The Untold Truth Of Jonathan Groff

Jonathan Groff is a man of many talents. In 2006, Groff starred opposite Lea Michele in Spring Awakening on Broadway, and from there, his career blew up. Groff — who has been nominated for two Tony awards, one for Spring Awakening and one for Hamilton — went on to voice Kristoff in Frozen, which hit theaters in 2013. The following year, he landed a starring role in the HBO series Looking.

Groff joined the cast of Hamilton as King George III in 2015, replacing actor Brian d'Arcy James. From there, the actor starred in Netflix's drama series Mindhunter in 2017, and two years later, he reprised his role as Kristoff in Frozen 2. Not to mention, he played Jesse St. James on Glee for several years.

Even though Groff has appeared on the big and small screen, he admitted to in 2015 that his "heart will always be in the theater," adding "that's where I started and you never forget your first love." Well, it certainly makes sense since his performances in Spring Awakening and Hamilton will surely always be remembered. 

Before we go listen to the Frozen or Hamilton soundtrack a thousand more times, let's find out more about Groff. 

Jonathan Groff said playing King George III in 'Hamilton' was 'such a fun role'

Jonathan Groff took over for Brian d'Arcy James as King George III in Hamilton in March 2015. Surprisingly, Groff got the part after creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Tommy Kale just "shot [him] an email."

"They were like, 'Hey, Brian has to leave. Would you want to come in and replace him for the last couple months of the show?'" the Frozen star told Broadway World in 2015. "It was before it had opened, and I hadn't heard any of the music, and I didn't know anything about the show and was just like, 'Sure!' — based on just loving them and knowing them and knowing their work. I just said yes and then I was in it."

Even though Groff only was on stage for a very short window of time, he admitted it was "the most fun eight minutes [he's] ever had." He added, "It is such a fun role." 

So, what did Groff love the most about his character? "It's kind of like you can get away with anything in that role," he said. "King George doesn't really interact with anyone on stage except for the audience, and so, I love that." Groff also pointed out that he loved the "direct contact and relationship with the audience" throughout the show. "... [I]t definitely feels like anything can happen every night, which is great," he added.

This is one of Jonathan Groff's 'favorite things' he's worked on

Jonathan Groff has played some pretty interesting characters over the years, but the actor revealed his experience on the HBO series Looking was a highlight of his career. "It's one of my favorite things I've worked on, the most personal thing I've worked on," he told NPR in 2017.

Groff — who came out as gay in 2009, per Broadway World — also noted that the show, which followed three best friends as they navigated relationships in San Francisco, "changed [his] life" and hit really close to home.

"... For me, getting the opportunity to spend those three years expressing myself as a gay man and kind of living in that world and talking about gay issues was truly life-altering for me and made me so much more comfortable in my own skin in a way that I didn't anticipate when I said yes to the show," he explained.

However, Groff was hesitant to accept the role in the first place. "When Looking came along, I thought, 'It's one thing to come out as an actor, and then it's another thing to have anal sex onscreen,'" he confessed. "... Will this really put a big 'G-A-Y' [stamp] across the top of my forehead [so] that I can only play gay roles for the rest of my life?" 

Instead, quite the opposite happened as Groff is now a hot commodity in Hollywood.

How 'Spring Awakening' helped Jonathan Groff come out of the closet

Jonathan Groff got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was cast as Melchior Gabor in Spring Awakening at just 20 years old, per NPR. Not only did he make lifelong friends from the play — we're looking at you, Lea Michele! — but he also revealed how it helped him come out the closet.

"We were working — it was nonstop. We were all really young," Groff told NPR in 2017. "And even throughout the course of the entire [experience] — I did that show for about two years in total, including off-Broadway — I was completely in the closet."

Even though "the show was very sexual and about sexual awakening," Groff was actually "very asexual" offstage. The Mindhunter star would "go home to [his] boyfriend," where they "could be gay together" in their apartment. 

But after playing Melchoir, who he described as a "rebel," Groff was able to find another "side of [his] personality that hadn't existed before." He added, "I left Spring Awakening and within a month of leaving the show, I came out to my parents and to my friends, and broke up with my boyfriend and moved into an apartment of my own and completely changed my life."

Well, it certainly seems like Groff has grown personally and professionally since he got his start on Broadway. We can't wait to see what he does next.