6 Questions With ‘Looking’ Star Jonathan Groff: Emmy Contender Quickie

Actor tells TheWrap why his onscreen breakup over monogamy “really hit close to home”

When “Looking” first aired on HBO last year, the dramedy about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco was quickly dubbed the “gay ‘Girls.’”

But even though the show got the ax at end of its sophomore season (HBO did promise a special to wrap-up the show), it struck a chord with many LGBT viewers thanks in part to its relatable storylines and unapologetic same-sex love scenes.

The series’ main character, Patrick — exquisitely played by actor Jonathan Groff — was the perfect mixture of neurosis and arrogance.

Groff, best known for his role as Jesse St. James, Rachael Berry’s love interest on “Glee,” talked to TheWrap about which scenes were the toughest to shoot (his breakup scene with Russell Tovey‘s Kevin), which person on the show would he reward with an Emmy (his costume designer), and the last show he binge-watched.

What was the toughest thing you had to do this season?
God, that’s hard. I would say probably the epic fight over monogamy I had with Russell [Tovey] in the final episode. It really hit close to home. I had the monogamy conversations a million times with boyfriends and friends. Will we? Won’t we? What would it be like? It’s just something that’s been talked about a lot in different facets of my life.

What was the most fun thing you got to do?
It’s all so fun. I would say being in a swimming pool with Lauren Weedman (Doris) and Murray Bartlett (Dom), when we shot the seventh episode in Modesto. We were out of San Francisco on location doing car rides and making up songs. We just had so much fun doing that field-trip episode. The whole show felt like, “Wow, I can’t believe they’re paying me for this,” though I probably wouldn’t have said that to HBO while the show was still running.

Let’s assume someone has never heard of “Looking.” What would you say to get them to watch it?
It’s kind of the perfect show to binge-watch because it was created by a bunch of independent filmmakers so it’s got a very intimate, sensitive tone. It unapologetically and honestly tackles relationships and sex and friendships and it shows male intimacy in a way that you rarely see on screen, whether it’s on TV or film.

Who else on the show really deserves an Emmy and why?
Oh my God. I can think of so many people. But I feel like the unsung hero of “Looking” — who doesn’t get a lot of credit but is so essential to our creative process —  is Danny Glicker, our costume designer. Even though we wear contemporary modern-day clothes, he is meticulous about picking out every piece of everybody’s costumes based on the emotional arc of the season and the emotional arc of the character. I’ve sat in Danny Glicker’s costume fittings and wept or laughed and learned so much about my character.

Are you a binge watcher? Once-a-weeker? What was the last thing you binge-watched?
I’m more of a once-a-nighter. I’ll watch an episode or two a night. But the last show that I binged was “House of Cards” Season 3. On average it was one or two episodes a night. But on extreme nights I would do maybe three or four in a row.

If you could add a new category to the Emmys, serious or silly, what would it be?
Good question! I’m going to go with Best Kiss.