Hey everybody! I just updated our photo gallery with 831 high definition screen captures of Jonathan from this past Sunday nights episode of “Looking.” What did you guys think of the episode? Leave a comment to share your thoughts. If you haven’t seen the promo for next weeks episode, you can check it out here. Also, for those interested, HBO posts ‘Inside the Episode’ segments for every episode for all their series. They uploaded the episode two segment to their official YouTube channel. It’s a great watch and gives some pretty cool insight into the episode. You can view it hereEnjoy!
Hey everybody! Check out the promo for next weeks all new episode of “Looking.” Stay tuned for high definition screen captures of Jonathan from last nights season two premiere. Enjoy!
HBO posted a short 30 second critics spot promo on their official YouTube page yesterday afternoon. It’s a great little promo with a few new scenes from the new season. You can check it out below!
Hey everybody! I just updated our photo gallery with 870 high definition screen captures of Jonathan from last nights season two premiere of “Looking.” What did you guys think of the episode? Leave a comment to share your thoughts. If you haven’t seen the promo for next weeks episode, you can check it out here. Also, for those interested, HBO posts ‘Inside the Episode’ segments for every episode for all their series. They uploaded the episode one segment to their official YouTube channel. It’s a great watch and gives some pretty cool insight into the episode. You can view it here. Enjoy!
“Looking” > Season 2 > Screen Captures > 2×01 – Looking for the Promised Land
Hey everybody! Check out the promo for next weeks all new episode of “Looking.” Stay tuned for high definition screen captures of Jonathan from last nights season two premiere. Enjoy!
“Vulture” — Clad in a hoodie and a rainbow-emblazoned shirt that says “SAN FRANCISCO” in huge letters, Jonathan Groff sits opposite me at Starbucks, regarding his cup of coffee skeptically. “To be honest,” he admits, “I had never drank coffee in my life before I came to San Francisco!” But a lot has changed for Groff since he relocated to the Bay Area to start working on HBO’s gay drama Looking, and there are even more firsts to come in season two (debuting tonight), as Groff’s character Patrick finds himself romantically torn between his British boss Kevin (Russell Tovey) and his ex-flame Richie (Raul Castillo). I met up with Groff last November just after he’d shot his final scene of the season; here’s what he had to say about working on season two, the fan reaction when the show first debuted, and how he deals with shooting those intimate sex scenes.
When you read scripts now that you’ve been doing this for two seasons, do you feel like the writers are tailoring your character to specific things they know about you in real life?
Yes, absolutely. It’s dangerous to share too much! But the thing is that since there’s not a lot of gay shows on TV, there’s really an opportunity to try to show something as realistic as possible. When I see the stuff in the script that I’ve said in real life, I cringe slightly, but then I also feel proud of it. I think the show is really personal, and certainly the most personal thing I’ve ever worked on. It was that way at the very first audition: My skin got hot and I started sweating and feeling very nervous, and that was the first time I realized, “Oh wow, this is really close to the bone.” And it continued to be that way, but that’s also what made me want to do it.
And season two still feels like that?
Even more than season one. What I was nervous about coming into the second season was, “I hope they don’t do that thing on TV shows where a season builds to something and then the next season, it’s like they push a reset button” and then you’re like, “What did I invest all of that time for?” And they really didn’t do that. They dug further and deeper into the characters that were already there, and they don’t tie anything up neatly in a bow, and they really engaged with what they set up in the first season.
What did you make of the initial reaction to the first season?
The negativity was surprising. But then the energy about the show kind of shifted as it got toward the end, and if people stuck with it, —some people didn’t, which is unfortunate — it put into context what we were trying to say. I think there were a lot of people who thought, “Oh it’s the gay Sex and the City,” or “It’s the gay Girls,” but it’s it’s own entity. It isn’t a particularly flashy show. It’s a quiet show, and so I think once people understood the tone of it, then our ratings improved and the negative swell sort of dissipated a little bit, which was nice.
There’s more sex in season two.
