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Jonathan Groff Discusses Coming Out With Playbill

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In a new interview with Playbill, modern Broadway legend and Looking star Jonathan Groff has shared his views on the issue of coming out: how his HBO show Looking tackles the issue, and his own experiences.

Groff says one of the things that first drew him to Looking was the way the show felt like it was "definitely 2013-14." Groff remembers being in eighth grade seeing a poster for Will & Grace and being caught off guard, thinking the show was a "huge deal."

But he points out that for today's gays — the Patrick's and Dom's and (ugh) the Augustin's — the concerns go far beyond simply being out; the problems of the men of Looking are much closer to what the general public is facing. Said Groff:

[With] the show none of [the characters] are struggling with their sexuality...It's online dating, it's Grindr, it's all of that — and it's a group of men whose biggest problems in their life are not them grappling with the fact that they're gay, which is very specific to our generation.

Later in the interview, Groff is questioned about his own sexuality — the interviewer mention's Lea Michele's new book Brunette Ambition, where the actress says that during Spring Awakening she suspected Groff was gay but she wanted him to tell her on his own terms.

When Spring Awakening opened in New York, Groff was 21 and Michele was 19. Groff describes what it was like being closeted while working on the show, and it seems his personal experience is consistent with his interpretation of Looking; often, coming out is less of a big deal these days. Said Groff:

When I was in Spring Awakening, I wasn't out to anyone in my life...except for my roommate at the time, who was my 'roommate' in quotations — my boyfriend-roommate… when I was in Spring Awakening, I never, ever talked about it, and everybody was so sweet. All of my castmates were so respectful and must have just intuited that I didn't want to talk about it because no one ever grilled me or asked me. They just knew I wasn't ready, which was so generous, and I appreciate them for that.

He goes on to admit that he feels he missed out during this time — saying he "never realized how shut down [he] was until [he] came out."

Head on over to Playbill for the full interview!


Jonathan Groff Talks About Anal Covers and Shakespeare: VIDEO

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Jonathan Groff spoke with a group of men about the anal cover he had to wear while shooting Looking (no doubt you remember the [work-unfriendly] scene) because he was having his ass licked.

And, in completely unrelated news, Groff also lets you know how you can get free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park in NYC.

Enjoy, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Iconography: Jonathan Groff's Star Continues To Rise

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He’s portrayed a repressed German teen, a Disney hero and more than one neurotic gay man. It's too early to bestow the “icon” title on Jonathan Groff, but over the last few years, he has emerged as one of the most prominent out actors in Hollywood.

“I guess I think of myself as an actor before I think of myself as a gay actor,” he told BuzzFeed last year. “So when I take work or when I look for work, it’s really based on the projects.”

The Pennsylvania native began his career on the stage, but several high-profile TV gigs (and one of the most successful films of all time) have made him one of the most recognizable faces (and voices) in Hollywood. While he’s found mainstream success, he’s also starred in several gay-themed projects. Most recently, he appeared alongside stars Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer and Julia Roberts in director Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart.

He described the challenge of working on the gay dramedy Looking to OUT magazine last year: “Trying to humanize the gay experience and make it universal while also trying to tell specifically gay stories is an interesting Catch-22, because there is something unique and special about being gay—and, there’s something completely normal and just like everybody else about being gay.”

In June, he will be one of the three Grand Marshals of the New York City Pride March (alongside Laverne Cox and Rea Carey).

See some of our favorite Groff clips, and share your thoughts in the comments, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Laverne Cox, Rea Carey, and Jonathan Groff Named Grand Marshalls of 2014 NYC Pride Parade

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Heritage of Pride, organizers of NYC Pride and the annual New York City Pride March, has revealed the Grand Marshals for 2014's New York City Pride March are trans activist and Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Broadway, film, and television and Broadway actor Jonathan Groff.

Said March Director David Studinski: "Our 2014 marshals are leaders in brilliant forms of activism through which LGBT people and their allies engage. Individually, they represent the diversity within the LGBT community and the various struggles our community members have and continue to face. Collectively, their stories reinforce that no voice is too small nor weak to make change in our world - and it starts with being yourself."

2014's March will honor the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with the theme “We Have Won When We’re One.”

The two-mile march begins in Midtown Manhattan at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and proceeds down Fifth Avenue to the Village. It begins at noon on Sunday, June 29. Registration for interested groups is open through June 7, subject to availability.


'Looking' Back: Episode 8, 'Looking Glass' - RECAP

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Count me among those who initially were unimpressed with Looking, but have really fallen for its charms. After the first four episodes left me wanting for more excitement and tension, the final stretch of the freshman season has me fully invested and loving (almost all) the characters.

Episode five, "Looking For the Future" was the turning point. By zooming in on Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and Richie (Raúl Castillo), we got to spend enough time to better understand how all their little character quirks and nuances came together in aggregate. If only we had similar time with the other characters. It makes me want to view this first, short season as almost like a prequel miniseries for what I'm hoping is an extended second season

Tonight's finale, titled "Looking Glass," certainly contained a few unexpected twists (and one expectedly adorable butt), ending the eight-episode run on a high note. 

Discuss the season finale and read our thoughts, AFTER THE JUMP ...

[SPOILERS]

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A Preview of the Season Finale of 'Looking': VIDEO

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The blink-and-it's-over season of Looking wraps up on Sunday night.

Jonathan Groff spoke about the finale with The Hollywood Reporter and the journey of his character, Patrick:

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.

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.

He also speaks a bit about next season:

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.

Watch a preview for the finale and a very brief clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

What do you want to see next season?

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