posted by • January 26th, 2015 • (0) Comments

Jonathan was recently on Watch What Happens Live with Julianne Moore. Check it out below:

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posted by • January 14th, 2015 • (0) Comments

From Friday, January 9 through Friday, January 16, is doing a deep dive into the world of female sexuality—from the perils of being a 24-year-old virgin in New York City to a beginner’s guide to exhibitionism to the steamiest scenes in film history. Is it getting hot in here? Or is it just us?

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.

Even Augustín?

[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.’
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posted by • January 13th, 2015 • (0) Comments

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.
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posted by • January 13th, 2015 • (0) Comments

Check out The Backlot’s interview with Jonathan and Russell:

The Backlot: Where do we pick up in the season premiere?

Jonathan Groff: It’s three months later. The first episode takes place at Russian River. Me and Dom and Agustin go up there to detox and so you don’t quite know what’s happening with Patrick’s relationship status.

TBL: What were your wants for the second season, Jonathan?

Russell Tovey: He wanted to have lots of sex with me.

JG: Lots of sex with Russell. Check and check.

RT: Check, check, check.

JG: What I really wanted and what I was happy happened. I get disappointed when I invest in a television show in a season and then you get to the next season and in the first episode back they press a reset button and suddenly you’re meeting eight new characters and– all the stuff that had built– now it’s a totally different thing. I feel like what the writers have done with the second season of Looking is they took all the stuff that we had built towards by the time we got to episode eight last year– and then got deeper. All of the questions that are hanging in the air, they don’t avoid them. They don’t try and answer them quickly. They don’t try and wrap them up in a bow really quick. Now we’re in season two and it’s just different things.

Russell Tovey, Jonathan Groff

Where are we with Kevin (Russell Tovey) and Patrick (Jonathan Groff) in Season 2? (HBO)

RT: It’s a continuity, so if you watch the two seasons together the storyline would just flow seamlessly. The payoff is exactly what you want and more.

JG: Exactly. Everything is picked up and then just goes in and in and in and in. It’s sort of like when you’re in a long-term relationship with someone and it’s good. You’re in the second or third year of the long-term relationship and you keep learning new things and discovering new intricacies because you stayed with the same person. That’s for me the experience of reading these scripts. [The writers] really have faith in the complexities and the intricacies of the characters they’ve already created.

They really continue to mine that world, which makes it so much more interesting for us too. We’re not playing the same beat over and over again, which is also I feel the benefit of cable TV. They can take risks because every week people aren’t tuning in for the same safe characters. We’re asking deeper questions and we’re hopefully expanding people’s ideas of who the characters are and widening the world and all of that. That to me is what I wanted and I hope that it feels that way when it’s the final product. Certainly reading the scripts and getting to act it, it’s felt just deeper in a really good way.

TBL: I heard from a lot of people during the first season and whether they loved it or didn’t love it, it was getting people talking.

JG: Totally.

RT: The best art does that. It gets conversations going whether it’s pro or nay at least it’s waking people up. People are very connected to these characters. They want their Patrick to do the right thing. I think everyone sees Patrick as the every man. He’s Doctor Who. He’s the guy that everyone can project onto and see themselves through. He takes them on that journey so everybody is like, ‘no, but if it was me then I’d be doing this…’ and they want their Patrick to be what they might do. Then obviously the human condition is that you never really take the right choice.

TBL: What do you think is the attraction between Patrick and Kevin?

Russell Tovey: I think obviously they share the same sense of humor. They’re just bonded over work and they have the same passions. Their interests are all the same level. Sexually, they want each other so they really find each other attractive. That’s probably the first thing. This love story comes out of desire to f**k. I keep dropping the F-bomb over and over again. [to Jonathan] You say it now and I’ll be alright.

JG: F**k. F**k. F**king.

RT: Very good. That’s where it builds out of. Then we discover that we’re probably the same sort of people growing up wherever we grew up even though one’s in America and one’s in the United Kingdom. We have had the same sort of emotions and feelings and journey into being gay and into our careers and finding someone in the gaming world who you like is probably a rare thing I think. Maybe Kevin’s never really felt so attracted to someone who shares his ambition for games, who’s a gamer.

