Broadway and "Glee" Star Jonathan Groff Chats About Normal Heart Film, HBO Series and More

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20 Jul 2013

Jonathan Groff in "Glee."
photo by FOX

Groff also has high hopes for his new HBO series, which is set in San Francisco, and will also debut sometime in 2014. Co-starring Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett, the series is based on an idea from the screenplay "Lorimer," which was penned by Michael Lannan, who is also writing the new series.

"I'm so excited for this," Groff said about the series, which features direction by Andrew Haigh, whose directorial credits include "Five Miles Out," "Greek Peet" and "Weekend." The latter, Groff explained, "was the first gay movie that I've seen in the theatre where I felt, 'Woah, this feels really specific to the gay community and somehow really universal.' I saw it with my friend, who is straight, and we were both weeping at the end of it. It's very powerful and beautiful.…Andrew's going to direct a bunch of the episodes throughout the course of the first season, and I think he has a really special creative voice."

The HBO series, he added, "takes place in modern day [and concerns] a bunch of gay guys … It's sort of a slice-of-life kind of TV show that hopefully will be breaking some ground potentially in that there hasn't been a show like this on TV in a long while, about gay men just living their lives in today's world. I think the goal of the show and the purpose of this show is to illustrate the complexities and realities of the modern-day gay experience, which is a lot of things."

Groff plays a video-game designer, who spends a good deal of time on the dating website OkCupid trying to find love. "My best friend [in the series] is about to move in with his roommate," he explained. "My other best friend is a 42-year-old career waiter, who is going through a mid-life crisis, so it's a bunch of different stories. Hopefully, it's funny. Hopefully, people fall in love with the characters. But I think, most importantly, people see that being gay is many different things and not just one specific kind of lifestyle and one specific kind of way of living — but all ages, many different aspects, many different stories to tell."

Groff said he recently had the chance to view the pilot, "and I'm really excited about it. Now we go back to San Francisco in September and start shooting it for a couple months. We do eight episodes for the first season."


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