten scene of any of the scenes in the entire season. Partially because there’s so many opinions from the gay men that were working on the show about what a scene with the mother would be like and how we wanted to portray that and everybody sort of brought their relationships with their own mother to the table. Everybody has a very different experience with their moms. Some mothers are 100 percent supportive; some mothers are the opposite of that. And then there’s sort of this grey area, which I think is what we ended up hitting on in the scene that I was really excited about. Patrick isn’t totally wrong about his mother. There is some resistance from her. But there’s also some surprising acceptance. And I think that Patrick has to wade through the actual issues that he has with his mother as opposed to the issues that he’s kind of projecting onto her. And I think that that scene is incredibly complicated and doesn’t really answer any questions but sort of just illuminates a little slice of their relationship. And then John Hoffman again who wrote the episode, who did that scene in episode four, also throws in that curveball with her eating the pot Rice Krispy Treat at the end, which then makes you think is she high for this entire conversation and puts the entire thing in perspective. I think it’s a really fascinating scene and I think that there’s a lot to be minded there in the future between Patrick and his mom and hopefully they’ll engage with that. And Julia Duffy is awesome and so great and I had such a blast with her. She is a mother and we talked a lot about the mother/son dynamic when we were on set. We just tried to make it kind of as complicated as possible without necessarily answering any questions for the characters or the viewers.
My last in-depth question is how do you see Patrick’s friendships with Dom and Agustín? There appear to be as many people who get why they are friends as there are those who don’t. Is that something you feel has to be sort of explained more in season two or is it just there’s so much past history between all of them we just need to accept it?
That’s an interesting question. I definitely relate to the relationship between Patrick and Augstín because it’s like one of those friends that you had – I didn’t go to college but from when you were younger, you know, they lived together in college and now they’re sort of redefining their relationship with each other as adults. And so when we meet them at this particular time in their lives they’re kind of at a moment, at a crossroads when they need to sort of separate from each other and then come back together. Agustín’s moving in with his boyfriend. Patrick is sort of trying to grow and trying to find a new side of himself as we see in the very first scene in the park. And so they’re sort of becoming their people outside of each other, which happens in relationships. I think when you know someone really well and then you start to change and grow and develop. So, I think we’re seeing them at a moment where they’re in a separation moment in their friendship. And I think by the end of the season we see them coming back together, which will probably illuminate their relationship for season two. I think that the relationship with Dom is interesting because Dom is also kind of going through a personal crisis. It’s like we were meant to see these people as friends at the very beginning of the season, but then they go through all sorts of personal crisis [that pulls them apart] and then they kind of get brought back together in episode eight. Hopefully that continues through the second season.
Last question for you. I’m guessing “Looking” will begin shooting season two in the summer or maybe early fall. Do you have anything in the works before hand?
I got nothing. I’m reading a couple strips and sort of looking to see if I can find something before then. We’ll see what happens.
Well enjoy the reaction to the finale because I think people will be surprised by where it ends. And again congrats on “Frozen.” No joke, I just bought my four-year-old niece costume dresses from the movie.
Oh my God, amazing.
It’s saturated everywhere. You will be 60-years-old and some young woman will come up to you and say “I loved you in ‘Frozen.’”
No, I love that. It’s so awesome. It’s so great. I feel so lucky to be in it. I really do.
Jonathan caught up with Michael Ausiello from TV Line to discuss the season one finale of “Looking,” thoughts on season two, and more. You can read the full interview below. If you haven’t caught the screen captures for the season finale, you can view them here. Enjoy!
“WTF?” has rarely been more valid a question than it is in the wake of the freshman season finale of HBO’s Looking. Off his impromptu tryst with his boss, will Patrick attempt to pursue a relationship with Kevin in Season 2? Or will he recommit – and profusely apologize to – his sorta-boyfriend, Richie?
For answers, TVLine turns to Jonathan Groff, the Broadway babe and Glee alum who plays the in-demand loverboy in the middle of the muddle. Not only does he make a case for Patrick and Kevin – and Patrick and Richie – he also cops to a crush on one of his co-stars, reveals how badly he was stung by early criticism of the show and marvels at the unexpected opportunity to enlighten his straight friends about gay sex. So yeah, all in all, it’s a must-read.