The sex scenes have never freaked me out, and that’s because I feel like it’s such an opportunity. I had seen Weekend [directed by Looking executive producer Andrew Haigh] and the sex felt so real to me in that, so I was so ready to jump in. I’ve told Andrew, “I will literally do anything for you.” I just trust him implicitly. He said that he thinks that sometimes directors get a little fearful of intimacy, so they shoot those scenes from afar, and he said, “I think in sex scenes it’s important to go all the way in and really capture what’s happening, to be brave enough to go in on the actors, and get up in their faces and their bodies to see what’s actually going on between them, as opposed to stepping back because it’s a little uncomfortable.”
In season one, your most graphic sex scene with Raul played out mostly on your face.
Yeah, you’re right. I didn’t think about that. I remember Andrew was like, “I really want you guys to look at each other. I want there to be eye contact in this. It’s not just him going down on you — it’s a true moment of connection.”
Must have been a rough day at work.
I know, it’s an embarrassment of riches — and Russell Tovey as well! I’m very lucky, they’re both so attractive and so brave and so down to go there.
Do you think Looking tells certain stories that straight shows can’t?
I read the final script of the season and it sort of felt like when you hear a song that you haven’t heard before but you think you have, because you immediately get the emotion of it. There’s something specific between Kevin and Patrick that happens in the final episode and then there’s something specific between Dom and Doris that happens, two conversations that happen where I thought they were very specific to the gay experience. There are certain conversations that you have the opportunity to tell in the context of a gay show that are very universal that haven’t really been told that often or as in depth.
In the specific, you find the universal.
One of the straight female women in our production office was walking by me one day, and she was like, “Groff, how are you?” And I was like “Man, I’m just kind of like blown away that I lived the 10th episode.” And she was like, “Me too, me and my last boyfriend had this exact same fight.” Even though it does feel so specifically gay, she related to it — which is also interesting, and that makes me learn something. I was like, “Oh wow, I didn’t know that this particular conversation happened that often in straight relationships.” But it does, I guess.
What kind of responsibility do you feel when you’re number-one on the call sheet?
That’s so funny. It doesn’t even feel like that. There’s this weird hierarchy in film and television where if you’re higher up on the call sheet, you’re somehow more important than the other people. It’s not like when you do theater, where everybody shows up at the theater at the same time, everybody leaves at the same time, everybody gets their own props and does their own makeup.
Groff, you’re not going to pretend to me that you’ve never encountered a diva in theater.
No, of course! Are you kidding me? There are fucking assholes everywhere. But in film and TV, someone walks you to your trailer and walks you to get your breakfast. I feel like the more jobs I do, the smaller I realize the actors are a cog in a bigger wheel. I feel bad saying that.
Not to say that actors aren’t important, because they are obviously, but on stage, you’re in charge of the final cut of your performance. On a film set, you’re so at the mercy of the focus puller, the DP, the editor … our performances get chopped and cut up and you never know how it’s going to go. But on Looking, I happily feel like a piece of the puzzle, and we’re very much in Andrew’s visual world, which is such a gift. When you get to have opportunities like this one where the person who’s in charge of the overall visual landscape is in my opinion like a genius, then you can go for it. Like I said earlier, and even beyond just the sex stuff, I would do anything he asked me to do.
I’m starting to think you’d be his hit man.
I would, I totally would. I’ve literally drank the Kool-Aid, we all have. If Andrew asked me to do anything, I would do it. And I also have to say, all joking aside, I feel like for the chemistry of a group it’s so important to have the one person that everybody can defer to at the end of the day.
Looking really seemed to coincide with this boom in facial hair amongst gay men. You’re the only person on the show without any scruff.
Am I the only one?
Well, not Doris.
Although if you look close enough… [Laughs.]
I was just reading about the “lumbersexual,” the gay man with a beard who wears plaid and can brew his own artisanal beer …
Our show is full of them! Murray Bartlett is like the epitome of lumbersexual.
So is Michael Lannan, your show’s creator!
Michael’s more lumberjack-y because he’s so tall.
Speaks softly, carries a big ax?
I love that! You need to coin that. That’s really good — “speaks softly, carry a big ax.” Let’s make a t-shirt for Michael!
“The Daily Beast — It wasn’t the gay Sex and the City. It wasn’t a gay version of Girls. It wasn’t so many things that people wanted it to be. Looking, as it turned out, was just a hyper-specific, almost diarist look at a group of gay men in San Francisco dealing with their friendships, love lives, and sex lives.
