Jonathan Groff doesn’t want to spend 7 years as a “singing teenager” on ‘Glee’

“How did you get here?” That’s the question Jonathan Groff asks himself eight times a week during a Broadway revival Happily we roll along. Before the musical’s most recent production, happy famous in certain circles as one of theater icon Stephen Sondheim’s rare missteps — a structurally complex production whose original 1981 Broadway production closed after just 16 performances. Now, more than four decades later, Groff et his close friends Lindsay Mendez And Daniel Radcliffe did Happily we roll along became a real hit, with all three receiving Tony nominations in the process.

“It’s been almost two years with the same group of actors working together. So fun,” Groff said above Little golden boys this week (listen below). “We are all completely in love. There is a deep connection to the company.”

In conversation with VF‘S Richard Lawson, talk rudely happy as well as his childhood in rural Pennsylvania and his Tony-nominated performance as Melchior Gabor in Spring awakening. Instead of participating Lea Michele, his Spring awakening actors and best friend, ABOVE Ryan Murphy‘S Delighted, Groff chose to stay in the theater world. “I really felt like I didn’t want to continue being a singing teenager for another seven years, which I had just done for two years in Spring awakening,” he told Lawson.

Of course, Groff will eventually find his way delighted in the recurring role of Jesse St. James is handsome, and continues to make a bigger splash as Patrick, the lovelorn main character in Andrew Haigh‘s groundbreaking gay series, Seeing. He has taken on a variety of film and television roles in the years since, ranging from the highest earning roles. David Fincherperiod crime drama Mind hunter Voices Kristoff and Sven in Disney’s frozen participate M. Night Shyamalanhorror movie of A knock on the cabin. However, Groff has always found ways to return to his theatrical roots. In 2016, he received his second Tony nod for playing King George in a little show called Hamilton; now he’s nominated for his third Tony Award Happy. Below, Groff opens up about his “childhood obsession” with Sondheim, moving to New York to become an actor, and choosing art over money.

Vanity Fair: I saw you on one of the late night shows and you said that when the nominations were announced, you were very emotional about it. Is there something about Happily we roll along Or does this role seem important in a particular way?

Jonathan Groff: Oh my God. I think it’s a laundry list. I don’t know if it’s a specific thing. Maybe it was a combination of hearing the original cast of Company while I was shoveling horse manure out of my dad’s stable when I was a teenager – he was a horse trainer. Grew up in Pennsylvania and was obsessed with Sondheim musicals and reading Sondheim biographies during this high school science fair. I had a childhood obsession with his work.

On top of that, it’s been almost two years with the same group of actors working together. Happy. We are all completely in love. So there is a deep connection with the company.

And then the program failed more than 40 years ago. Honestly, I can never get tired of talking about it, because it feels like a miracle that this show has returned after so many decades since its original Broadway premiere. Now it’s here, and it’s received seven Tony nominations. At this point, in terms of making money, the show became a hit, which has historically been difficult for Sondheim shows in general—even ones that resembled artistic hits. his art and criticism. That monetary hit, that’s why he wrote about it so deeply in his career. happy. That was always really important to him and meant something to him. In some ways, that’s something that often eludes him. To be involved in this production process happy such a hit that feels so surreal, so good and so emotional.

The saying I always hear is that Sondheim wants Andrew Lloyd Webber’s box office numbers, and Andrew Lloyd Webber wants Sondheim’s reviews. It is very rare for two people to come together.

[laughs] Wow, so funny.

There is a wonderful documentary about the original production—people involved in it reflect on this beautiful but unsuccessful dream. Throughout the years that followed, there were other productions here and there, but none of the caliber of your show. How heavy is the responsibility to get it right and honor or change the legacy of this beloved but difficult manufacturing history?

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