The Guys of Looking (x)
BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Louis C.K., “Louie”
Jonathan Groff, “Looking”
Chris Messina, “The Mindy Project”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Andy Samberg, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Adam Scott, “Parks and Recreation”
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It was nice to see during an Outfest panel on Saturday that the cast of HBO’s Looking seem to be thick as thieves and had a very charmed experience shooting the show’s first season in San Francisco.
Let’s hope this carries over onto season 2 even if Jonathan Groff jokes that he’s already a diva.
There are some obvious differences between the actors and the characters they play. Murray Bartlett, for example, is Australian but onscreen alter-ego is not. Frankie J. Alvarez is straight but his character of Augustin most certainly is not.
Then there is Groff who plays a gay video-game developer named Patrick.
“The character felt closer to me than anything I had ever worked on before,” Groff said during a panel discussion about the show.
So what do he and Patrick have in common besides the fact that they are both gay?
Says Groff: “The struggle trying to figure out where he fits in the gay community and I have felt that myself. What does it mean to be gay? How gay am I? Does my voice sound gay?”
Groff may be a Tony Award nominee for the musical Spring Awakening and sings in Frozen – the highest grossing animated movie of all time – but that’s one are where he wants he and Patrick to not be alike.
“I love to sing but I’m so excited that I don’t sing on the the show,” he said. “I feel Patrick would be a horrendous singer.”
Groff, Bartlett, Alvarez were joined on the panel by the hilarious Lauren Weedman (she’s as funny off screen as her character of Doris is on the show) as well as director Andrew Haigh and creator Michael Lannan.
Bartlett and Weedman, who in the show are roommates and best friends, appear to enjoy the same easy chemistry in real life as they do on screen.
“The relationship between a gay man and a female best friend, it was a relationship I guess I was familiar with,” Bartlett said.
Added Weedman: “It was a very comfortable environment for all of us I think – we were immediately besties.”
The show has been renewed for a second season of 10 episodes – two more than the eight produced during the first season which premiered last January.
The cast made clear that they have no idea what is in store for their characters during the San Francisco-based show’s upcoming season since they have not yet begun filming or even received scripts.
But Groff knows one thing for sure: “I think Patrick has a lot to learn.”
At L.A.’s Outfest on Saturday afternoon, the cast and creators of HBO’s “Looking” gathered for a Q&A panel discussion about the show, which, although didn’t show any footage from the new season since they don’t start shooting for another month, did reveal a few nuggets of information to savor while we wait in anticipation for season two.
1. Those three characters announced may not be a big deal.
"It’s funny when you see those things," said director and exec producer Andrew Haigh, "because sometimes they’re people with two lines in one episode." So, maybe for those three diverse characters already announced, we shouldn’t get our hopes up.
2. But more characters are on the way.
"You’ll see more great additional characters," creator and exec producer Michael Lannan assured the audience.
3. Agustin has a new love interest.
One character that hasn’t been announced already is a new love interest for Agustin named Eddie, which arrived as news even to Frankie J. Alvarez on stage. Maybe a new love interest will help set Agustin straight after he became such an insufferably divisive character in season one.
4. A “cuddlier” character will be introduced.
After an audience member raised a question about the under-representation of overweight gay men on the show, Haigh teased there would be the addition of a “cuddlier guy.” Sounds like the show will be getting its first bear.
5. Doris will get a love life.
"I’d like more sex scenes for me," Lauren Weedman joked, mentioning her singular makeout scene with Hugo, her barely-there love interest from season one. "There is a love interest," Haigh told her about season two, to which she responded: "I can’t wait to see how you picture a Doris love interest." "He’s a very attractive, smart man," Haigh said. "There is some sex," he added. "Oh, I’m sure everyone wants to see that," Weedman immediately retorted.
6. Scott Bakula will return.
After Raul Castillo and Weedman both got upped to series regulars, the fate of Scott Bakula’s Lynn was left in a bit of limbo. Would we get to see how the relationship between him and Dom either progressed or resolved? The answer is that we will. “There will be more of Patrick with Kevin and Richie, and we’ll also see what happens with Dom and Lynn and how they navigate that,” Haigh said.
7. More family time could be coming.
Haigh noted they will continue to explore the complex dynamic between Patrick and his mother, which so profoundly came to a head in season one’s seventh episode. He then added the desire for over the course of the show to explore all of the characters’ relationships with their families.
8. The Golden Girls will be together more.
While a large portion of season one had the trio of Patrick, Agustin and Dom apart and dealing with their own situations, Haigh noted, “in season two, there’s a lot more of the three of them together, which I think is good.” (x)