Yes, I went to prom not once, but TWICE with Andrew Rannells. Go ahead and be jealous. He was an amazing date! We ripped up the dance floor and he got me the most spectacular orchid corsage that I want to replicate for my wedding. We posed for this picture on purpose, quite dramatically. Andrew and I caused quite the commotion at this event. It was in Omaha, Nebraska at an ALL boys Catholic school event where women where allowed to venture onto campus once a year on this magical night.
Did we go all the way on prom night? I don’t kiss and tell, but hey…I went with him twice, so I must of made some kind of lasting impression. Or maybe he agreed to this interview out of fear of blackmail. Either/or.
Andrew recently finished a stellar run in Trey Parker and Matt Stone‘s, Book Of Mormon. Where his role of Elder Price got him a Tony Nomination, and after that, things just took off. You may know him as Elijah, from Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow‘s awesomely controversial HBO series, Girls (Hannah’s ex-boyfriend, who turned out to be gay), then appearing alongside Kirstin Dunst and Isla Fisher as “freelance stripper” Manny, in Leslye Headland‘s hysterical film, Bachelorette. Now what is Andrew up to? Doing something that Broadway actors dream of…making the crossover to Hollywood and starring in Ryan Murphy‘s The New Normal, with heavy hitters, Justin Bartha (Hangover) and Ellen Barkin (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and so much more…)
Andrew graciously took the time to take an interview with me! Like I said, I must’ve done something right on that prom date.
You’ve been on Broadway working constantly for years, doing Hairspray and Jersey Boys, and then Book Of Mormon came along. Did you have any idea how popular the show was going to become?
I immediately loved the script and score. I was so exited about the show. I knew that some people might find some of the language offensive, but I definitely knew that we would find our audience. I don’t think anyone thought it would be a huge of a hit as it is though.
Girls has been a controversial show and your character is kind of a dick. But he’s hysterical, and I love his brutal honesty. Your character in The New Normal is completely different?
Yes, pretty different. Bryan is much more together than Elijah and is in a very different place in his life. I don’t think Elijah would be a very good father…ever. There is certain amount of sass that both characters share, which I thoroughly enjoy.
Was there a defining moment you had where you realized that you were kind of becoming a big deal?
Well that’s nice of you to say, but I don’t really see that. I have been given some wonderful opportunities in the past couple years and I am very grateful for that. I am just thrilled to be working so much and with such incredible people.
I’m going to reveal a secret about you: You’re an extremely talented writer. Do you have plans for crossing over into producing, directing, or some kind of screenplay?
Thank you! I would love to write something. Right now it’s just finding the story I would like to tell. But I definitely have hopes of doing that in the near future. Maybe we should write something together…
Okay, let’s talk about some fun stuff now. One thing I love about you, is that you have a great sense of style, and you love helping your girlfriends prevent fashion mishaps. What’s the number one piece of advice you want to tell women about how they can prevent fucking up their look?
Oh god, I don’t know if I am qualified to give that advice. I would say that as long as you feel confident in what you are wearing, as long as you feel comfortable, then fuck what anyone else thinks. That said, I am not a fan of Jeggings. Sorry, Jessica Simpson.
Before going to Los Angeles for The New Normal, you had only been there a few times. Are Californians THAT different from New Yorkers? Are you getting into any weird LA habits? Are you going to check out The Church of Scientology?
Ha! No Scientology for me. It IS really different, but I am really liking it! I have lived in New York for 15 years so this is a lovely change for me. I really enjoy the driving. I basically just drive from Whole Foods to Target to the BevMo to Trader Joe’s. I love it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give anyone? I’m talking from stockbrokers to housewives.
Goals are important. They can change, they can evolve, but I think that is important to always have something to strive for.
Do you have any fun recipes you’d like to share?
Growing up in Nebraska, we both sang along with Broadway soundtracks together and idolized various Broadway stars. How does it make you feel knowing that there are young adults in the Midwest doing the exact same thing now, and looking up to you? That must be a really amazing thing to wrap your head around?
I am not going to lie, it is amazing. I lived for those Broadway cast recordings and the dream of one day being on one so it is a real dream come true. Truly. I feel so lucky to have gotten to do what I dreamed of doing as a kid. I feel very proud of that. And this new adventure I am on is so exciting and so unexpected. I am absolutely loving it.
Girls returns for a second season with MORE Elijah this spring on HBO. Bachelorette is available NOW on iTunes (no, not the reality show with Chris Harrison and roses, my mother got a little confused)…and The New Normal premieres September 11, on NBC.