Jonathan Groff says he was “ashamed” of his sexuality before role in HBO’s Looking
Jonathan Groff has opened up about his challenging coming out process in a brand new interview.
If you’re a lover of musical theatre, then there’s a high chance you’re aware of Groff and his incredible talent.
In the late 2000s, the Matrix: Resurrections star made waves with his breakout role in the popular rock musical Spring Awakening.
Following the success of the aforementioned musical, Groff gained further recognition for his roles in Glee, Hamilton, Frozen and the beloved LGBTQ+ drama Looking.
But alongside the continued upward trajectory of his career, the Mindhunter star also had to navigate coming out as a gay man in the entertainment industry.
During a recent interview with Out, Groff reflected on his journey with his sexuality and the initial shame he felt.
“It wasn’t like I came out when I was 23, and everything was great,” he explained. “I came out of the closet and I was still feeling quite shameful for many years.”
He went on to say that for six years, he struggled with his identity – even after coming out – until he landed the lead role in Looking.
“When I did Looking, I was playing a gay character on a set with a lot of gay people. I started to fall in love with who I was for the first time,” he said. “It was really that experience that really turned the corner for me.”
In the 2014 hit series, Groff played Patrick Murray, a naive 29-year-old video game designer who was exploring the LGBTQ+ dating scene in San Francisco.
Even though he struggled with his sexuality initially, the Frozen 2 star revealed that coming out helped him navigate straight roles without any insecurities.
“That experience allowed me to go on a set like Mindhunter… and sit in rehearsal and talk about the sex scene with a girl. And ask questions and be honest, and not feel self-conscious,” he explained.
“Truth really set me free honestly, professionally and personally.”
Towards the end of the interview, Groff gave his reasoning on why LGBTQ+ youth gravitate towards theatre.
“It’s a form of self-expression,” he replied. “I mean, I truly believe theatre saves young people’s lives.”
He went on to say that theatre is a “place where differences are celebrated.”
Groff’s interview arrived a few weeks after HBO Max dropped the actor’s collaborative documentary, Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known.
In the film, the Glee star and the rest of the talented cast and crew reflect on their time in the groundbreaking musical.
It also features never-before-seen performance footage from the original 2006 run, candid photographs, archival video and new interviews with the show’s actors – including Scream Queens star Lea Michele.
Check out the trailer for Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known here or below.