Well, that’s a wrap for season two! You can browse through 1,000 high definition screen captures of Jonathan from last night’s season two finale of “Looking.” What did you guys think of the finale? Leave a comment to share your thoughts. You can also check out HBO’s “Inside the Episode” segment for the finale. It’s definitely worth the watch and gives us a lot more insight into the episode. Enjoy!
“Looking” > Season 2 > Screen Captures > 2×10 – Looking for Home
“Looking” creator executive producer Michael Lannan talks with TV Line about the season two finale, the future of the show, Patrick and gang, what’s next for season three, and so much more! This article isn’t necessarily Jonathan related, but since it’s about his main project and his character Patrick gets some mention, I figured it would be a nice read for the “Looking” fans. Enjoy and stay tuned for high definition screen captures of Jonathan from last night’s season two finale!
TV Line — HBO’s Looking closed out its second season Sunday much the same way it ended its first: With Patrick jockeying between Kevin and Richie. The one key difference? This time around, Richie had the advantage, at least that’s my take on the sweet, subdued closing scene.
Below, series creator Michael Lannan offers his interpretation of that barber shop-set cliffhanger, clarifies the state of Patrick and Kevin’s tattered relationship, and teases the possibility of a new romance for Patrick in Season 3 (assuming there is a Season 3).
Oh, and yeah, he knows how you feel about Agustin.
TVLINE | When Patrick told Richie, “I’m ready,” what was he really referring to? Because it wasn’t the buzzcut.
[Laughs] He’s ready to go after what he wants. I don’t necessarily think he’s saying he’s ready for Richie though. He just reaches a new place within himself, and has a better idea of what direction he wants to go in with his emotional life and his relationships.
TVLINE | But it can’t be a coincidence that the person he goes to at that moment is Richie.
No. Definitely not. Kevin’s last question to Patrick is, “Do you trust me?” And I think Patrick answers that question [by going] to someone he does trust, someone he feels safe with and is on the same page with him in many ways. It’s not a coincidence but it’s inconclusive what’s going to happen between Patrick and Richie.
TVLINE | Was Patrick looking for a reason to cut and run from Kevin? Because he was really blowing the Grindr thing out of proportion.
That’s an interesting question. Kevin has that great line: “Is this fight to keep us together or to break us up?” I don’t know the answer. People will probably see it both ways. He did react very strongly, but he also [raised] a good point that they have different ideas about relationships and monogamy.
TVLINE | Some fans find Patrick’s brand of innocence and naiveté cloying. And I’m sure this finale won’t do anything to change their opinion, especially with regard to the Grindr stuff. The fact that he would be shocked that Kevin would still have the ap on his phone seemed a bit of a reach, even for him.
I think it was more of a culmination of things for Patrick. He may have been overreacting. He may be naive. But something really resonated for him in this situation. Perhaps it triggered some other things about Kevin. I personally don’t think it’s unusual for people to have Grindr on their phones to just check out the scene.
TVLINE | I’m calling bull–t on Patrick’s claim that he deleted Grindr off his phone.
[Laughs] You could be right.
TVLINE | Did Patrick and Kevin break up?
I think it’s ambiguous. Patrick is clearly turning away from Kevin in that moment. It’s not conclusive but it seems likely at this point. It was a pretty big rupture.
TVLINE | If there’s no Patrick and Kevin, does Russell Tovey still have a major presence on the show moving forward? He’s not really part of that core circle of friends.
We love Russell and we want to have him in the show as much as possible. We’re still thinking about what happens between Patrick and Kevin.
TVLINE | I’m sure you’re aware that Agustin isn’t the most beloved character on the show.
TVLINE | Was his arc this season — the new boyfriend, the new career working with homeless teens — part of a concerted effort on your part to make him more sympathetic in viewers’ eyes?
