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Andrew Rannells

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Andrew Rannells
Andrew Rannells 2015.jpg
Rannells at the PaleyFest 2015
Born
Andrew Scott Rannells

(1978-08-23) August 23, 1978 (age 43)[1]
EducationMarymount Manhattan College
OccupationActor
Years active1995–present
Known forThe Book of Mormon
Falsettos
The Boys in the Band
TelevisionThe New Normal
Girls
Black Monday
Partner(s)Tuc Watkins (2019–present)
AwardsGrammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album
The Book of Mormon

Andrew Scott Rannells (born August 23, 1978) is an American film, stage, television and voice actor.

Rannells is best known for originating the role of Elder Price in the 2011 Broadway musical The Book of Mormon for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. He received his second Tony nomination in 2017 for his performance as Whizzer in the 2016 Broadway revival of Falsettos. Other Broadway credits include Hairspray (2005), Jersey Boys (2009), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2010), Hamilton (2015), and The Boys in the Band (2018).

In the 2010s, he began working as a screen actor; most notably, he starred in the 2012 NBC sitcom The New Normal and played the recurring role of Elijah in HBO's Girls (2012–2017). In 2019, he began starring in Black Monday on Showtime. He has accumulated numerous voice acting credits since the beginning of his career including currently, Matthew MacDell on Netflix's Big Mouth and William Clockwell on Amazon Prime's Invincible.

Early life[edit]

Rannells was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Charlotte and Ronald Rannells.[2] He is the fourth of five siblings, with three sisters and an older brother.[2][3] Rannells attended Our Lady of Lourdes grade school in Omaha, and then Creighton Preparatory School,[2] an all-boys Roman Catholic school in Omaha.[3][4] His family lived in the Hanscom Park neighborhood in Omaha.[2]

As a child, he took classes at the Emmy Gifford Children's Theater and performed at the Omaha Community Playhouse and the Firehouse Dinner Theatre and the Dundee Dinner Theatre.[2][5] Rannells was 11 when he acted in his first play. He did community theater with fellow Omahan and Creighton Prep alumnus Conor Oberst.[6] He did voice-over work and commercials, including a 1996 Grease spoof with Amy Adams.[3]

Rannells moved to New York City in 1997 after high school, studying theater at Marymount Manhattan College for two years before he started auditioning full-time and began landing roles.[7]

Career[edit]

1994–2002: Early career and voice acting[edit]

Active in community theater, Rannells got his start as a professional actor as a teenager through voice acting. In the mid-1990s, he found work with the animation production company DIC Entertainment through an Omaha casting call. He was subsequently cast in a number of their television productions in main voice roles.[8] He continued to work in the medium for a number of years while pursuing theater. Rannells worked with the New York City-based production company 4Kids Entertainment from 2001 to 2004 and did voice acting for several English dubs of anime series such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!,[6] in addition to serving as voice director for the dubs of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! and Sonic X.[2]

One of his first theater roles was as the character James in the touring production of Pokémon Live! from September 2000 to August 2001. When asked about his experience in 2014, he jokingly said that he would have rather starred in a porn film or snuff film instead and that he only took the job for the pay.[9][10]

Before winning his first Broadway role, Rannells had parts in a number of regional theater productions, including Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Miss Saigon, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.[11] For his turn as Hedwig at the Zachary Scott Theater Center in Austin, Texas, in 2002,[12] he won best actor in a musical at the B. Iden Payne Awards in September 2002, which honor outstanding achievements in Austin theater.[13]

2002–2012: Broadway debut and The Book of Mormon[edit]

Rannells in 2009

In 2002, Rannells made his Broadway debut when he assumed the role of Link Larkin in the Broadway production of Hairspray.[14]

He followed this with some regional performances.[3][15][16] He played Bob Gaudio in the First National Tour of Jersey Boys. His last performance with the tour was on December 6, 2008, in Toronto. In January 2009, he reprised the role of Gaudio in the musical's Broadway production.[17]

