Hey everybody! Jonathan Groff attended the SF Special Screening of “Pride” last Sunday (September 21) in San Francisco, California. Also in attendance were his “Looking” co-stars Frankie J. Alvarez, Murray Bartlett, Raúl Castillo, and Russell Tovey. You can check out 10 medium quality photos in our photo gallery. Enjoy!
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Sep 21: SF Special Screening of “Pride”
An interview with stage, screen and TV actor Jonathan Groff, a Lancaster County native, is part of a television program that will take viewers behind the scenes of a popular Disney movie.
“The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic,” premieres from 8-9 p.m. Tuesday on ABC.
The show looks at the origins and production of the musical film “Frozen,” which won the Oscar in March for best animated feature.
Groff, 29, who grew up in Ronks and graduated from Conestoga Valley High School, voiced the character of Kristoff the mountain man in “Frozen.”
Tuesday’s program is hosted by Josh Gad, who portrayed the comical snowman, Olaf, in the film.
The film also starred Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel as sisters Anna and Elsa. Both actresses will also be interviewed on Tuesday’s show, as will Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios chief creative officer, John Lasseter.
According to Disney Animation Studios, Tuesday’s program will take viewers behind the scenes at the studio, and reveal how the creative team behind the film was inspired by the 1844 Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Snow Queen,” and by landscapes in Norway that served as templates for the land of Arendelle featured in “Frozen.”
Since his work on “Frozen,” Groff has been starring in the HBO series “Looking,” and had a role in the network’s Emmy-winning TV movie, “The Normal Heart.”
He has been featured in such TV shows as “Glee” and “Boss”; received a best-actor Tony nomination for the musical “Spring Awakening” on Broadway; has done stage work in London’s West End and in Los Angeles; won an Obie Award for his off-Broadway work; and has appeared in films including “Taking Woodstock,” “The Conspirator” and “C.O.G.”
Groff introduced fellow “Frozen” star Idina Menzel at this year’s Tony Awards, and was a presenter at last month’s Creative Emmy Awards.
Before heading to Broadway after high school, Groff performed in local theater productions at such venues as the Fulton Opera House and the Ephrata Performing Arts Center.
Tuesday’s “The Story of Frozen” program will also delve into future plans for the “Frozen” story. It will include a preview of an upcoming appearance by “Frozen” characters Anna, Elsa and Kristoff on an episode of the ABC program “Once Upon a Time.”
“Frozen” producer Peter Del Vecho also said last week that a stage musical adaptation of the film is being developed.
The musical will feature a score by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who won the Oscar earlier this year for best song for the film’s power ballad, “Let It Go.”
“The Story of Frozen” is scheduled to air Tuesday at 8 on WHTM, channel 27; WPVI, channel 6; and WMAR, channel 2.
Jonathan Groff stopped by the “Variety” Studio on Wednesday (May 28) in West Hollywood, California. Jonathan was joined at the event by actors Thomas Middleditch, Will Arnett, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Josh Radnor, and Uzo Aduba. You can check out 32 HQ photos of Jonathan at the event. Enjoy!
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > May 28: Variety Studio Powered By Samsung Galaxy – Day 1
Hey everybody! As most of you know, Jonathan had a part in HBO’s adaptation of “The Normal Heart,” which premiered this past Sunday night. Jonathan didn’t have a huge part, but he nonetheless had an important part. Because of the fact he didn’t have a big part, I capped a little more than I usually would. It ended up being a ton of captures, but I figured maybe you guys would enjoy them. So you can now check out 296 HD screen captures of Jonathan from the TV movie. Enjoy!
Movie Productions > “The Normal Heart” (TV Movie) > HD Screen Captures
Hey everybody! I want to apologize for the lack of updates around here. Renee has stepped down from the site and has kindly allowed me to take over as the full owner. I have been working a lot behind the scenes, which is part of the reason why there have been no updates. However, I am back and I have ready to get all caught up.
To start off, I decided to upload all the 2014 public appearances that I have missed. You can check out 247 MQ and HQ photos of appearances Jonathan made from March through May. I hope you enjoy all the photos and keep checking back for all the new updates and surprises I have in store for the site.
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Mar 01: 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Mar 02: 22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Oscar Viewing Party
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Mar 02: 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Mar 06: Jonathan Groff Visits SiriusXM Studios
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Mar 22: “Adoration Of The Old Woman” Show – Backstage
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Apr 08: 92nd Street Y Presents: Lyrics And Lyricists – Rodgers And Hammerstein
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Apr 12: LACOSTE Beautiful Desert Pool Party – Day 1
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > Apr 29: 68th Annual Tony Award Nominations
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > May 03: 2014 Annual Garden Brunch
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > May 03: 100th Annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > May 12: “The Normal Heart” New York Screening
Public Appearances > Events from 2014 > May 21: Lea Michele Signs Copies Of “Brunette Ambition”
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.