I don’t know if we thought of it in those terms exactly. We wanted to force him into relationship with someone who helps others professionally, and into a world where people need help and guidance. And Agustin hasn’t really had to be around people like Eddie. Nor had he had people really need him in that way. We wanted to see what would happen if we put him in an environment where he was forced to think of other people beside himself. And I think the end result has been him becoming a lot more sympathetic to a lot of people, and we’re happy with that, too. It’s shown another side to him; he’s gotten deeper and richer and more complicated. But people like Agustin don’t ever change completely.
TVLINE | What’s been the motivation for keeping Dom from tasting success?
We wanted to show that not everyone’s dreams come true and you can still find a way to be happy. There are so many interesting dynamics that come up in that journey, one of them being the rupture between Dom and Doris and how money can come between friends. And how your dreams for yourself can confuse your relationships, especially when you’re overly ambitious.
TVLINE | Did you write tonight’s episode as a season finale or a series finale?
We wanted to write a season finale, because we feel like there’s much more to come with Patrick and Kevin and Richie and that entire world. We didn’t think of it as an ending to the entire series.
TVLINE | Looking ahead, and let’s assume all goes well and you get that pickup, is it fair to say that Season 3 would show us what a Patrick-Richie relationship looks like?
We’re still thinking about that. It may be about what happens with Patrick and Richie now. I don’t think Kevin is completely out of the picture though. But, also, there’s space for some entirely new possibilities that Patrick hasn’t even experienced yet. His statement about being “ready” at the end of the episode — I think we’re going to find out what he’s ready for.
TVLINE | Hmm… I have to say, whenever Patrick’s in a scene with Dom, my antennae picks up a spark or two. There’s something there. You agree?
[Laughs nervously] Oh, Michael… I don’t know if I can go there. But I will say they obviously have a history together so… who knows?
Raúl Castillo talked with People before the season two finale of “Looking,” where he talked what it was like to make out with Jonathan Groff, how close he is with his co-stars, and more. You can check out the parts where he talks about Jonathan below and can click the link to view the rest of the interview if you’re interested.
“People” — On Looking, HBO’s hit dramedy following the lives of gay men living in San Francisco, Raúl Castillo plays Richie, a one-time love interest of lead Jonathan Groff.
The actor was originally meant to appear in only two episodes, but viewers responded so well to his out-of-the-closet, Mexican-American character that he became a series regular.
“Since the pilot episode and from that point forward, Richie is treated with a real sensitivity and a certain dedication – he’s a multilayered character. The writers had a real sense of wanting to bring an authentic person to the screen,” says Castillo, 37. “It was exciting to be able to take part in that, to be able to bring that character to life.”
PEOPLE caught up with the rising star ahead of the show’s season finale:
2. He can tell you what it’s like to kiss Jonathan Groff
Castillo’s Richie and the Frozen star’s character Patrick struck up a romance during season 1. So what’s it like locking lips with Groff? “He’s a little hairier than I’m used to – he has a little more stubble than I’m used to, but other than that he’s a complete gentleman,” says Castillo, laughing. “I couldn’t ask for a better scene partner. He’s really wonderful.”
3. Castillo and the Looking crew are friends onscreen and off
From adorable happy hours with Groff to viewing party selfies, all it takes is a gander at Castillo’s Instagram to see they’re a tight-knit group on and off the small screen.
“It’s a really organic sense of camaraderie and community with us. A few of us live in New York, so we get to spend a lot of time between seasons hanging out here in the city,” says Castillo. “It’s effortless, and I feel really lucky.”
And get this: If they’re out of town, they still hang out with each other’s significant others!
“The boys have taken my girlfriend out a bunch of time when I was away doing a play in Chicago, and they would hang out. They do Barry’s Bootcamp and silly stuff like that,” Castillo adds. “It’s hard to find that, and the fact that we found it on our show is really special. I feel like I’m in good company and around people who make me want to work harder.”