TVLINE | Before we get to the finale, congrats on the Season 2 renewal. Were you sweating it out?
Yes, we were. We’ve been dying to find out if we were going back since we left San Francisco, actually, because it was such a great experience. Since we wrapped the show, we’ve been keeping our fingers crossed for a Season 2 pickup, because we didn’t feel like it was done yet. The honeymoon was not over, and so we’re really excited to get to go back.
TVLINE | Do you have any idea how many episodes Season 2 will be?
It’s unclear yet how many there will be.
TVLINE | Fans are hoping for more than eight.
We are, too! [Laughs]
TVLINE | OK, about the finale, burning question — how the hell was Patrick able to resist Kevin for as long as he did?
[Laughs] Well, I think part of it was due to the fact that Kevin has a boyfriend… I also think Patrick was a little blindsided by Kevin’s interest in him. In the finale, when Kevin is sort of coming after him in the office right before they have sex, and Kevin is like, “I can’t stop thinking about you,” it takes Patrick by surprise. Patrick didn’t realize that Kevin was harboring that kind of feelings for him.
TVLINE | You and Russell Tovey have fantastic chemistry. Was there a spark there from the get-go?
I love him. You can’t work to create that. It was a relationship we had from the get-go. We both come from the theater world, so we have this similar way of working and relating to each other together on set. I adore him. I think he is so talented and I’m so happy he’s coming back as a series regular for Season 2. And Raul Castillo [Richie], who I’m harboring a huge real-life crush on… [Laughs] I’m happy that he’s coming back as well.
TVLINE | What was it like shooting the big Kevin-Patrick sex scene? It was pretty steamy.
[Laughs] Indeed. It was great! [Looking co-creator] Andrew Haigh directed that episode, and I love the way he [depicts] sex in film and television. I think that it’s very intimate and very realistic. He definitely goes for whatever feels the most real, and that was certainly the case in that scene. And Russell and I had been comfortable with each other by that point. It was quick — we didn’t take that long. It was that one shot, as you saw, and it was really special. I feel like I’ve had a lot of people — a lot of straight friends of mine that live in L.A. or New York who are liberal-minded and open and accepting — say that they did not know that gay men could have sex face-to-face until they saw the show.
TVLINE | Get out.
And that has been a huge revelation for me! And it’s certainly not like the intention of the show is to, like, educate straight people about how [gay people] have sex. But it’s obviously happening with my friends, and I feel like, “Wow, what an added bonus that we’re telling some things that maybe people didn’t know.” Isn’t that crazy?
TVLINE | That’s crazy. It’s hard to believe.
Go to dinner with some straight friends and ask them about it, because I am shocked at the number of friends who live — like I said — in L.A. or New York who didn’t know that.
TVLINE | After Patrick and Kevin slept together, Patrick asks, “Now what?” And Kevin says, “I don’t know.” It seemed rather dismissive.
Yeah, I agree! [Laughs] It did seem like it is a very surprisingly dismissive moment! Maybe he is dismissive because he doesn’t want to acknowledge his feelings, like, “Oh s–t, I really feel something for this guy,” or “You know, now I f—ed him and it’s done, I’m over it.’”
TVLINE | What do you think was going through Patrick’s mind when he saw Richie waiting for him at the end?
It’s incredibly complex. There is a lot of guilt and confusion happening. It’s also sort of clear and unclear what Richie is saying in that moment. He says, “You know, I think I’m falling in love with you,” which makes me feel emotional just reciting the line that he says. I think he’s just so heartbreaking in that scene when he takes off his hat; he is so adorable. Is it a break-up moment? Is he walking away from him? Is this the end? There are a lot of things happening there.
TVLINE | The fact that both he and Russell are coming back as regulars suggests that the triangle is going to endure.
I imagine that the triangle will be further investigated for sure.
TVLINE | Who are you rooting for Patrick to end up with?
Both of them offer something really different and unique to Patrick. I love that Kevin and Patrick have a sort of effortless connection, and both have the same sort of job. I also love the chemistry between Patrick and Richie. And I love that they come from different places and are finding a common ground and finding a way to connect with each other. And I also think that Richie is in a place where he is ready right now, and Kevin still has a boyfriend. I don’t know; it’s hard. I feel like you could fight both sides, which is what makes it interesting.