Rannells had his breakthrough in 2011 when he originated the role of Elder Price in The Book of Mormon, a musical written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez. For his performance, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for his performance in the musical's Original Broadway Cast Recording. His last performance was June 10, 2012.[18]

2012–present: Work in television and theater[edit]

Rannells played a stripper in the 2012 film Bachelorette[19] and played a lead character, Bryan Collins, in the 2012–13 television series The New Normal.[20][21] One of his most well known roles, he played the recurring role of Elijah on the HBO television series Girls.[22]

He temporarily replaced Jonathan Groff in the role of King George III in Hamilton on Broadway from October 27 to November 29, 2015, while Groff fulfilled pre-arranged filming commitments.[23]

Rannells played the role of Whizzer Brown in the Broadway revival of Falsettos directed by James Lapine. He was joined by Christian Borle and Stephanie J. Block who played Marvin and Trina, respectively.[24] The musical ran from October 27, 2016 (with previews beginning September 29), to January 8, 2017.[25][26] He was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.[27]

He played Larry in the 2018 Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band. It was a limited run, in honor of the play's 50th anniversary. It won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. He revived his role (along with the rest of the revival cast) for the film adaptation for Netflix, which was released on September 30, 2020.

Rannells played Blair Pfaff, one of the leading roles on the television show Black Monday. The show premiered on January 20, 2019, on Showtime. In April 2019, the series was renewed for a second season that premiered on March 15, 2020. In October 2020, the series was renewed for a third season which premiered in 2021.[28] In January 2022, it was confirmed by cast member Paul Scheer that the show was cancelled by Showtime.[29]

During this period, he also returned to voice acting; notable credits include main roles in Netflix's Big Mouth (2017–present) and Amazon's Invincible (2021–present). He played Trent Oliver in Netflix's 2020 movie musical The Prom, an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name.[30]

Rannells published his first book, a memoir titled Too Much Is Not Enough, in 2019. It is a series of essays about his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska, and his years spent in New York leading up to his 2005 Broadway debut in Hairspray.[31]

He made his directorial debut with season 2 episode 7 of Modern Love, titled How Do You Remember Me?[32] He also wrote the episode, adapting an essay he wrote for the New York Times column (which also appeared in his memoir).[33]

Personal life[edit]

Rannells is openly gay.[34] Rannells has said he has known he is gay since high school.[3] He came out to his family when he was eighteen, but he stated that "by that point, no one was surprised".[35] He also came out to his theater friends, but not his all-boys Catholic school.[3]

Since 2019, he has been in a relationship with actor Tuc Watkins.[36] The two met the year before while playing a couple on the Broadway production of The Boys in the Band.[37] They reprised their roles for Netflix's film version of the show and also worked together on Black Monday in 2020.[37]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Sex and the City 2 Wedding Chorus
2012 Bachelorette Manny
2015 The Intern Cameron
2016 Why Him? Blaine Pederman
2018 A Simple Favor Darren
2020 The Boys in the Band Larry
The Prom Trent Oliver
The Stand In Nico