Jonathan Groff took part in the opening of the “Happiness Wall” at Flatiron District in New York, New York. You can check out 44 medium quality photos of Jonathan from the event in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
Public Appearances > Events from 2015 > Mar 20: Happiness Wall Opening
“Cosmopolitan” — The characters on HBO’s Looking are not your typical TV gays. The drama that fills their lives has nothing to do with coming out of the closet, like Jamal on Empire. They are not exploring their sexuality for the first time, like Jude and Connor on The Fosters. Nor are they poster boys for alternative families like Cam and Mitchell on Modern Family. Rather, Looking’s Patrick, Dom, and Agustín are fully-developed, albeit evolving, characters. They adhere to as many stereotypes as they defy, and as a result, they are as representative to some in the gay community as they are unrepresentative to others. Cosmopolitan.com sat down with Jonathan Groff (Patrick), Frankie J. Alvarez (Augustín), and Murray Bartlett (Dom) to talk about their show and what it means to be gay in 2015.
It’s almost your birthday, Jonathan. Happy Birthday.
Jonathan: Yeah. I’m about to turn the big 3-0.
How are you feeling about that?
Jonathan: I’m feeling good about it. When I turned 29 is when I realized I was going to be 30 and I had a little bit of a freakout in that moment that caught me by surprise. But I’ve had the year to process it, and I feel good about it. I’m excited.
Frankie: I mean, that Botox that you did was good, right? It really paid off!
Jonathan: Yeah, it’s sort of wearing down now.
Murray: You still look 29.
Do you think of 30 as old?
Frankie: No, I don’t at all. For me [my scary age is] 50. If I get to 50, then I’m like, “It’s all downhill,” you know what I mean? I’m 31 now and there’s so much time and I feel like I’m at the precipice. I just married my wife two years ago, we’re just starting out, there’s so much optimism, excitement, and we have nowhere to go but up. I want to be one of those guys who gets gray in his 40s and embraces it.
There is this idea that age is a huge issue for gay men in particular. Is 30 different for a gay man than a straight man?
Frankie: Age is a commodity in the community, certainly.
Jonathan: I feel like it’s so personal to wherever you are.
Frankie: That’s true, like a point-of-view thing.
Murray: I don’t know whether it’s just a fashion thing in the gay community, but I feel like, particularly in the ’80s and ’90s, there was this whole thing of looking young and being super buff and having a hairless body. And I feel like there’s been such a shift to a celebration of men letting the hair on their body grow out. It’s not so body-conscious in that same way as [it was] in the ’80s and ’90s, and it’s a similar thing with age now. Like [in] the bear community, age is kind of celebrated — the whole daddy thing, which didn’t exist so much in the ’80s and ’90s. That I was aware of, anyway. There’s more visibility of older gay men in the gay community than there used to be. You used to kind of disappear as you got older in the gay community. There was such an emphasis on youth. And that still exists to a certain extent, just with our society in general. But there’s also been more of an openness to older men being sexy. That’s something that has shifted.
You brought up the term “daddy.” The whole daddy/boy dynamic — cross-generational relationships between older and younger men — is such a big theme in gay relationships. It’s also a stereotype about gay men and it’s one that your show seems to be intentionally staying away from, since all your characters are primarily engaged in “age-appropriate” relationships. Is that intentional? Is it a comment on that part of gay culture?
Frankie: I think it’s something that’s organically coming out of the characters. When the writers are hashing out the story lines, it’s about, “Well, what makes sense for this character at this specific point in his life?” I’m not sure they’re looking at it with a greater sense of “we don’t want to explore that,” you know? Maybe something will happen with Augustín in the third season and that storyline will get introduced.
Murray: I totally agree. In terms of Dom, [he] was kind of caught in trying to be younger and dating younger people was part of his M.O. And the thing of meeting Lynn, who’s an older man, is partly Dom coming to terms with the fact that you can actually be an older gay man and be grounded and be happy in your own skin. It was less about a stereotypical thing of “now he’s dating a daddy” and more about, “this is what this character is going through in this moment” and the relationship he’s in is a reflection of that.
Another thing that’s interesting about the show is that all the romantic relationships between the characters came out of real-life interactions. None of your characters met their boyfriends online. How do you feel about Grindr?
