Jonathan Groff had been openly gay for years before starring in the HBO show Looking, but he claims the series — particularly the sex scenes — led him to embrace his sexuality in ways he’d never been able to before.
Appearing in the show meant “really publicly owning my sexuality,” he tells The Daily Beast. “It was a different step. I mean, now I’m fucking guys on TV.”
Though that runs the risk of sounded glib, Groff claims playing Patrick Murray was a genuinely transformative experience, and a positive one at that. “The show has changed me for good,” he says. “Being gay and in every scene having to explore gay identity, you can’t help but think of your own gay identity and of where you fit in the community and who you are and the issues we talk about.”
And here’s the sentence we’ve waited our whole lives to write, but never thought it would actually arrive: The actor confides that he’s particularly fond of the ass-eating scene in his upcoming film.
“I love doing those scenes!” he admits. “These sex scenes are an opportunity to illuminate something in a character but also in life for people. Like this is what actually goes down.”
And to think that when he first came out to his parents, he told them not to worry — because he’s not too gay.
“I said, ‘I’m gay, but I’m not going to be in a parade or anything,'” he says.
Related: Where Did “Looking” Go Wrong?
The irony that he subsequently accepted the invitation to be Grand Marshall of the New York Gay Pride Parade in 2014 isn’t lost on him:
Doing the gay pride parade, I really realized that I was proud to be gay. It’s one thing to be out and it’s another to be proud of it. I think when I first came out it was like OK I’m gay, but if I could not be gay I’d not be gay, but I’m gay. That’s how it was when I first came out. But Looking really was an experience that changed all of that for me.”