Jonathan Groff is fine not fitting in: ‘Being gay has allowed me to forge my own path’

[ Written on May 15 2024 by rory ]

Celebrating a Tony nomination for Merrily We Roll Along and the 10th anniversary of Looking, the Out cover star reflects on his groundbreaking and unexpected career as an out actor.

When the audience of Broadway’s Merrily We Roll Along first meets Frank Shepard (Jonathan Groff), the character has all the trappings of a beautiful life: He’s hosting a glamorous party at his Los Angeles home as a producer of hit commercial films.

Others might call this scene a certain kind of hell. At the fete, he flirts with a younger woman who is not his wife. It’s revealed that he missed his son’s graduation. One of his longtime best friends, the writer and theater critic Mary Flynn (Lindsay Mendez), effectively ends the gathering with a drunken dressing-down, in which she mourns Frank’s squandered artistry as a once-promising composer. At one point, Frank tells his wife, “I’ve made only one mistake in my life. But I made it over and over. That was saying ‘yes’ when I meant ‘no.’”

When Jonathon Groff first encountered Merrily, “that line went boom,” the actor recalls. “It went through my body. And I thought that I have to play this part, because this is a mistake that I have made often in my life.”

“I think everyone that was closeted at some point can relate to a version of that, of saying ‘yes,’ when I meant ‘no,’” he reflects. “This thing of presenting something that’s different than what’s happening inside felt super personal to me.”

Read the full interview at OUT Magazine

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