Andrew Rannells on ‘Girls’ and His Upcoming Fall Show, ‘The New Normal’

Andrew Rannells recently appeared on HBO’s hit show Girls as formerly-closeted ex-boyfriend, Elijah and in an interview with Vulture, Rannells touched on some of the racial controversy surrounding the show.

He said, “It’s tricky, because I see it a lot in theater, and I see it a lot in television, too.  If you get into multicultural sort of casting for no other reason than to diversify then it seems false.  The show is about this group of people moving to New York with their group of friends from college in the Midwest, so this city creeps in on those people and their lives eventually open up.  I’ll be honest: When I moved to New York from Nebraska in ’97, I came with my best friend, a white girl from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  So if I was going to write that as a television series, it would be about two white people.  But after a year in New York, our friend demographic opened up.  When we got here, we were white-bred Midwesterners sticking together.  This is just the beginning of the show.”

Rannells became well-known for his role in the Broadway smash The Book of Mormon, and his next project is as the lead in the new Ryan Murphy comedy, The New Normal.  The actor, who happens to be gay in real life, said that he doesn’t specifically seek out gay roles. “The first big professional thing I did was I was Link Larkin in Hairspray on Broadway, then I went to Jersey Boys to play Bob Gaudio, and then The Book of Mormon to play a Mormon missionary,” he said. “Then Girls came along with this very funny, very well-thought-out character that’s not always seen, and Ryan Murphy came along with this really fantastic script.”

Even if Rannells doesn’t look for gay roles on purpose, he does feel a special connection to these parts.  He said, “Well, there’s a part of me that would say I treat every character in the same way—to be as honest as possible with every role.  But then, as a gay man, I think there’s a responsibility to show a fully realized person, so even though Elijah might not be the best person in the world, I want to make him as fully fleshed out and human as possible.  Because chances are he’s gonna represent somebody who’s a real person.  With The New Normal, I feel even a larger responsibility because it’s sort of a new idea for a lot of viewers and Americans, to see Justin Bartha and I play this very much in love couple who just wants to have a baby.  We’re telling that story for the first time, in a way, for a lot of people, so I think there’s a lot of responsibility there.”

Girls airs on HBO, Sunday nights at 10:30 PM, and The New Normal will premiere on NBC in the fall.

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Film the Smaug Motion Capture for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
Though Peter Jackson‘s movie adaptations of The Hobbit haven’t received the same critical acclaim as his films based on the book’s sequel, The Lord of the Rings (turning a 300 page book into 9+ hours of film tends to do that), fans are still eagerly anticipating the release of the final part of The Hobbit […]
Watch: Daniel Radcliffe on the Differences Between American and British Theater Audiences
Though moviegoers can see Daniel Radcliffe in the fantasy film Horns, which opens today, Broadway fans will have to wait a bit longer. Radcliffe is an unapologetic fan of Broadway — he has starred in Equus, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Cripple of Inishmaan — but he hasn’t yet made […]
Watch: Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver and Virginia Kull on ‘Gracepoint’ and Strong Female Roles on TV
The actresses also speak candidly about how they feel about their characters in the series and why its important for TV to feature series with strong female leads.Check out the conversation above!
Watch: Cristin Milioti Talks ‘A to Z’, ‘Once’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Few actresses have the kind of rise as Cristin Milioti has had in the last few years. A virtual unknown in 2011, she became a bona fide Broadway star in the 2012 hit Once, appeared in a supporting role in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, and was featured as the titular mother […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-bryan-cranstons-acting-adv.jpg
Watch: Bryan Cranston’s Acting Advice
With Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Barrel being released on Blu-ray with all kinds of goodies today, it gives us yet another opportunity to reflect on the series’ star Bryan Cranston and all of the incredible advice he has offered actors in the wake of his success. In a video he filmed in 2013 for […]