TVLINE | After the first episode aired, there seemed to be a little blowback from the gay media about the show, with some complaining that it was too boring, slow-moving. Did that bother you?
This show, more than anything I’ve worked on, I feel incredibly, personally connected to. So to hear resistance or to hear negative comments in any way, it’s sort of like a punch in the stomach. But we were also expecting a complex reaction, because there was so much expectation and so many ideas of what it was going to be before it aired. And hopefully, now people are seeing it for what it is and connecting to the characters and connecting to the stories. And certainly, the good news for us is that the numbers have continued to grow each week, which is such a relief and really exciting. It sort of makes up for that initial negative reaction. To know that people are really starting to connect with the show and starting to watch it and starting to get invested, it’s all we ever really wanted. We really fell in love with the characters while we were working on the show, and we really fell in love with each other, and it’s nice to now see people starting to embrace them and embrace the style of the show.
TVLINE | Lastly, are we ever going to hear Patrick sing?
[Laughs] I don’t think so. I feel like Patrick would be a terrible singer, so it would be fun to sing badly.
Hey everybody! I just updated the gallery with 734 HD screen captures of Jonathan from the season one finale of “Looking.” What did you guys think of the finale? Leave a comment to share your thoughts. Now that “Looking” is over for the season, I will hopefully be diving in and updating the gallery with some new (and old) things. I hope you enjoy and keep checking back for more updates!
- Looking (2014 – ) > Season 1 > Screen Captures > 1×08 – Looking Glass
Jonathan Groff caught up with The Hollywood Reporter this past Friday (March 7) to discuss the season one finale of “Looking” and more. You can read the interview below:
“I’ve been dying to go back to San Francisco,” says Jonathan Groff, who plays Patrick in HBO’s Looking. Now he will, with the gay-centric show from Michael Lannan and Andrew Haigh officially renewed for a second season and production kicking off this summer.
The season one finale airs on March 9, and Groff spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what to expect, why Patrick singing would be horrendous and that drunken kiss between Patrick and Russell Tovey’s Kevin. “That kiss was done in so many different ways. We did a lot of takes,” Groff reveals.
First off, congratulations on season two.
Thank you. We are so stoked. We’ve been keeping our fingers crossed for a season two since the day we wrapped. We had so much fun, it’s ridiculous. We try to get together every week and watch the episodes together. I’ve been dying to go back to San Francisco. I had celebratory drinks in New York with one of our producers Sarah Condon, Murray [Bartlett] and Frankie [J. Alvarez], and with our writers in L.A. and Michael Lannan. And two weeks ago in London with Andrew Haigh.
And congrats, too, on Frozen at the Oscars.
I’m in an afterglow moment of Frozen winning. “Let It Go” is still stuck in my head. I was with my friend yesterday saying, “How can we not get this song out of our heads?”
For Looking’s finale, do you think Patrick ends up in a better or worse place after season one than when we meet him?
When we meet Patrick, he’s awkwardly in the woods, uncomfortable but trying to expand and find a new side to himself and putting himself out there. We see a huge evolution in him reflected through his relationship with Richie (Raul Castillo), and then with Kevin, there’s a lot of sexual tension. By the end of the finale, he’s gotten himself into a really tight spot because he’s dealing with the repercussions of letting himself go. He went from not having a boyfriend to having these two amazing men interested in him, and they are two very specific, wonderfully confusing relationships. He doesn’t know where to turn.
And everybody else?
Everything definitely comes to a head, and the characters take a giant step forward. Whether that’s for the better or worse, it’s hard to say.
You and Russell Tovey have such chemistry. Did you two know each other before shooting?
I met Russell on Broadway when he was doing History Boys, and I was doing Spring Awakening. I met him briefly then, but we officially met at the screen cast for Looking because we were both up for the part of Patrick. They loved him and wrote him this role, and from then we hit it off. We both come from similar acting backgrounds, from the theater and the stage, and we just get each other on a certain level. Also, luckily, we just naturally get along.
And then there’s the kiss from last week’s episode.
We did a lot of takes of that kiss. I didn’t know what was going to happen until I finally saw the episode because that kiss was done in so many different ways. I think the way they decided to do it was perfect. It’s fitting, especially considering the finale. You don’t want to blow your wad too soon, so to speak.