Looking was just Looking.
Now that we’re all done looking for our own hopes and dreams of what HBO’s first “gay show” would or should be, Looking is allowed to return for its second season as itself—with its own warm, surprisingly intimate identity and without the impossible-to-please expectations of what we all wanted it to be.
There are no sassy gay one-liners. There are no holier-than-thou depictions of the perfect gay man and his perfect gay boyfriend. There is just sweet, adorable Patrick (Jonathan Groff); the other two points of his messy love triangle, Richie (Raúl Castillo) and Kevin (Russell Tovey); and his two hapless and horny best friends Dom (Murray Bartlett) and Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez). There are their mistakes. There is their sex. There is their story.
For Jonathan Groff, who shows off his winsome charm, his manically cute acting chops, and, occasionally, his ass as Patrick, that’s a relief.
“It’s nice this year because everybody knows what the show is,” he says on a break from the press tour a few days before Season 2 premieres on HBO.
When Looking returns Sunday, three months have passed since the Season 1 finale. Patrick is still sleeping with his boss, Kevin, who is still in another relationship. Their affair heats up during an outing to the woods that frames the Season 2 premiere. Patrick is there for a friends’ weekend with Dom and Agustín, to recalibrate their friendship and, Patrick hopes, look at some old trees. As it happens, though, Patrick gets wasted, calls Kevin, and instead gets banged against one of the said old trees.
In fact, any Looking viewer upset that there wasn’t enough sex or nudity or raunch in the first season will have their concerns starkly addressed in the premiere, which features a 15-minute drug-fueled bacchanal in the woods, complete with drag queens dressed as fairies, skinny dipping, blow jobs, and the aforementioned sex against the tree.
A few days before the bacchanal kicked off, we had a provocative conversation with the refreshingly candid Groff about his experience with the show: how frustrating the expectations were for Season 1, how the response to the show has changed, what the show means to him as a gay person, and why he’s now perfectly comfortable talking about getting banged against trees, ass-eating, and anal bleaching with complete strangers.
How is this press tour different from when you were doing it for the first season? Have you noticed a change in the tone of the questions and in what kinds of things people want to talk about?
Yeah, it has changed. It’s nice this year because everybody knows what the show is. So we don’t have to try to articulate that. Last year we got a lot of “Is it the gay Sex and the City?” and “Is it the gay Girls?” There was a lot of that. This year we can actually talk about the characters and storylines and what’s in store for the season. And people have opinions about me and Richie or me and Kevin, and it feels nice. It feels more engaging, because people know more of what they’re in for.
It must be nice to be able to let the show breathe and be what it is now. Last year we talked about how everyone wanted the show to be so many different things for the gay community, but now it actually is something. So you don’t have to deal with those expectations.
Exactly. What was frustrating was that people would form opinions based on a commercial or having just watched the first episode. I feel like now the whole first season is out and people know where the show went to and what we were building from the beginning. There’s just a better sense of the stories that we’re telling, so there’s less of a mystery of what this is. It makes you feel more confident coming into this press stuff, because you don’t have to defend the show for people who didn’t even know what it really was yet.
I thought it was really frustrating—and certainly you must have felt that too—that people were prejudging the show before it even aired and had such strong opinions of what they wanted the show to be. But at the same time I always have a lot of opinions about what I want “gay shows” and gay characters to be on TV. So I sort of understood it. It’s an interesting tension. How did you feel about that?
Totally. And I really loved all of the discussion about “Does it represent the gay community? What are we saying about the gay community? What is it doing right? What is it doing wrong?” I loved that. Those discussions I was really interested in and loved engaging in them and having them. The thing that was frustrating was the discussions about the show with people who didn’t watch it, or who only watched one episode. Those I didn’t tolerate. I didn’t have time for those discussions. The people you could tell who watched the show and had an opinion about why they liked it or didn’t like it, that I felt like was really interesting or engaging.
Right. That’s actually productive and provocative, unlike the people making baseless judgments.
