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Who's That Hottie?! Girls Star Andrew Rannells
On Sunday, Andrew Rannells stole the show as Lena Dunham's gay ex boyfriend Elijah on the new HBO hit, Girls. TheInsider.com sat down with the talented star, who has been lighting up the Great White Way in the super hit The Book of Mormon, to talk Broadway, growing up in Nebraska, his recurring role on Girls and his deep love of Toddlers & Tiaras.
In addition to yelling at Lena Dunham onscreen, the Tony-nominee has also signed onto an upcoming NBC comedy from Ryan Murphy and Glee producer Allison Adler. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have confirmed that they are bringing Broadway hit to the big screen, and Rannells is slated to star in it. Get a glimpse at Hollywood’s next rising star!
Insider: How awesome has it been to be in the Book of Mormon?
Andrew: It’s amazing. It really is a dream come true.
Insider: You were the last to be cast – tell me about that.
Andrew: It could have been really weird, because a lot of them had been working together for a long time, but I think I had an advantage because this role had been recast many times, so I think they were used to this person changing. We started this workshop last year, and everyone was so lovely, and they made me feel really relaxed about being new.
Insider: Who are the coolest people that have come to the show?
Andrew: It’s been nuts, and I’m not saying that to be douchey about it, but there really has been like crazy groups of people who have come to see it. It was really exciting for me when Jim Carrey came to see it, even though I didn’t get to meet him. He sent a bunch of orchids and a big box of candy to us the next day, which I thought was really nice. And then Goldie Hawn, Kevin Spacey, and Joel Schumacher were all in my dressing room one day, and that was crazy. That was an awesome evening. And then there’s people from your childhood that you get to meet, and that’s a really cool thing.
Insider: How do you continue to keep it fresh even after doing eight shows a week? You have so much energy.
Andrew: The audience keeps you on your toes. Initially, when we first started everyone in the audience loved it, and now six months later, I feel like people come that are a little more skeptical. Sometimes you have to be more aware of where the audience is, and luckily they always seem to get on board at some point.
Insider: What other project have you been excited to be a part of recently?
Andrew: I’ve [worked] on Girls with Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham, and I did about half of the episodes, which was really exciting and fun. It’s … a really special show. Lena Dunham did this movie called Tiny Furniture at Sundance last year, which kind of kicked off this whole HBO thing for her, and it’s a really phenomenal show. I love that it’s about young people in New York that are just sort of trying to make a life and about the terrible jobs you have, the people you date, and the bull shit you kind of do, and not in a kind of like Sex and the City sort of fantasy way, but in a real like, ‘we all live in Williamsburg, and no one really has any cash, and we all make some bad decisions’. Lena doesn’t pull punches, and Judd as well as HBO have really allowed her to express that, so being on it is really exciting.
Insider: What has been the most exciting part of this whole experience for you?
Andrew: As a kid, my only real exposure to New York theatre was the Tonys, so I was always influenced by that, and then to get to perform on it was amazing. I still sort of can’t believe it.
Insider: Do you visit your hometown of Omaha often?
Andrew: I go home about twice a year. My whole family is still there. I’ve been fortunate that this year they have all been able to come visit me.
Insider: So when you’re not starring in the most amazing Broadway musical of all time, or yelling, "Your dad is gay," at Lena Dunham, what do you do for fun?
Andrew: I’m lucky that I have a really good group of friends, and we all sort of moved here at the same time, so I hang out with them. I wish I had a hobby, but I like to drink. I don’t like to go out and like line dance and salsa; I like to sit with my friends and drink something and talk, and just hang out.
Insider: I know you are a busy bee, but are there any television shows you’re currently watching?
Andrew: I love Mad Men, and Boardwalk Empire. I recently got into True Blood, and I like Hoarders, Intervention, and Obsessed. What’s really crazy is this show on TLC called Livin’ for the Apocalypse. I love those crazy shows. And I know it’s wrong but I just love Toddlers & Tiaras.
You can catch Rannells in the Book of Mormon at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Broadway and on Girls on Sunday nights on HBO.