We’ve seen Agustin and Patrick come at each other this season. How do you think their friendship is able to endure so much?
I totally relate to their friendship. They’ve known each other for years, and I think, just like family, it’s one of those people in your life you can fight with who call you on your shit whether what they’re saying is true or not and can express openly their opinions to you. You can bounce back from fighting and be friends again.
And they bond over their love for The Golden Girls. So, Patrick is a fan. Are you?
Of course. You kind of have to be. I mean, it’s on all the time.
If Patrick is Rose, which Golden Girl are you?
I would say I’m a mix of Dorothy and Rose. I’m a good hybrid. You don’t want to be as naive as Rose, so you don’t want to be one hundred percent her.
Patrick’s confrontation with his mom, also last week, was interesting. It read a lot into his character.
That was the most rewritten scene of the entire series because everybody had an opinion of what the mom would be. It came out complex and not one-note; she’s not just the mom who’s completely accepting of her son, but she’s also not the mom who isn’t accepting. She’s in a grey area, which I find really interesting because while Patrick may be getting some resistance from her about being gay, he’s also projecting a lot of his issues on to her at the same time. Perhaps he sees himself in his mother.
What about the moment in episode six in the park where Patrick does that prance? Some have described that as self-loathing.
In that moment, he’s expressing his version of what it means to be over-the-top and gay, but I think the bigger picture is asking, what is queer? How do we fit into the gay community? I feel like that moment was an exploration of that. We’re not meant to state what gay men are like now; it’s meant to start the conversation, not put anything into stone of what a gay series is.
Where would you like to see Patrick go in season two?
I’d love to spend more time with Agustin and Dom because in the first season they spend a lot of time apart. And I definitely want to go deeper into the triangle of Patrick, Kevin and Richie. They have both been upped to series regulars for season two, so I think they’re going to explore more of that, obviously.
Would you ever like Patrick to have a secret singing talent, to get some singing into the show?
I think Patrick would be a terrible singer, actually. I have an instinct that he is the kind of person who would get super drunk and sing Madonna at karaoke, but it would be horrendous. So that would be fun.
You’ve had a lot of guest directors this season. Dream guest director for season two?
I had a really amazing experience with Kyle Patrick Alvarez on C.O.G. I would love for him to come do an episode.
In terms of the gay community, do you feel a sense of importance to the show getting renewed?
I think we do feel that. There hasn’t been a show in a long time with a bunch of leading gay characters also played by gay men in certain roles. The audience is growing week to week, so I think it’s amazing for the community for sure.
Jonathan Groff caught up with Jim Halterman at Comcast to discuss the season one finale of “Looking,” whether Russell Tovey, his film “Frozen,” and more. You can read the interview interview below:
It truly feels like it just started but the first season finale of HBO’s “Looking” airs this Sunday and, having previewed the finale early, I can tell you that it’s a good thing HBO ordered a second season because the events in the finale are definitely going to leave you wanting more.
Who better than series star Jonathan Groff to talk to about what’s to come as the first season wraps up as well as what he learned from the experience and other important subjects like whether co-star Russell Tovey is a good kisser, what the must-see show on Broadway right now is and if Groff, who starred in “Spring Awakening” way before he was on our televisions in “Glee,” would want to be a part of a “Frozen” stage musical.
Were you confident through the whole thing about a second season or were you a little uneasy about it?
We had been feeling anxious, nervous, excited, hopeful for a season two since the day we wrapped season one. There was always sort of a feeling, like a feeling that we might come back, but you never can tell, you know?
There are so many times when people say, oh, it’s a sure thing, it’s definitely going to happen, it’s definitely going to happen, but you never know until you get that official announcement. So we’re just so excited to go back to San Francisco.
I can’t believe we’re already to the finale, but we are.
I know, it’s crazy.
Do you think with fans that are either Team Richie or Team Kevin, do you think one group or the other will be more satisfied? How do you think people will react to what happens?
That’s a good question. I think, the interesting thing about me is that both relationships take a huge leap forward, for better or for worse, but definitely, shit comes down in episode eight with both of those relationships.
Between Raul and Russell that’s not too bad. You’re in a good position.
I know, I have such crushes on both Russell and Raul (Castillo), so it makes the acting very easy.