Yes. We did a Q&A at Outfest, and this guy who was a sort of bearish man was like, “I watched the show and this is what I think and I’m enjoying this aspect of it.” And then he got really emotional and was like, “I feel like I’m not seeing myself on screen. This is a show about gay people, so why don’t I see myself?” I feel like there’s such validity in that concern. It’s impossible for this show to tick all of the boxes in what everybody would want to see. But the great thing about doing a gay television show is that the more it stays on the air, the more stories you can tell.
That’s why I think that it’s so good that the show got a second season. It’s an opportunity to tell more of those stories.
It’s lucky for us that there’s not a lot of gay shows on TV, because there’s an endless amount of material for a gay television show right now. Because there’s an endless amount of things that haven’t been talked about that are a huge part of gay life that we haven’t really seen yet. So the potential to do more seasons and jump into all of those different conversations is an exciting prospect.
And also daunting, too. Because there are so many conversations to choose from.
Exactly. In the 10th episode of Season 2, two big conversations happen that when I was reading it I felt like, “Of course this conversation is in this show!” But I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen it yet, because they’re conversations that I have so often in my life as a gay man but hadn’t seen because there’s not a lot of gay programming on a platform like HBO.
Well that’s why people expect so much from Looking, because there’s not a lot of gay programming. It’s why they call it “important,” even. How much does that get in your head when you’re making this? That you’re making something that’s “important”?
I never think about that stuff while I’m making it. I don’t even have to try to not think about it, because I’m so invested in the character and the story and the specificity of what we’re doing up in San Francisco. But then you do the press and you get to then talk about it in the context of the gay community and television and all of that. I love having those conversations. As an actor in a show like this you’re kind of forced, in a good way, to articulate what you’re trying to say with this show and what your point of view. It’s kind of a gift that we have the opportunity to do that, too.
Well the cool thing about you and the rest of the cast is that you seem game to talk about these issues and be mouthpieces for what the show is trying to say. Not every actor is comfortable to take on that role. Was there ever a hesitance on your part to step up and talk about these things that are hot-button and “important” issues?
It’s so funny you say that. The other night we were at the premiere and they were all like, “So brave. So brave. So brave. To be an out actor and getting fucked against a tree and doing anal bleaching and all of that stuff.” And I was like, OK. It doesn’t feel brave to me! I think it’s a couple of things. Raul was calling it an occupational hazard, that all of us are really comfortable talking about graphic elements on the show because we experience them on the show and they become comfortable things.
So when interviews start talking about ass-eating and stuff, it doesn’t feel weird to us because it’s just part of the storytelling. But also I think it’s just that the younger generation is just more comfortable talking about sex and being gay. That’s one of the wonderful things about being youngish in 2015 and being gay. There’s not so much of a taboo on all of that stuff. I love it. It’s such a part of my life. It’s what I talk about with my friends all of the time, so it feels natural to be discussing all of it.
The stuff that Patrick and the characters on the show talk about so specific to the gay community, it’s so cool to see on TV. There’s a scene where Patrick and Dom are talking about AIDS and “irrational AIDS panic.” It’s this complicated mix of joking about it tinged with real anxiety that is so specific to the gay community and so hard to describe that you guys nail.
I’m so happy to hear you say that. When we were doing that scene we were talking about just that. That specific scene between Dom and Patrick, it is. It’s so specific to a gay conversation. You are slightly panicked and you are slightly irrational and you are joking about it but it’s also horrifying. It’s such a specific conversation between gay men. It felt so relatable to me, that when we were doing it we were talking about how we hoped that it came off in the way that it meant. That gay people, in particular were like, “Yes, I’ve had that moment with my friends.” Like, “Hey, remember when I was with that guy a couple of weeks ago and this happened?” And you’re sort of giggling about it but you’re also being serious. It’s a great opportunity for this show to capture moments like that.
And now there’s the introduction of Daniel Franzese’s character, who is HIV positive. It seems like this season is going to tackle those issues in a way that won’t be so After School Special-y, like you might see on a broadcast TV show, but in a more complicated and real way.
