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

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-falling-skies-intervie.jpg
WonderCon: ‘Falling Skies’ Interview with Moon Bloodgood & Seychelle Gabriel
Moon Bloodgood and Seychelle Gabriel were at WonderCon to talk about the upcoming season of TNT’s ‘Falling Skies’. The show is the story of life and survival in the wake of a catastrophic alien invasion. Noah Wyle stars as Tom Mason, a college professor who became an unlikely resistance leader. Bloodgood is Dr. Ann Glass, [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-dawn-of-the-planet-of.jpg
WonderCon: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Press Conference with Gary Oldman & Andy Serkis
Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis and Director Matt Reeves were at WonderCon to talk about the upcoming, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I loved the first one and can’t wait for this to come out. Serkis is terrific in everything and to watch him go to e-to-toe with Oldman will be a [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-how-to-train-your-drag.jpg
WonderCon: ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2′ Press Conference with Jay Baruchel
Jay Baruchel and writer/director Dean DeBlois were at WonderCon to chat about the upcoming sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2. In the press conference, they talk about the film, how Baruchel feels like he’s taken ownership of his character and a bit about his acting career. The film is in theaters June 13th.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-sean-bean-tina-majorin.jpg
WonderCon: Sean Bean, Tina Majorino, Ali Larter & Morris Chestnut Talk ‘Legends’
The cast and executive producer of TNT’s new show, Legends held a press conference at WonderCon to talk about the show, their characters and more. Legends is based on the book by spy novelist Robert Littellon and stars Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings) as Martin Odum, an undercover agent working [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/john-turturro-narrates-a-scene-f.jpg
John Turturro Narrates a Scene from His New FIlm, ‘Fading Gigolo’
John Turturro narrates a sequence from his film, Fading Gigolo. The film, which written and directed by Turturro and stars Woody Allen, Sharon Stone and Sophia Vergara, is about how Turturro’s character falls into the becoming a gigolo, thanks to his “pimp”, played by Allen.