What’s more challenging for you, standing in front of a mirror naked with no dialogue or doing a sex scene with Russell Tovey?
Oh, good question. Definitely being alone because it’s way more fun to make out with Russell.
I would expect nothing less.
Andrew [Haigh] is so great at doing those intimate scenes and making them feel real, and making everybody on set so they’re comfortable, and Reed Morano, who’s our Director of Photography, we just felt really like we could be free and really go for it because we just trusted them so much.
Is Russell a good kisser?
Oh, Russell’s a great kisser, are you kidding? Both Russell and Raul are great. I feel very lucky.
What would you say is kind of the predominant lesson or thing you took from the first season experience of the show?
I think the thing that I probably learned the most…the thing with Andrew and his way of working is that there’s nothing you can really do to prepare for the moment. Sometimes we would do a scene exactly as written. Sometimes we would completely rewrite them on set. But really, there’s such an importance of staying awake and staying present when they call action because the real sort of magic of the show, and the magic of the performances when they’re at their best, is when we’re finding a reality. That, I think, is a lesson that I’ll take with me into season two and into anything I ever work on, just sort of that importance of really looking at the people around you and collaborating with your fellow actors and your crew in the moment.
Now that Raul, Russell and Lauren (Weedman) will all be season regulars in season two, is it safe to say we’ll probably find out a lot more about their characters in season two?
I hope so. I mean, I don’t know what their plans are for season two but as a fan of the show watching it, I’d love to learn more about those characters in a bigger way. I think that that’s what they’re intending by bumping them up to regulars. We’re so lucky to have them on as regulars, because I think they bring a lot to the show.
What will be your first stop when you get back to San Francisco to shoot season 2?
The first stop will be going to Bi-Rite to get some food, and then going and sitting in Dolores Park and eating it with the boys.
Your Lincoln Center performance last month sounded amazing. I wish I’d been in New York for it!
Oh, my God, it was so fun. Raul, and Murray [Bartlett, Dom] and Frankie [J. Alvarez, Agustin] live in New York and they all came to the show. Danny Glicker, our costume designer, flew in from LA. I had them all stand up and I acknowledged them and had the audience applaud for them, and then I sang a version of ‘A Little Respect,’ the Erasure song, and dedicated it to them. We slowed down the tempo of that song and did a mash up between that and Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect.’
I love that some of your song choices were these traditional iconic songs that are traditionally sung by women, like ‘I Got Lost in His Arms.’ Is there a statement in there that feed into some of those choices?
It’s funny you say that because I wasn’t making a conscious choice to make a statement by singing those songs. They’re genuinely just sing songs that I love. I sang ‘I Got Lost in His Arms’ and ‘The Man That Got Away.’ I would sing ‘The Man That Got Away’ all the time. I think it’s such an amazing song and I was just singing them because I love them and people afterwards were, like, ‘were you trying to make a statement?’ But I really, genuinely, was just singing them because I love them, and I think they’re incredible, incredible songs.
If you could resurrect somebody that’s no longer with us to sing with who would that person be?
Oh, God. It’s a really important question. I mean, it has to be Judy Garland. I’m sorry, it just does. She was the greatest.
I was watching you on “Watch What Happens Live” a couple weeks ago and Andy Cohen was asking if you’re single so I’m wondering if that comes up a lot these days and if you mind?
It does come up a lot, and I don’t mind saying I’m single. Maybe I’ll, like, get a boyfriend from all the single talk. [laughs]
I hope you’re at least getting some dates out of this.
I’m not, really, not that many. But yeah. Also, I just moved into a new apartment. I don’t really have furniture yet, so I’m still putting my own sort of life together. But yes, I’m single, and I don’t mind when people ask me about it.
What’s the must-see show on Broadway right now?
I just saw “The Bridges of Madison County” two weeks ago, and I thought it was so beautiful. It was so nice to see a show where they took the genre of the musical seriously. It’s not, like, sending it up…just beautiful songs, amazing story, incredible performers. Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale are mind blowingly good, and Jason Robert Brown’s music is so lush and beautiful and romantic, and I really loved that. I’m going to go see it again next week. That’s how much I liked it.
If and when a “Frozen” musical happens, would you like to be a part of it?
