Andrew Rannells: The gay interview

AndrewRannells3As the out Tony nominee ends his fourth season on Girls, he talks co-stars, sex scenes and what it would take to get him back on Broadway.

Andrew Rannells won’t soon be living down the handjob he gave to a boy in a bathroom. Thanks to Lena Dunham and the other writers turning out sharp social commentary and anecdotal writing for this current installment of HBO’s Girls, now finishing up its fourth season, the theater-turned-TV star didn’t just speed-race his way through a handy — he’s danced, de-clothed and continued to lambast the fogey fashions of Dunham’s Hannah. And god bless him for it.

— Chris Azzopardi

Dallas Voice: So, Andrew, what’s up with Marnie getting all the sexy sex scenes on GirlsAndrew Rannells: I know! She gets to do all sorts of crazy shit this year and poor Elijah just gets an awkward handjob in the bathroom. We’ll see if we can’t fix that.

I like seeing the gender roles being subverted, though. Most people would expect to see the gay guy getting rimmed, not Marnie.  That is true. Lena’s pushing boundaries all over the place!

How did you end up with a bigger role on the show, especially this season?  Well, I was really excited: Last season was the first season that I got to be a full-fledged regular on Girls. They’ve always done such an amazing job of making me feel like a full part of that team, but last year was the first season that I really got to just be devoted strictly to them. In the past, during the first season, I was still doing The Book of Mormon, so with the second season, I only got to do half of it. And then we started The New Normal, and then after The New Normal ended I got to do the back end of the third season. They’ve always been so welcoming, and I’m just thrilled to be a full-time cast member over there.

I mean, literally, I don’t think it was even 20 minutes after they had made the announcement that The New Normal was canceled that I got phone calls — one from [executive producer] Jenni Konner, one from [executive producer] Judd Apatow and one from Lena Dunham — all saying, “Please come back and join us.” Even though they had started prep for their season, they worked me in very quickly. Again, I’m so grateful to them and so touched that they include me. I feel really at home with that group.

Which of the Girls characters would you most likely hang out with in real life?  Lena and I actually hang out a fair amount, and Allison [Williams] and I hang out a fair amount as well. Particularly during this past year, [Allison and I have] kept in very close contact over our hiatus, which is great. Character-wise, I feel like it might be a Marnie situation, I think. I know that she’s a little high-strung, but, particularly now with her new sexual awakening, I feel like she would be a fun girl to hang out with.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jack Antonoff of fun. — the gay interview

fun2

Jack Antonoff, far right, has no problem endorsing gay rights even though he’s straight.

The breakout single that sent the New York-based band’s sophomore album, Some Nights, soaring — “We Are Young” — entered the pop-culture zeitgeist almost overnight with commercial spots and a Glee rendition — and on Sunday won the group Grammys for song of the year and best new artist. Their ubiquitous earworms gave them a platform for repeatedly coming out in  support of equal rights for gays.

In this interview with Chris Azzopardi prior to the Grammys, Jack Antonoff, fun.’s 28-year-old guitarist, talks about being drawn to the gay community’s “inspiring” ways of uniting in the face of oppression, the stigma of being a straight man who doesn’t care about the fight and how he loves Lena Dunham like a lesbian.

Dallas Voice: You’re one of the gay community’s biggest supporters, and you’ve been very outspoken about it. When and why did gay issues become so important to you?  Antonoff: I wish there was a great story or a poetic answer, but I just don’t know how anyone could not be outspoken and enraged with any violation of human rights. If the government decided tomorrow to strip Jews or African-Americans of certain rights, no one would say, “How did you get involved with Jews’ human rights, blah blah blah?” It would just be this universal violation that we would all be up in arms about. But the issue of gay, bisexual and trans rights, the discrimination is so ingrained in us that it’s this slow-moving process of people realizing how shameful it is, the way we treat our citizens. Anyone who is even remotely cognizant is speaking up and fighting for equal rights.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

SOUND BITES: Reviews of Solange’s EP ‘True,’ ‘Girls Soundtrack’

This week is the Music Issue at the Voice, so to whet your appetite, we offer up some reviews by Chris Azzopardi — of the soundtrack to the hit HBO comedy Girls as well as the impressive follow-up by Beyonce’s sister Solange, True.

Girls Soundtrack, Volume 1 (various artists): Robyn’s sad-but-liberating “Dancing on My Own” already made life infinitely better, but then HBO’s groundbreaking series Girls, which just returned for its second season, did something awesome with it last year: They had the show’s star/creator — Lena Dunham’s every-girl Hannah — shake out her boy blues to the tune. Awesome how? Any Robyn fan can relate to the dorkiness of shadowing the Swede’s moves in their bedroom.

You have to hand it to the music supervisors of Girls: They have an ear for twenty-something “quarter-life crisis” music as much as they understand that girls, too, just wanna have fun. Icona Pop brings the Cyndi Lauper to the party with the unapologetic anthem “I Love It,” as does Santigold’s “Girls” theme — an addictive little joint looped with a merry-go-round of voice samples and a hard bass line.

In the woe-is-me department: Grouplove’s “Everyone’s Gonna Get High” fantastically captures growing up directionless through a surging indie-rock sound, and two tracks in particular — Michael Penn’s “On Your Way” and Harper Simon’s “Wishes and Stars” — are wistful gems. The new song from Tegan and Sara (the girls’ surprising take on The Rolling Stones’ “Fool to Cry,” a bonus track) is a faithful cover that’s characteristically harmonious and also resembles them in their pre-pop days. “Sight of the Sun” from fun. might also be the best song not on their auspicious debut. Now please let the music from Season 2 of Girls be this good. Three and a half stars

—  Arnold Wayne Jones