Jonathan: I think it’s great. It’s sort of a reflection of just where technology is now. I was talking to a friend of mine who’s on Tinder, not Grindr, but it’s kind of the same thing, and he was saying that it’s sort of like going into a bar where you’re swiping based on first image, which happens in bars: Someone catches your eye and then you meet up and you have a conversation or you have an experience. In some ways, Tinder and Grindr are the modern technology version of cruising in a bar … sort of the same thing but just within a different kind of medium.
Grindr and Tinder are different though. Grindr is only for gay men and it has a reputation for getting raunchy really quickly.
Jonathan: I met a guy last week who’s married and they met on Grindr. I was like, “How’d you meet?” And he was like, “Um …” And I was like, “Oh! You met on Grindr!”
Yeah. A lot of people do meet that way, and yet there is still a lot of shame around it. Why do you think that is?
Jonathan: That’s one of the hopefully positive things about having our show in the world. A lot of young people learn about sex from porn, but if you watch Looking, it’s more focused on intimacy and the connection between two people, and what’s happening before and after a sexual moment. And I feel like that [intimacy], often with Grindr and Tinder, can get pushed under the rug. You forget about the emotions and the energy back and forth that happens with two people when they’re intimate with each other, and our show hopefully sheds a light on what it’s like to actually be intimate — sometimes in a good way or in a bad way, or in all different sorts of ways, as opposed to just, like, kids today watching porn and learning about sex and intimacy through that.
One thing you can say for an app like Grindr is that it allows gay men to say up-front whether they identify as tops or bottoms. It’s hard to think of a graceful way to do that in real life when you have just met someone, and for a lot of gay men it is a big issue and something they are not necessarily comfortable talking about out loud. Even though in most gay sex there ends up being a top and a bottom, there is still a certain shame attached to bottoms.
Jonathan: So, Patrick is usually the top and I love the scene between Patrick and Richie when they’re in the planetarium and they’re talking about bottom-shame, and Richie says, “How do you know what you’re like until you’re with a person?” You have to be adaptable and I feel like the sentiment coming from that character there is a really beautiful and respectful one.
Absolutely. At the same time, though, that sort of openness and fluidity doesn’t feel like the norm, necessarily. I think the idea of the “versatile” man [someone who is sometimes a top and other times a bottom] is not as widely accepted in the gay community as it can or should be. A lot of gay men who have been in long-term relationships would agree that there comes a time when those roles become more elastic, but there can still be pressure to pick a side right from the beginning and stick to it.
Jonathan: I feel like one of the great things about being gay is that you get to experience, or have the potential to experience, both sides. That’s one of the great gifts about being gay. You get to experiment with both.
Why, then, do tops — or those who are perceived as tops — so often seem to have a higher status within the gay community?
Jonathan: First of all, the “gay community” is so complicated and there are so many different voices that to attribute any one perspective to the entire group is tricky. The gay community is a closeted teenager and a teenager who’s bringing his boyfriend to the prom. The community is a man who lived through the AIDS crisis. It’s also us working on the show. It’s so many different people and so many different perspectives.
Murray: One of the things that I found liberating about realizing that I was gay was that, in some sense, I felt freed of the stereotype of what a relationship should be and what my role in a relationship should be. It would be sad if we succumbed to feeling like we have to conform to stereotypes. I love the fact that we can be whoever we are in that moment, beyond those sorts of limitations. I mean, obviously communities and societies love to create stereotypes, but the reality is that we are who we are in the moment and why should we have to see ourselves in terms of stereotypes? That is one of the things that I’ve loved about being in relationships. There are all these models for straight relationships, but there not that many for gay relationships, so you’re in this incredible position where you can create what you want.
Before Looking, there was Queer as Folk, which I watched in college and which helped me to see being gay as something to be celebrated. But as much as I felt liberated by that show, I see now that it did rely on stereotypes to a certain extent and reinforce the idea of particular gay “types.” Jonathan, I read in an interview that you once saw Queer as Folk playing in the background at a party but were too anxious to watch. Have you seen it since then?