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995–97 Street Sharks Streex, Shrimp Louie (voices) Main cast; 40 episodes
1999–2000 Archie's Weird Mysteries Archie Andrews (voice) Main cast; 40 episodes
2001 Cubix Connor (voice) Main cast; 26 episodes
2001 Shaman King Len Tao (voice) English dub
2001–2005 Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Mako Tsunami, Noah Kaiba, Leon von Schroeder, Leon Wilson (voices) English dub
2001–2006 Pokémon Morty, Harley, various voices English dub
2001 Tama and Friends Tama Main cast; 28 episodes; English dub
2002 Liberty's Kids Alexander Hamilton (voice) 5 episodes
2002 Kinnikuman Additional voices English dub
2002 Knight Hunters Eternity Toudou Hijiri (voice) English dub
2002 Tokyo Mew Mew Dren, Wesley J., Coolridge III (voice) English dub
2003–06 Sonic X Additional voices English dub[38]
2003–09 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Additional voices Unknown episodes
2004–2005 Pokémon Chronicles Shinji, Forrest, Tomm English dub
2005 One Piece Young Zoro (voice) 4Kids English dub
2005 Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Wheeler the Chimpanzee, Belowski, Additional voices English dub
2006–2007 Chaotic Various voices 78 episodes
2012–17 Girls Elijah Krantz 35 episodes
2012–13 The New Normal Bryan Collins 22 episodes
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Quinn Abernathy Episode: "Clark Gregg Wears a Navy Blazer & White Collared Shirt"
2013–14 How I Met Your Mother Darren 2 episodes
2015 Glee Himself Episode: "Dreams Come True"
2015 The Knick Frazier H. Wingo 4 episodes
2016 Another Period Bertram Harrison Fusselforth VII 3 episodes
2016 Drunk History John A. Roebling Episode: "Landmarks"
2016 The Simpsons Himself (voice) Episode: "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back"
2016–18 Sofia the First Morris, Skye (voices) 5 episodes
2017–18 Welcome to the Wayne Andrei (voice) 9 episodes
2017–19 Vampirina King Peppy (voice) 2 episodes
2017 Will & Grace Reggie Episode: "Grandpa Jack"
2017–present Big Mouth Matthew MacDell (voice) 33 episodes
2018 Bob's Burgers Hayden (voice) Episode: "Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now"
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race Himself / Guest Judge Episode 8 (season 10)[39]
2018 The Romanoffs David Patton Episode: "Bright and High Circle"
2018 Live from Lincoln Center: Stars in Concert Himself Episode: "Andrew Rannells in Concert" (Season 1)[40]
2019–21 Black Monday Blair Pfaff 23 episodes
2020 Central Park Griffin (voice) 2 episodes
2021 Invincible William Clockwell (voice)
2021-22 Girls5eva Kev

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
2004 Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum Mako Tsunami English dub
2005 Shadow the Hedgehog[41] Additional characters English dub
2005 One Piece: Pirates Carnival Bellamy English dub; uncredited
2006 Bully Bif Taylor