Of course, of course. I mean, I think it’s very far away from actually…they’re still developing it. But only if they let me sing ‘Let It Go!’
“Looking” airs its season finale on Sunday at 10:30pm on HBO.
Hey everybody! I just updated the gallery with 590 HD screen captures of Jonathan from tonight’s all new episode of “Looking.” What did you guys think of the episode? Leave a comment to share your thoughts. Enjoy!
- Looking (2014 – ) > Season 1 > Screen Captures > 1×07 – Looking for a Plus-One
“Looking” is no one-season stand for HBO. The pay cabler has renewed the dramedy about three gay friends in San Francisco for a sophomore year.
“Looking” premiered last month to a small audience, but has grown its audience with each of its last three episodes. The pickup comes as HBO sorts out its comedy slate with a renewal last week for “Getting On,” and cancellations after maiden seasons for comedies “Hello Ladies” and “Family Tree.”
Actors Lauren Weedman, Raul Castillo and Russell Tovey have been upped to series regular status. Jonathan Groff, Frankie Alvarez and Murray Bartlett play the show’s core trio.
Series was created by Michael Lannan, who originally wrote it as a feature prospect. He exec produces with showrunner Andrew Haigh and Sarah Condon.
Production on the next batch of episodes is slated to begin later this year in San Francisco.
Jonathan Groff is remembering a scene he shot for the upcoming HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart. It’s his only part with Julia Roberts, and he doesn’t have a single line with her.
“She plays a doctor and I collapse on the street, and then they take me into her office and she’s like, ‘He’s dying,’” the actor recalls. “So I didn’t get to act with her because I’m, like, hyperventilating on a stretcher. I was foaming at the mouth. She was probably all, ‘This kid is really going for it.’ But she was really nice, very chill, very undramatic and easy.”
The same could be said for Groff. The affable Pennsylvania native got his start on stage, nabbing a Tony nomination for his role in the 2006 Broadway musical Spring Awakening before battling it out with New Directions on Glee, portraying a young David Sedaris in C.O.G. and voicing Kristoff in Disney’s hot winter hit Frozen. Now the actor plays Patrick, the charmingly clueless lead in the new gay-friends-living-in-San-Fran series Looking, also on HBO. Will there be foam? Probably, but only if it’s at a party.
Chris Azzopardi: With Looking and The Normal Heart, it must be nice knowing that HBO is gonna pay your bills for at least the next year.
Jonathan Groff: (Laughs) Right? It’s great. But I’ve already been paid for those jobs in 2013!
Q. In the pilot’s opening scene, after a phone call interrupts a hand-job hookup, you tell your friends you worried it was your mom calling. Has your own mother seen the show?
My mom has always been really supportive of my work. When I was doing Spring Awakening she took bus trips of people to come and see the show – like, seriously, 40 people on a touring bus up from Pennsylvania. That was before she had even seen it, so she was shocked when she saw the sex and the nudity and me hitting Lea Michele with a stick, but she obviously enjoyed it … because there were three more bus trips after that! So she overcame the awkwardness of seeing my butt on stage, but ever since they cast me in Looking, the big question in my family has been: “Are they gonna watch it or not when it comes on TV?”
When I came home for the summer to Pennsylvania, I brought the pilot home on DVD and I just said, “I don’t know if you wanna watch this or not, but I feel like if you do watch it, you probably won’t wanna watch it with me in the room.” I think that really freaked them out. (Laughs)
Q. Director Andrew Haigh, who also did the 2011 gay indie drama Weekend, has a knack for capturing real moments on camera. How do you think he’s accomplished that in Looking?
I could spend hours talking about Andrew Haigh. I saw Weekend and was like, “Wow, somehow he’s made a gay movie that feels universal.” I feel like whether (the characters) were gay or old or whatever, he could take any story and humanize it. He’s somehow able to catch really human moments.
I would be done with work some days and Frankie (J. Alvarez), Murray (Bartett) and I would look at each other and say, “Did we even act today?” It felt so much like us hanging out that it didn’t feel like we were “acting.” It speaks to the energy of his movie Weekend, and also to the energy of our show. It was really unlike anything I’ve ever worked on before.