Jonathan: Yeah, I watched it shortly after that, like a year or two later. But I remember I was at a party in high school and it was playing on the TV and I was like, “What’s happening over there?” but I was not secure enough to go over there and turn up the volume and really check in with what was happening. But then there was Will and Grace too. I remember seeing the pilot and in the final scene I remember very vividly Debra Messing and Eric McCormick kiss each other and my heart kind of broke a little bit. Being in seventh grade or whatever and thinking, Oh god! He’s gay and he’s going to end up with this girl and he’s going to have to learn to become straight. And they do the scene where they kiss, and then they break and they’re like Nah. It’s not gonna happen. And I remember being like [sigh of relief]. It was so important to me to know that, even though I didn’t really relate at all to his character — because I was, like, 12, so I wasn’t really relating to him or Jack — that there were gay characters on TV. It made me feel more comfortable and not as alone.
Frankie: Aw. That’s beautiful.
“NPR” — What differentiates the HBO series Looking, which follows a group of gay men navigating life and love in San Francisco, from other TV series depicting same-sex relationships? According to Jonathan Groff, who plays Patrick on the show, Looking’s goal was “to make a show about gay people where they weren’t tragic figures and they weren’t the comedic relief, and they weren’t sexually sensationalized but they were human beings.” His character’s romance with Richie, played by Raúl Castillo, is meant to be a soft-spoken and endearing relationship with ups and downs, not a stereotypical gay couple often seen on television.
The two performers came together from different parts of the acting world. Before Looking, Groff starred in the TV series Glee, the Broadway musical Spring Awakening, and voiced Kristoff in Frozen. Castillo studied playwriting in college before taking on dramatic stage roles, picking up television credits on Blue Bloods, Law and Order and Nurse Jackie along the way.
Before shooting their first scene together, the co-stars broke the ice with an embarrassing night of karaoke singing in which Castillo, a karaoke virgin, chose an ambitious first song: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” From such humble beginnings, the two built an off-screen friendship which informs their on-screen relationship. Castillo said, “[they] were really lucky to find great screen partners in each other.” Groff agreed: “I found an instant connection with you.”
That is good news, because they’ll have to be on the same level for their VIP game. One of them has to prompt the other to guess TV shows famous for their “will they, won’t they” relationships. But here’s the catch: they can’t say any of the words in the television show’s title, or the names of the couple.
On Looking’s portrayal of gay men.
Groff: Michael Lombardo, who’s the head of HBO, made a speech on the stage of the Castro Theatre when we had the premiere of the show. And he said, ever since David Fischer, played by Michael C. Hall in Six Feet Under, I’ve been waiting to make a show about gay people where they weren’t tragic figures and they weren’t the comedic relief, and they weren’t sexually sensationalized but they were human beings, which is what that character on Six Feet Under was and why that was revolutionary in its way.
On people’s reaction to the show
Groff: People on the street will come up to me and talk about open relationships and having affairs and they feel this sort of openness with us because we’re dealing with all those things on the show and I love it, I’m all about it.
On buying scapular necklaces for the cast and crew
Groff: I went to the Dolores Chapel in San Francisco and I didn’t know what a scapular was and I went and I bought a hundred and fifty of them and they were so excited, they were like, are you Catholic and I was like “nooo.” They thought I was converting all these people.
Hey everybody! I apologize for not having these in our photo gallery sooner, but I have finally gotten around to uploaded screen captures of Jonathan from the last 3 episodes of “Looking.” So you can now view 1,860 high definition screen captures of Jonathan from those 3 episodes in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
“Looking” > Season 2 > Screen Captures > 2×07 – Looking for a Plot
“Looking” > Season 2 > Screen Captures > 2×08 – Looking for Glory
“Looking” > Season 2 > Screen Captures > 2×09 – Looking for Sanctuary
“Deadline” — Bob Iger made the announcement just now at the Disney shareholder meeting, where they are showing the short Frozen Fever to stockholders before it goes out tonight in front of the company’s Cinderella in theaters. Frozen co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck will both be involved in the sequel, Iger says, as will original producer Peter Del Vecho. No production details or relase date yet.