JG: I think on a TV show you never know. From the moment that we had some scenes together in episode four [of season one] there was chemistry between Kevin and Patrick, but I feel there’s also chemistry between us as actors. I feel a connection with you that I feel is us playing our characters. It’s also how we relate to each other in real life. I think that they started to write to that, so I think that this second season is exploring that.

Read more for the full interview

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posted by • January 11th, 2015 • (0) Comments

Check out Jonathan and Raúl Castillo discuss Looking with [NOW!] Studios:

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posted by • January 8th, 2015 • (0) Comments

Jonathan is set for Concert With The Stars on Saturday with Laura Bell Bundy. Details below:

Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Wicked), Mara Davi (A Chorus Line, The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas) and Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening, In My Life) are headlining “Concert With The Stars,” an event to help launch a new professional theatre company in Lexington, Kentucky.

Bundy, Davi and Groff will be singing the “songs that built them,” as they recount stories and anecdotes from their artistic journeys. They will perform alongside an ensemble of nine college students/recent graduates and community members to help illustrate the mission of the organization

The Lexington Theatre Company (“The Lex”) is under the direction of Jeromy Smith (42nd Street Nat’l Tour and former Associate General Manager at Richards/Climan, Inc.) and Lyndy Franklin Smith (A Chorus Line, The Little Mermaid), who are hoping to create a new kind of theatrical experience for Lexington. The nonprofit company will bring leading players from New York and Los Angeles to work alongside college students from the region, as well as local community members, will help to round out the supporting players and ensemble.

“We are modeling this theatre after some wonderful regional theatres that helped us get our start,” said Franklin Smith. “Working at places like Music Theatre Wichita, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and Casa Manana (Fort Worth, TX) launched our careers when we were college students. We are excited to build an organization like this for Lexington, and pay it forward by creating a local training ground for future performers of American musical theatre.”

The Lex aims to produce a summer musical theatre season at the Lexington Opera House, beginning with one production in July 2015.

“Concert With The Stars,” is set for Saturday, January 10, 2015, at the Lexington Opera House, and is sponsored by Hilliard Lyons with additional grant/subsidy support from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Opera House Fund.

“We want to give our audience a taste of what our company is all about,” said Smith. “We are bringing in established professionals in our industry to lead the concert. But, just like our shows, they will perform alongside college students who are aspiring to do what the pros do. We think this will be an exciting way to launch the organization and get Lexington excited about what we can bring to our community. Plus, we will reveal the title for our Summer 2015 production.”

Lyndy Franklin Smith is a Lexington area native and performed on Broadway in the 2006 Revival of A Chorus Line and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She toured with Fosse and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and performed for three seasons at Radio City Music Hall in the Christmas Spectacular. Jeromy Smith hails from Oklahoma and toured with 42nd Street and Swing!, before spending several years behind the scenes on Broadway as an Associate General Manager for major Broadway General Management Company, Richards/Climan, Inc. The Smiths hold degrees in dance performance and management from Oklahoma City University. Since their return to the Bluegrass in 2010, they have been directing and choreographing productions for the University of Kentucky (where they also teach), the University of Michigan, as well as Music Theatre Wichita. They also direct Town and Village School of Dance in Paris, KY.

For more information and to buy tickets or make a donation, please visit the organization’s website, Tickets may also be purchased at The Lexington Center Box Office, phone (859) 233-3535.


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posted by • December 22nd, 2014 • (0) Comments

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posted by • December 22nd, 2014 • (0) Comments

Jonathan will be starring in A New Brain which is part of Encores! 2015 off center season. Check official announcement below:

Encores! Off-Center—the musical theater series that The New York Times called “a summer theater highlight” and Newsday’s Linda Winer declared “my favorite new arts institution”—will return to New York City Center in June and July 2015 with a trio of incendiary Off-Broadway musicals, thrillingly reimagined by some of today’s most exciting artists.

The Off-Center season will begin with William Finn’s brain-tumor fantasia A New Brain, starring Jonathan Groff, from June 24-27. It will be followed by a one-night-only concert of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s cautionary houseplant fable Little Shop of Horrors on July 1, starring the beloved original “Audrey,” Ellen Greene. The season will conclude with Andrew Lippa’s tragic Jazz Age love story The Wild Party, starring Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry, from July 15-18. Tickets are on sale now to City Center members!