Q. For Looking, what’s expected of you sexually and what are you not comfortable doing on the show?
Seeing Weekend and knowing Andrew Haigh was attached to direct the show, I was like, “OK, I feel 100 percent comfortable to sign that nudity waiver and do absolutely anything.” I signed on before I really even knew him. I was like, “Yes, whatever, I’ll do anything.” Also, from years of being in Spring Awakening, I’ve built up a tolerance for acted intimacy. (Laughs) It doesn’t freak me out. And I don’t wanna give the story away, so I’m not gonna tell you the guy who I get naked with.
Q. I hope it’s your boss.
(Laughs) I know! He’s cute, right?
Q. What do you have to say about the show being called a “gay version of Girls” – which, by the way, I don’t think is accurate. Your boobs don’t look anything like Lena Dunham’s.
(Laughs) I love that. It’s about a group of friends in the way that Girls is about a group of friends, but the tone, writing and acting are totally different. I do think if you enjoy Girls you will enjoy Looking, because it’s about relationships and trying to find love and your place in the world.
Q. When Queer as Folk aired in the early 2000s, the show reflected how anti-hair the gay community was. Body hair wasn’t as accepted in the gay community as it is now. And Looking and Weekend really represent the zeitgeist in that regard. How do you feel about Looking embracing a hairier man?
The more natural the body, the better. What they’re trying to do in Looking is show as many types of people and as many different types of bodies as possible, and also to stay true to San Francisco. And there’s a lot of facial hair and body hair in San Francisco!
Q. How much do you relate to Patrick and what’s going on in his life?
At the first audition, because I knew Andrew’s work, I knew the lines but I didn’t do a lot of emotional preparation. I didn’t even say the lines out loud until I was in the room with him, because I wanted to find it in the moment. The first time I did the audition scene – the scene on the train where I meet Richie (Raul Castillo) – I started to get hot, but not in a sexy way. I got nervous-hot. I started sweating and blushing and I felt immediately, in the audition room, like, “I know who this guy is. I feel so connected to his social anxiety.”
Q. What shows and films did you connect with as a gay man who was figuring it all out
I remember being in eighth grade and seeing the billboards for Will & Grace – and then, there was so little gay anything. Not as much gay press, not as many out gay actors or gay material to watch, certainly not on network television. Any sort of shred of people being gay was like, “Oh my god, look at that. Is that me? Is that who I am?”
Even though I was not out in high school I knew that I was gay, and seeing that billboard and watching the show, even though I didn’t really feel like I was a Will or a Jack – I didn’t necessarily connect these characters to me – but just to see some gay characters on TV was great. It made me feel less alone.
As far as Looking is concerned, the story is very specific to Michael Lannan, our creator, and his group of friends. When they were auditioning for the show, they had pictures of his friends on the casting board to say, “This is what we’re looking for.” It’s very specific to his experience in San Francisco, but the gay community will hopefully still embrace the fact that there are gay people on TV in the way that I watched Will & Grace growing up.
Q. Because of your role in Looking, how do you feel about possibly being the new poster boy for the gay community in the way Jack and Will were?
I feel so excited to be a part of a show that could potentially be a great moment for the gay community, because it’s crazy how few shows there are where there are a lot of central gay characters. As an actor you sort of become the face of whatever you’re working on, and I feel really lucky to be a part of this specific show because I believe in it so much as a television show. I’m so proud to be a part of this show.
Q. Maybe Patrick will inspire some kid to feel less alone.
Yeah, totally. That would be amazing. I mean, that’s so cool. Yeah, that’s like beyond.
Q. In addition to playing gay in Looking, you also played gay in C.O.G., an adaptation of David Sedaris short stories, and you’re starring as a gay man in The Normal Heart. Are you worried about being typecast? Or do you think that’s no longer a concern for actors playing gay roles?
I don’t know. Only time will tell. For any actor, gay or straight, being typecast is the biggest thing you have to work against. When I did Spring Awakening in New York, it took a long time of auditioning and then I moved to L.A. to prove that I could do more than that. For any actor, you have to put in a lot of work to continually show people and the industry that you can do more. So if the show gets picked up season after season – which, god willing, I would love; that would be amazing and I would want nothing more than that – I’m also ready to take on the challenge of trying to bust out of a role if I get attached to something specific. Call me in 10 years, but I feel so excited to just continue to challenge myself.