Frozen, released in 2013, broke records both in the U.S. and in Japan when it bowed around Thanksgiving. The animated film has grossed $400.7 million domestically and $873.4 million internationally for a total worldwide take of over $1.2 billion. The film also spawned a successful merchandising line in the little girls category as well as prompted a legit stage show which is currently in development. It won the Animated Feature Oscar in 2014.
“We enjoyed making Frozen Fever so much and being back in that world with those characters,” said John Lasseter, who also made the announcement along with Josh Gad, who voiced Olaf the snowman. “Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have come up with a great idea for a sequel and you will be hearing a lot more about it and we’re taking you back to Arendelle. We are so excited about that.”
“The Hollywood Reporter” — Jonathan Groff is set to be honored by the Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The actor of HBO’s Looking and the Public Theater’s production of Hamilton will receive the Point Horizon Award at this year’s Point Honors Gala, to be held on April 13 at the New York Public Library and includes Brunson Green, Herb Hamsher and Judith Light as event co-chairs. As previously announced, Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor will also be honored.
The Point Horizon Award recognizes a young trailblazer who has taken a leadership role as an advocate of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
“As a proud member of the ever-evolving LGBTQ community, I am so moved by how the Point Foundation truly brings us together as a community in order to reach back and help the youngest generation find pride and inspiration in being who they are,” said Groff in a statement. “The foundation helps these young LGBTQ scholars, at perhaps their most vulnerable age, realize that the thing that makes them different can be one of their greatest assets.”
Previous recipients of the Horizon Award include Nigel Barker, Jane Krakowski, Andy Cohen, Kristin Chenoweth and Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta.
“Jonathan Groff is a young star of great talent, ambition and vision — very much like our Point Scholars,” said Jorge Valencia, Point Foundation executive director and CEO. “He is a proud member of the LGBTQ community and uses his position to speak about both the challenges and opportunities young LGBTQ people face in society. As an actor and an advocate, Groff is an inspiration to the next generation of LGBTQ leaders.”
“Gold Derby” — Jonathan Groff has become so known for his gay-sex scenes on HBO’s “Looking” that “Today” host Kathie Lee Gifford accidentally, and hilariously, quipped on-air that theactor has “a lot of balls in the air.” Indeed, he has. And in more ways than one. On March 22, “Looking,” his GLAAD-nominated comedy-drama about gay best friends in San Francisco, wraps up its second season. On March 13, you’ll hear Groff reprise the role of Kristoff in “Frozen Fever,” the new Disney animated short that’s shown with “Cinderella.” Also, on March 13, he’s back as Jesse St. James, an ex of Rachel (Lea Michele), for “Glee’s” final two episodes. And currently, the out actor steals the show in “Hamilton,” the hot, hip-hop musical in New York.
Between doing press and performing, Groff is recording the audio commentary this week for the DVD to Season 2 of “Looking.” Created by Michael Lannan, this HBO series centers on Patrick (Groff), Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett), and their loves and lives. Patrick, a sweet and nice if neurotic videogame designer, is torn between two lovers: Kevin (Russell Tovey), his buff British bulldog of a boss, and Richie (Raul Castillo), a laid-back Latino barber. Though “Looking” hasn’t been seen as a big winner ratings-wise, Brandon Nowalk at the A.V. Club has called it “the best show you’re not watching” and has urged HBO to renew it.
Groff, who turns 30 on March 26, reveals why he enjoys “Looking” so busy.
Congrats! Why has ”Looking” been such a dream job to you?
“Looking” has been my dream job because I am so in love with the project, the people working on it, and the city that we get to shoot in! It’s so much fun to do. It feels like summer camp. I’ve never worked on anything that has felt so personal. And the 10th, and final, episode of this season felt incredibly personal. I couldn’t get through the table read without crying. It’s been a really special experience for all of us working on it.