Here is some information on A New Brain:

A New Brain, inspired by William Finn’s personal experiences, is a medical tragedy seen through the zany iris of a Looney Tunes short. After struggling composer Gordon Michael Schwinn (Jonathan Groff) collapses face-first into a plate of spaghetti, he is diagnosed with a brain tumor and is forced to come to terms with his creative ambitions and the lovable screw-ups in his life: an overbearing boyfriend, a power-belting homeless woman, and a nasty kiddie-show host named Mr. Bungee. The show began as a series of songs written by Finn shortly after his hospitalization for a brain tumor and was performed as a concert at The Public Theater. It premiered at Lincoln Center Theater on May 14, 1998 and ran for 78 performances, winning the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical.


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posted by • December 22nd, 2014 • (0) Comments

Jonathan Groff is in American Sniper which opens in theatres on December 25. Check out the clip below:

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posted by • December 1st, 2014 • (0) Comments

SFist: You guys have been here a long time for this shoot — significantly longer than last year’s shoot, am I right?
Jonathan Groff: Yes. Well, last year the season was eight episodes but we’d already shot the pilot, so we were here for a period of time to shoot seven episodes. But this year we did a total of 10, and we’ve been here since the end of August, and I leave on Friday.

This is it, this is the end. I’m so bummed. Tomorrow’s my last day of shooting.

Where were you living this time during the shoot?
I am living in like the Castro/Mission gray area. I love it here.

What was your most fun shooting day this time around?
There’s been so many. The first episode was really fun because it was the first one back and we were all on location in Russian River. We were in canoes and hiking through redwoods and pretending to be on drugs at a party, and it was really beautiful. I’d never been up there before so that was really kind of an amazing experience.

Yeah it’s beautiful up there.

So beautiful.

Would you say that was the best location you discovered?

We shot outside of the city a couple of times this year. We were in Russian River, and then we shot in Modesto, we shot in San Leandro, and Oakland a little bit. We were kind of spreading our wings a little bit exploring the Bay Area, more than just San Francisco which was kind of fun. I don’t want to give anything away but we’re sort of exploring different character areas, like where they’re from, and it’s interesting to see how the different parts of the Bay Area sort of informed us about different storylines and different characters in the show. And it was cool to be outside the city a bit.

So, I saw you perform at Cleve Jones’ 60th birthday. Had you ever met him before?
I met him when were here last year. Danny Glicker, the costume guy on Looking did the costume design on Milk, so he knew Cleve from that. So I got to meet him with Danny last year when we were here. And he told me that his birthday party was coming up, and I want to say in March he was planning it, and he said “save the date!” And I was planning on going to it and about a month before we had brunch and he asked me to sing at it. I was so excited. It was so cool, such a fun night.

Did you meet anyone else that night?
I met Armistead Maupin and his husband Chris and I’d never met them before. And we’re all such crazy Tales of the City fans. So that was pretty thrilling. And he had us over for dinner at his house we had The Comeback premiere viewing party and Armistead was there.

Sidebar: What did you think of The Comeback re-premiere?
Ohmygod it’s everything that I wanted and more. I’m a huge huge Comeback fan. I literally watch it so much that throughout the course of shooting this season they’ve had to tell me to stop saying my lines like Valerie Cherish. Like, “You’re line’s sounding a little Valerie Cherish can you just take it down a notch,” and I’m like, “Oh, right. Sorry sorry sorry.” Sometimes we’ll actually rehearse our lines as Valerie Cherish while we’re rehearsing a scene. We are all obsessed with the show.

I’ve seen you and Russell Tovey (especially Russell) out on the town a lot this trip. What have been some of your favorite haunts?
There’s this bar that was recommended to me that I’ve now been to a couple of times this year… Zeitgeist. I love Zeitgeist, with that back area. I love it because it’s like a mixed crowd, all different kinds of people. And because when I order a vodka soda and they’re so giant and cheap! Really good Bloody Marys, too. I’m all about an outdoor space at a bar. Bourbon & Branch — I went there for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and that was really good.
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