Originally published on Advocate.com January 11 2013 6:19 PM ET
When it was announced earlier this week that Andrew Rannells was leaving Girls for greener pastures (that is, NBC’s The New Normal) there were probably more than just a couple gay hearts broken over the announcement. Yes, we would still have him grace our television screens every week, but being a dad-to-be on a Ryan Murphy-helmed NBC show is a little different than being Lena Dunham’s gay best friend on her hit HBO show Girls. For one, there’s the sex scenes. Yes, after an entire season full of uncomfortable sex (is there any other kind in your 20s?) between the ladies of Girls and their respective men, Rannells’s character finally gets some action in the season 2 premiere Sunday night (and his partner may have him questioning if he's bisexual).
After years of bit parts and auditioning in New York, Rannells got his big break in the Broadway hit, The Book of Mormon (where he scored a Tony nomination), and was soon cast as Lena Dunham’s gay ex-boyfriend, Elijah, on Girls. After the popularity he gained from Book and Girls, mainstream Hollywood came calling; more specifically, gay showrunner Ryan Murphy called.
Now Rannells is playing Bryan, half of the gay couple preparing for the birth of their child on The New Normal. Rannells was fine being on two hit TV shows, the only problem being that Normal shoots in L.A., while Girls is shot in New York.
As he explained to The Huffington Post: “I'm the luckiest guy in the world that I had this opportunity to do both of these shows, and it does come down to a scheduling thing and a timing thing. One is shot in Los Angeles and one is here [in New York]. Unfortunately, that's the way it works. I mean, if I could be in two places at once I obviously would have done it. And I'm so grateful to Jenni [Konner, Girls showrunner ] and to Lena and to Judd [Apatow, executive producer of Girls] that they were flexible enough to figure that out, with the timing of all of it. Because it's a hard thing, to put together these shows with people's schedules, and I'm very grateful for the fact that they were generous enough to work around that ... because what an awesome show to be a part of.”
It’s refreshing to see an out gay actor playing gay characters on two television shows on two different networks, and while his character will be leaving Girls after just four episodes this season, as Randalls says: “...it felt like a very eventful season for Elijah.”
If the season premiere is any indication of things to come, gays will have a strong reason to still love their Girls. You can watch the second season premiere of Girls Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.