This Mindhunter Star Says There's One Major Perk To Playing A Straight Man As A Gay Actor

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Jonathan Groff has made the leap straight from Broadway into the homes of every single person who binge-watched Mindhunter over the past month. The first season of the new Netflix crime drama, which follows a group of FBI agents as they strive to categorize and understand a wave of the 1970s serial killers, was so successful that it's already been confirmed for round two, and Groff, whose last TV roles consisted of a guest spot on Glee and two seasons of Looking, was just named Out's Entertainer of the Year.

Because he's openly gay, Groff confessed to Out that he was worried about being typecast.

"Looking was a huge deal in my evolution as a person and as an actor because it’s one thing to come out of the closet publicly, but it’s another thing to be so gay on TV," he said. This was one of the reasons he was so excited to take on the role of Holden Ford, a young (straight) character who is nothing like the one he's played before. That, and the incredible script.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, it’s so complicated and dense and intense,'" he continued. “The material plus Fincher was a no-brainer.”

Groff is doing more than just playing straight — he's playing someone who is having a sexual journey of his own.

"His sexuality is a huge part of the story, because Holden is having his sexual awakening while talking to psycho-sexual killers, which is such a bizarre and interesting character arc," he explained. By embracing his sexuality in his real life, and being open to roles that explore all facets of human feelings and sex drives, Groff feels he has somewhat of an advantage.

"I think one of the benefits of being out is that you can share your stories, be who you are, and put yourself in the work regardless," he said. "I watched the Tab Hunter documentary on Netflix, about the 1950s actor who was gay and closeted and set up on dates with Natalie Wood. I just thought, 'Wow, I’m a product of my time—it’s 2017 and I can be out and playing these parts.' That’s not wasted on me. We’re definitely benefiting a lot from the history and struggle of those who came before us."

He better get used to this complicated web, because his character can only get more interesting come season 2.

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