I think the goal of the show was always for it to feel very now and very present. In the second season, we’ll look at how being HIV positive feels now. Someone who is HIV positive and having sex and living his life and dealing with it in a human, honest way. Hopefully it feels like it’s true to life and not, “Now on a Very Special Episode of Looking…”
One thing that’s been bothering me about the response to Looking is the way people describe Patrick as “naive” or “sheltered” or “inexperienced.” Like, yes, he’s on a trip to the woods with his friends and he’s talking about wanting to go tour old trees while they’re talking about wanting to go to a naked rave party. But he’s also having an affair with his boss and getting fucked against that old tree. He’s not so innocent.
I think Patrick, because of what you’re saying, he’s surprising. He’s sort of the good boy, in a lot of ways. When you met his family in Episode 7 and you got to see the WASP-y whiteness that he comes from, that do-the-right-thing environment. I think that really informs his outer shell. But to what you said, I think the engaging thing and interesting thing about Patrick is that deep down there’s a lot of questions, there’s some darkness, there’s a lot of complications. But they’re all under the surface of this well-mannered, sweet, possibly naive white dude. It’s sneaky how complex Patrick is.
I think it’s also a product of comparing him to the company he keeps on the show. Like Dom and Agustin are raunchy and graphic and jaded. But it’s the same thing as Sex and the City, where everyone kept calling Charlotte the conservative prude and if you’re “the Charlotte” of your friend group that meant that you’re the virginal one. But if you watch Sex and the City. Charlotte had a hell of a lot of sex on that show! Way more than most people I know. I think Patrick is a little bit like that, too.
[Laughs] Oh my god, she did. That’s too funny! She had so much sex. You’re so right. That’s a really good point. The funny thing, too, is if you watch the first episode of the new season. It’s such a great portrait of Patrick as a character and the way he’s so multifaceted. Because he’s like, “Everything’s great! Let’s go on hikes!” It’s his go-to to avoid the darker, more complex feelings that he’s having underneath the surface. He leans into that in the beginning of the episode. But when you pull that away you see what he’s avoiding, which is this pretty explicit, fucked up messy relationship he’s having with his boss.
“The Wrap” — “Looking’s” second season starts off with Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett) heading to the Russian River, a Fire Island-type gay getaway.
The trio is in desperate need of a vacation. Patrick’s having an affair with his boss, Kevin (Russell Tovey), who still has a boyfriend. Agustín is partying too much. And Dom is struggling with his open relationship with Lynn (Scott Bakula). Doris (Lauren Weedman), the gang’s token gal-pal, shows up unexpectedly and serves up a hefty dose of comic relief.
“This season we jump in right where we left off,” Groff tells TheWrap. “Expect to see a lot more shirtless Russell Tovey.”
TheWrap spoke to Groff and writer/director Andrew Haigh to get a sneak peek at this season’s twists and turns.
1. The Patrick-Richie-Kevin love triangle.
Patrick is struggling with his affair with Kevin, who refuses to break up with his boyfriend. It’s the kind of relationship that would usually merit an “it’s complicated” on your Facebook status. Making things worse, Richie shows up at Patrick’s door. Even though the two haven’t spoken since they broke up, things aren’t over between them.
Adding to the drama, Patrick is uncomfortable with the fact that he’s dating a taken man. But, he can’t seem to find his way through it. At the end of the episode, Patrick finally tells his buddies he’s been having an affair.
“I think it illuminates Patrick’s desire to finally make a change,” said Groff. “At this point, he tells his closest people that he’s having this affair. Usually in my life, when I finally say something, it means that I’m ready to actually start dealing with it.”
Now the question: are fans on “Team Kevin” or “Team Richie?”
2. The perils of open relationships.
Dom and Lynn seem to have settled into their groove. But, while Lynn seems comfortable with the idea of seeing other people, Dom has a harder time navigating the complexities of an open relationship. When Dom returns from a getaway to San Francisco, Lynn wants to know if he’s had sex (he did). That makes Dom uncomfortable.
“We wanted to explore that kind of relationship a little bit,” said Haigh. “We’re really pleased that they got together. But, it’s complicated. It’s not just that there’s an age difference between them. We’re going to see their relationship get a bit more messy. I don’t want to give too much away, but things take a surprising turn. We’ll get to see Lynn in a bit of a different light.”