Season 2 kicked off hot and heavy with Kevin nailing Patrick against a tree, but you’ve said “Looking’s” intense sex scenes show “character development and gay intimacy in a way that isn’t sensationalized.” To lighten things up, Tovey says between takes, you two sing showtunes. Tovey, who’s also out, loves musicals and has called you “a musical king” who’s “absolutely brilliant.”
We sing together all the time! Last year, it was mostly “A Chorus Line.” But this year, we started taking lines from the show and turning them into songs, which was fun … much to the occasional annoyance of Jeremiah on our crew, but even he started singing with us by the end.
Before “Looking,” there was “Brokeback Mountain” and “Queer as Folk,” which offered such frank and sexual portrayals of gay men. What did you recall about seeing them?
When I saw “Brokeback Mountain,” I was in a closeted relationship and went to go see it with my boyfriend, so that was really intense for the both of us. We left the theater in total horrified silence. And I remember being in high school and seeing “Queer as Folk” playing on the TV in the background at a party and being intrigued, but too embarrassed to go turn up the volume and actually watch it. “Will & Grace” was a big one, too, when I was growing up. And even though I didn’t personally relate to Will or Jack, it was just great to watch them every week and not feel so alone. Also, it was such a great show!
So when did you first know you were gay?
I’ve always known I was gay, but I didn’t come out until I was 23.
Speaking of TV, you’re back on “Glee” as Jesse St. James and you tell Rachel: “You belong on Broadway.” Plus, you do a duet of Roxette’s “Listen to Your Heart” with Michele, your Broadway BFF from “Spring Awakening.” What was it like to return there?
It was so much fun to go back and watch the experience come to a close for everyone. The most emotional reaction came from the crew on the show, who have given their blood, sweat and tears for seven years. They have been asked to do the impossible and given up so much of their lives for this show, and you could see how moved they all were to say goodbye. I felt incredibly proud to have been a part of “Glee.” It touched so many people and helped change the way people look at arts education. It made singing cool.
And you get to sing again as the hunky Kristoff in “Frozen Fever.” You’ve said that Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the Oscar-winning team behind “Let It Go,” have written “another song that you will not be able to get out of your brain” (“Making Today a Perfect Day”). But can they also write you a new solo, like “Kristoff’s Turn” or “Don’t Snow on My Parade”?
Ha-ha-ha! Those song ideas crack me up! I get to sing a bit in “Frozen Fever,” which is really fun. It’s so funny when people ask if I am frustrated that I didn’t get to sing more in the movie. I just feel lucky to be in it, period.
You first burst onto the scene in the Tony-winning “Spring Awakening” (2006), which got you a Theatre World Award, and you were one of the youngest guys ever up for Best Actor in a Musical. Now, you’re back on the New York stage in another acclaimed and revolutionary show: “Hamilton.” It’s Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit hip-hop musical about the Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, now playing through May 3 at the Public. What’s it like to replace two-time Tony nominee Brian D’Arcy James in the riotous role of King George? How did that happen?
Lin and [director] Tommy [Kail] asked if I would be willing to step in for Brian, and I said, “Yes!” I got to see the show five times in a row before I went in, and was blown away. I couldn’t stop crying every time I saw it. It is just so groundbreaking and emotional. They are changing the name of the game. Brian was a genius as the king, and I basically just stole all of his stuff. He is the sweetest man alive and could not have been more kind, generous and cool. I still saved the voicemail that he left me when he found out I was coming in for him. He is a classy dude.
Finally, congrats on making Out.com’s top 10 list of most eligible bachelors, along with Adam Lambert, Ricky Martin and Steve Grand. If you could name three celebrity crushes to play your hookups on a Season 3 of “Looking,” who would they be?
I did not know that I made the list. Awesome! But my celebrity crushes already play my hookups on “Looking”: Castillo and Tovey. And for a third, I would throw in Bartlett!