‘Looking’ star Jonathan Groff on Shooting His New Series: “The word ‘improv’ always makes me feel a little anxious”

  • Pin It

jonathan-groff-lookingJonathan Groff is one of those lucky Broadway actors who has moved very fluidly into the TV and film world. From Broadway shows like Spring Awakening to his latest series Looking, the 28-year-old actor spoke to IndieWire about his work on the new HBO show about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco.

Groff talked about the low-key way the series is shot and how it adds a very organic feel to the storyline.

“I’ve never worked this way before. Andrew [Haigh] has a very specific way of creating naturalism on set — he’s not precious about the writing of scenes. If something doesn’t feel right or doesn’t seem like it’s the right line, he’s like ‘Just cut it or change it or whatever,'” said the Broadway actor. “He’s very laid-back, and so when he says ‘we’re gonna do a little improv’… The word ‘improv’ always makes me feel a little anxious, because I always feel like we’ll have to pull props out of a bag and find 800 different ways to talk about a stick, the way you do in theater school. But his version of improv is however you make it feel real to you.”

He continued, “So he would encourage to improv into the scene, maybe a little in the middle and cut that one line that didn’t sound right and improv at the end, and it ends up becoming really in the moment. So the work, you can’t really prepare for, which is really exciting and taught me a lot as an actor, because when you show up on set for Looking in the morning, hopefully you know your lines, but you never really know what’s gonna happen.”

The cast was lucky enough to shoot on-location which helped create a camaraderie amongst the cast with the freedom given to them by Haigh.

“We shot almost everything on location in San Francisco — we just had to roll with it, and that all completely started with Andrew and definitely challenged all of us on the show to push ourselves and trust each other and trust that we could be real and not have to push the acting, just talk to each other. Which can be really scary, because you want to feel like you can prepare and hold onto things. He forced us all to let it go, which was great,” shared Groff.

Looking debuted on Jan. 19 on HBO.

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/watch-al-pacino-talks-the-humbli.jpg
Watch: Al Pacino Talks ‘The Humbling’ and His Extraordinary Career
In this conversation with Al Pacino talks about his role in The Humbling -- including working with Greta Gerwig -- and his historic acting career
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/watch-oscar-nominee-steve-carell.jpg
Watch: Oscar Nominee Steve Carell Talks Improv, Auditioning for ‘The Office’ and ‘Foxcatcher’
Carell talks about his entire career as an actor, including his background in improv, how he landed the Michael Scott role on The Office, and Foxcatcher
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ethan-hawke-ellar-coltrane-boyhood.jpg
Ethan Hawke Calls ‘Boyhood’ the “most special endeavor of my life”
Ethan Hawke is riding high with his fourth Oscar nomination for the Richard Linklater-directed Boyhood. In a recent “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit, the 44-year-old actor gave some thoughtful insight into his career and the 12-year creative endeavor that became the biggest film of the Oscar season. When asked what was the most difficult thing about […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/martha-plimpton-a-delicate-balance.jpg
Martha Plimpton Takes a Refreshing Approach to a Long-Lasting Career
Martha Plimpton is an actress who enjoys the work, she’s not in it for the fame. The proof is in her continually excellent work that she is doing on-screen and on the stage. She’s currently starring in A Delicate Balance on Broadway. It’s the audience who gives her the ultimate thrill. “I try to get […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/watch-michael-keaton-talks-candi.jpg
Watch: Michael Keaton Talks Candidly About His Career and His Approach to Acting in ‘Birdman’
In this nearly 90 minute conversation, Michael Keaton is his usual affable self but is also remarkably candid about his career and his approach to acting.