3. Shirtless (and pantless) Russell Tovey
Expect to see more Tovey this season. A lot more. In the first episode, viewers will get to see the British actor in all his glory. Bottom line, this show has never been shy about its sex scenes, and this season is no different.
“We’re really pleased Russell is a bigger part of this season,” said Haigh. “ We didn’t set out to have him shirtless. But, if people tune in to see him shirtless and they’re happy, hopefully they’ll stay for the rest of the story.”
4. Gay Rugby
Other than sex and relationships, this season will be jam-packed with men in tight shorts. This, after Dom joins a gay rugby team.
“It’s something that gay men love to do,” said Haigh. “We wanted to show a whole spectrum of gay life. The more we can show different aspects of gay life, the better the show becomes.”
Groff added: “There are so many more stories to tell. We’ve barely scratched the surface.”
5. Agustín faces his demons.
Still reeling from the dissolution of his relationship, Agustín turns to drugs and alcohol.
He’s lost his job, his home and the love of his life, all in one swoop. Even though he insists he’s in control, it’s clear his life is in a downward spiral.
“I think we see Agustín moving in a really interesting direction as he tries to make better decisions with his life,” Haigh said. “He starts off making all the wrong choices. His friends are worried about him because he’s in a bad situation. He’s not sure what he wants to do with his life and he’s a bit of a mess. And I think you really want to rally around him. But, as the season progresses, he does better.
One more thing to keep an eye on: his relationship with Eddie (Daniel Franzese), who according to Haigh “becomes an important person in his life.”
6. A much faster pace.
While last season was notoriously slow, in comparison this one seems to move at the speed of light. There’s a lot going on: drugs, infidelity, and unprotected sex (including a brief AIDS scare).
“Last season, we had to spend a lot of time setting up the story and characters,” said Groff. “This season, we sort of jumped right in and immediately got into the action of the story. Patrick starts to further push the limits of his relationship with Kevin, trying to make the affair work. He’s also starting to return to Richie. As you know, starting a friendship with an ex can be complicated. So there’s a lot more going on.”
“Looking” returns Sunday at 10 p.m. on HBO.
“Elle” — Jonathan Groff may very well be a national treasure. He has the singing voice of an angel—as evidenced by his 2007 Tony Award nomination for his breakout role as Melchior in Spring Awakening as well as his turn as Kristoff (and Sven!) in last year’s megamonster Frozen—but he’s also a fun, sweet, self-deprecating, playful guy who does this awesome single clap when he thinks something you’ve said is majorly on point. (One such endorsement came after I told him that I pictured Lea Michele drinking a goblet-size glass of red wine à la Olivia Pope.)
But as Patrick Murray on HBO’s Looking (season two premieres on Sunday), Groff showcases his acute understanding of the torture that is looking for love. His Patrick, a gay (but not especially proud) video game programmer, rarely says what’s on his mind, but his physical tells—tugging at a too-snug shirt; clenching and unclenching his fists; craning his neck to see what everyone else is doing—give us insight into what he’s thinking. And it’s pretty much what we’re all thinking: Are other people happier than me? How does this look on the outside? When, oh when, will I get some?
On a recent Sunday night, we sat down with the very adorable actor for two top-shelf Rob Roys at Leave Rochelle Out of It on New York’s Lower East Side to talk body image, gay friend dynamics, and getting lit with Lea Michele:
Your character, Patrick, is the most awkward human being alive. Are you ever just like, Dude!
Yeah. I feel like I’ve been in enough social situations to know pretty much how to behave. But Patrick, in some ways, is actually what I’m feeling on the inside. When you meet him in the pilot he’s getting a hand job in the woods, and it’s clearly something that he’s really uncomfortable with. He says to Dom in that episode, ‘Why do I keep going on bad dates?’ and then, predictably, he has another horrible date. But by the end of the season, he finds himself in this sort of love triangle and he’s opened himself up to Richie and he’s sort of, indirectly, opened himself up to his boss. Patrick has a lot of growth throughout eight half-hour episodes. What I love most about him is, it feels as if he’s ready to wake up and deal with his shit. And that’s the process of what you’re seeing. We all, hopefully, have that moment where we’re like, ‘You know what? I’m gonna stop these patterns in my life and try to pull my shit together.’
