Andrew Rannells plays a gay man on HBO’s Girls and on the upcoming NBC comedy The New Normal.
He is now also making it clear that he is gay off-screen as well.
The actor, who was nominated for a Tony Award for his lead role in the smash Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, mentioned his sexuality while discussing his role on Girls. He plays Elijah, the smug smug, fresh-out-of-the-closet ex-boyfriend of one of the show’s main characters.
Rannels was asked by the website Vulture if his character was selfish to be dating a woman for two years when he knew he was gay.
‘I am gay in real life, so I definitely get it,’ he said. ‘But it’s not my story — I wasn’t closeted for any amount of time. I never had a girlfriend who I had that experience with. It’s less that Elijah knew he was gay and continued to date Hannah anyway and more that he wasn’t ready to admit to himself that he was gay.’
‘I think that’s probably the more common thing, particularly with young homosexuals,’ he added. ‘Coming out can be super super complicated, especially when it comes to families and friends —and if you already have a girlfriend, what does that mean for her? I hope that changes over time, but coming out is very personal and everybody obviously has to do it in their own time.’
Rannels, 33, is the latest star to come out casually in an interview or at a public event instead of going on The Today Show as Meredith Baxter did or doing a People Magazine cover like Lance Bass and Clay Aiken.
Last week, two-time Emmy winner Jim Parsons was described as gay in an interview with The New York Times while earlier this year, Matt Bomer publicly acknowledged his male partner at an awards ceremony.
On the NBC sitcom that will debut in the fall, Rannels and Justin Bartha plays a couple who are having a baby through a surrogate mother.
‘That story’s definitely been on television before, but I think that when other series have shown gay people with kids, that plot has always been the B story line or the C story line — it’s never really been the focus,’ Rannels said. ‘It’s very fortunate that this show came along at a time when NBC was willing to focus on these two gay men who are very much in love, who are very committed, and want to start a family.’