Q. Can we get Lea Michele on Looking? I mean, you did Glee, so I think it’s only fair.
(Laughs) Oh my god, I would love that! I showed her the first episodes when we took a little trip to Mexico recently and she watched them all again a couple nights ago with her mom. She’s so excited. It would be so amazing to have her on.
Q. Everyone’s always saying how you’re the most charming man ever. But what sets you off? What makes Jonathan Groff a living hell?
Oh, good question. When we were doing Spring Awakening, I had to do this beating scene with Lea where I got really angry. In early days of rehearsals, Michael Mayer, our director, screamed at me, “Seriously, you’re like the most everything-happens-for-a-reason person I’ve ever met. What makes you angry?! I don’t get it.” And I said, “You, when you belittle people!” Which is what he was doing to me in that moment. He was thrilled to get a rise out of me and help me finally get there. But here’s what I hate: I hate when you’re at dinner with a couple who are dating or married and they belittle the other person in front of a group. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. I f@$#&*g hate that.
Q. And you just dropped the f-bomb, so I know you really mean it.
(Laughs) Yes! I hate that! I honestly hate that in any way, shape or form – with teachers, directors, producers, friends or anyone that is talking down to me or down to someone I’m with. It really pisses me off.
Q. As a Disney fan, was the experience of voicing Kristoff in Frozen surreal for you?
Yeah, I was Mary Poppins for Halloween, I was Peter Pan, and I grew up watching Disney movies.
Q. Do you see “Let It Go,” the film’s musical climax, being done by drag queens?
Oh my god, completely. It’s like a gay anthem. I asked (composers) Bobby (Lopez) and Kristen (Anderson-Lopez), “Did you intend to write a gay anthem? Because I’m pretty sure you did.” They’re like, “No; honestly, when we wrote that song we were like, ‘We’re gonna go to a room right now and get really in an emotional place and write this ballad that is just true and honest and real.’” So they did not intend to write a gay ballad – but I think they did anyway!
Q. You worked with Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo on Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s 1985 play The Normal Heart, which airs in May. I mean, no big deal or anything.
I know, it’s crazy. When The Kids Are All Right came out, I saw that movie three times in the movie theater and I’m so obsessed with it and I’m so obsessed with him (Ruffalo) in it. Like a crazy person, I cut out a picture of him in a magazine – I’m not even kidding, I never do this – and put it on my dressing room mirror because I was like, “That’s who I wanna be.” I just admire him so much. And so in the movie I play his ex-boyfriend …
Q. Do you get to kiss him then?
We don’t have a kissing scene, which is unfortunate for me, because when the movie starts, we’re already exes. But just to be in the same room as him was a big deal for me. I fell deeper in love.
Q. What do you hope the takeaway will be for this generation of LGBT people who didn’t experience the AIDS epidemic like those who saw The Normal Heart in its original form?
We did this scene on the beach on Fire Island where they had a white party and there were extras in their early 20s – and I’m 28 – and we’re all having a blast, and then it hit a bunch of us as we were standing there that, in the story of this movie, most of these people are dead. Just standing there on the beach with everyone dressed in white being so young and having a great time – and thinking about what happened to the people who were dressed like this – it was really powerful and really affecting.
For my generation of people watching the movie, hopefully that will be like, “Oh, this was like us. This was us 30 years ago.” It’s so amazing that they’re turning that play into a movie, and that young people will watch. Maybe people who aren’t as connected to the AIDS crisis will be able to look back and see themselves in these characters and pass the story onto the next generation.
Check out the promo for next weeks all new episode of “Looking.” You can also view the press release for the episode below the preview to go along with it. There are only 2 episodes left of the season. So be sure to keep watching!
Episode #7: “Looking for a Plus-One”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 2 (10:30-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Already stressed that his parents will judge his choice of a partner in Richie (Raúl Castillo), Patrick (Jonathan Groff) reaches new levels of anxiety before his sister’s wedding, and runs into an unexpected guest when he arrives. Still unsure whether to pursue a business or personal relationship, Dom (Murray Bartlett) rebuffs Lynn’s (Scott Bakula) advice while in the throes of preparing for his restaurant popup. Unhappy with his photos of Frank (O-T Fagbenle) and CJ (TJ Linnard), Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez) drops out of the art show, leaving Frank fuming.