Well, you’re about to turn 30. And, trust me when I tell you that things change for the better.
Yeah, you become a little less Patrick, a little more Richie.
And he’s our age too! Patrick will always be Patrick, but in the second season, all of the characters, Patrick included, have a great evolution.
[Laughs] He’s got a big journey in the second season.
I think he likes Patrick.
You think so?
Well, I don’t know. It just seems that their dynamic is a very accurate depiction of the competitive nature that can exist within a group of gay men.
It’s so funny that you say that because, for me, the relationship that Patrick has with Augustín reminds me of a specific relationship that I have in my life with a straight man. I think their dynamic, in my mind at least, is someone you went to college with—that thing of connecting when you’re young before you know who you are.
Something I love is how Patrick isn’t entirely comfortable with his body, which mirrors an interview I read in which you lament your dairy farmer build. Do we need to talk about this?
[Laughs] Here’s the thing: Often times when I’m sent clothes to try on, they’re like skiiinny little, hipstery tiny things and I have more of a—I don’t think that I’m fat—but I have bigger, like, genes. I don’t look at pictures of myself anymore. Patrick was a fat kid, and he thinks former fatties are nicer people.
Do we think Patrick’s all that nice, though?
I think he has that, sort of, quintessential Midwestern-y, WASP-y politeness about him that is in his DNA. I think there’s definitely a lot happening under the surface of that. You know, you got to meet his family in episode seven, and that really put into perspective a lot of who Patrick is and how he greets the world. I don’t think Patrick’s a bad person, though.
I really like that moment when he and Augustín admit that they both need to try harder at life. Your career is pretty boss at the moment. How hard are you trying over there?
When I watch Looking, I see how hard Patrick is trying. I feel like Patrick needs to just shut up and let things happen. He wants a boyfriend; he wants a good career. I think he overthinks things. And I fall into that sometimes about relationships, friendships, where I am in my life, thinking, ‘Maybe if I have something, things will be better,’ but when I see the show, I think, ‘Okay, I can just breathe and take it one step at a time and not stress out about what’s happening or isn’t happening.’
Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
No. I don’t do resolutions. I fucking hate New Year’s. It’s so much build up to what? I don’t even know. This year I went home to Pennsylvania. I was with my family and I was sitting on the couch watching the New Year’s Eve thing on the television with my parents in the house that I grew up in, and that’s how I brought in the new year.
That sounds lovely! So, do you remember the first time you got drunk?
A few moments are coming to mind. The first time I ever got drunk—and maybe even the first time I ever properly drank—was when I was waiting tables at the Chelsea Grill in [New York’s] Hell’s Kitchen, which was my first job. The staff had to come in and drink wine, and I wasn’t even old enough to drink wine. I was 19 and I was drinking wine and I got so drunk. I walked home and was falling all over the street. It was depressing.
When was the most recent time?
I was on a date and we both got pretty drunk and then, I don’t smoke, but he was smoking a cigarette, and I was so drunk that I thought it looked so sexy. So I sort of took it from him, smoked some, gave it back to him, and projectile vomited everything I had for dinner. The combo of the booze and the smoking and the lasagna. Why did I eat lasagna on a first date?
Wait, this was a first date?
It was a first date.
Did you ever see him again?
Yup. He was very sweet. I was like, ‘Please go home.’ When I’m sick, I don’t want anyone to be near me. I want to be sick alone. I don’t want anyone to take care of me or buy me shit, I just want to be alone.
Are you guys still together?
No. [Laughs] He was like, ‘I’m gonna make sure that you’re okay and then I’m outta here.’
Okay, last question: Who’s your favorite drinking buddy?
Lea Michele. She’s not a big drinker, but we, like, laugh. The hardest I’ve ever laughed was with Lea Michele.
What do you guys drink?
Just, like, wine with dinner or a cocktail now and again. It’s not about what we’re drinking, it’s about the giggling that happens.
HBO posted the first clip of the season two premiere of “Looking” on their official YouTube channel earlier this morning. You can check out the 0:42-second clip below. Season 2 premieres this Sunday, January 11, 2014 at 10PM on HBO. Enjoy!