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Venue Notes
2000–01 Pokémon Live! James US National Tour US tour
2004 It's Karate, Kid! Johnny Lawrence Teatro La Tea Off-off-Broadway[42]
2005 Hairspray Fender (u/s Link Larkin) Neil Simon Theatre Broadway replacement role[43][44]
2005–06 Link Larkin [45]
2006 The 60's Project Performer Chester, CT (Regional): World Premiere
2006 One Step Forward New Worlds Stages Festival of New Musicals[46]
2007–08 Jersey Boys Bob Gaudio US National Tour US Tour[47][48][49]
2009 August Wilson Theatre Broadway replacement[50][51]
2010 Smokey Joe's Cafe Paper Mill Playhouse [52]
2010 Lysistrata Jones Michelangelo "Mick" Jackson Dallas Theater Center Regional premiere; originated role[53][54]
2011 The Book of Mormon Elder Kevin Price Eugene O'Neill Theatre Originated role
2014 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig Belasco Theatre Replacement
2015 Hamilton King George III Richard Rodgers Theatre Temporary replacement (Oct 27, 2015 – Nov 29, 2015)
2016 Falsettos Whizzer Brown Walter Kerr Theatre Broadway
2018 The Boys in the Band Larry Booth Theatre Broadway[55]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2011 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical The Book of Mormon Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
2012 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won
2013 OFTA Award Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Girls Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Best Comedy Guest Actor Nominated
Dorian Awards Rising Star Nominated
2014 Gold Derby Award Best Comedy Guest Actor Girls Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series Nominated
2015 Broadway.com Audience Awards Favorite Replacement (Male) Hedwig and the Angry Inch Nominated
2016 Hamilton Nominated
2017 Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical Falsettos Won
Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
2021 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Black Monday Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Stars On Stage - Andrew Rannells | NewYorkTheaterGuide.com". www.newyorktheatreguide.com. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Fischbach, Bob (May 1, 2011). "He has drive — and now Broadway". Omaha World-Herald. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Taylor, Aisha (February 11, 2014). "girl on guy 126: andrew rannells" (audio podcast). girl on guy. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  4. ^ Miller, Bruce R. (2011). "'Nebraska native finds stardom in 'Book of Mormon'". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  5. ^ Francke, Warren (September 9, 2012). "Omaha's Andy Now in New Normal: Oompa-Loompa Before Mormon Missionary". The Reader (Omaha). Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b Rapkin, Mickey (June 9, 2011). "Q&A: The Book of Mormon's Andrew Rannells". GQ. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  7. ^ Yi, David (June 9, 2011). "'The Book of Mormon' star Andrew Rannells: college dropout turned actor gets suited up for the Tonys". NY Daily News. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  8. ^ Entertainment Weekly (October 12, 2020). Andrew Rannells Got His Start In Voice Over Work Because Of Warren Buffet (video). Archived from the original on 2021-12-14.
  9. ^ Levitt, Hayley (July 15, 2016). "Flashback Friday: When Andrew Rannells Helped Pokémon Meet Broadway". TheaterMania. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Lazarus, Catie (26 November 2014), "Andrew Rannells On Touring With Pokemon | Employee of the Month", YouTube, retrieved 2019-11-09.
  11. ^ Broadway.com Staff (December 30, 2008). "Andrew Rannells Tapped to Play Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys". Broadway Buzz. Broadway.com. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  12. ^ Brenner, Wayne Alan (8 February 2002). "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". The Austin Chronicle.
  13. ^ Faires, Robert (October 4, 2002). "Articulations". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  14. ^ Truitt, Brian (June 9, 2011). "Rannells relishes first Tony nomination". USA Today. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  15. ^ Pincus-Roth, Zachary (April 27, 2007). "Foster, Cody, Cuccioli, Hoty and Goener Join Cape Playhouse Season". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  16. ^ "New Musical Go Go Beach, Gets NYC Reading June 21–22". Playbill. June 21, 2001. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  17. ^ BWW News Desk. "Andrew Rannells Is New Bob Gaudio In 'JERSEY BOYS' Starting 1/13". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  18. ^ Hetrick, Adam (June 6, 2012). "'Two By Two': Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells Will Be Succeeded By Jared Gertner and Nic Rouleau in Book of Mormon". Playbill. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  19. ^ Gans, Andrew (August 10, 2012). "Book of Mormon's Andrew Rannells Takes It Off in "Bachelorette" Film; Comedy Available on VOD Aug. 10". Playbill. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 22, 2012). "'The Hangover Star Joins NBC's Ryan Murphy Comedy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  21. ^ Miller, Bruce (November 24, 2012). "Andrew Rannells sends up boss in 'New Normal'". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  22. ^ Lynch, Matthew (April 28, 2011). "Andrew Rannells: Keeping the Faith". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  23. ^ Webber, Imogen Lloyd (8 October 2015). "Tony Nominee Andrew Rannells Will Step In for Jonathan Groff in Hamilton on Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  24. ^ Paulson, Michael (March 31, 2016). "'Falsettos' Revival Casts Its Leads: Christian Borle, Andrew Rannells and Stephanie J. Block". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew (27 October 2016). "Falsettos Revival, Starring Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells, Opens". Playbill.
  26. ^ Hetrick, Adam (29 December 2016). "13 Shows Close as Broadway Gears Up for a Packed Spring". Playbill.
  27. ^ Tietjen, Alexa (June 11, 2017). "Andrew Rannells on Coming Full Circle at the 2017 Tony Awards". WWD. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  28. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (2020-10-15). "Black Monday Renewed for Season 3". TVLine. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  29. ^ "'Black Monday' & 'Work in Progress' Canceled at Showtime". 27 January 2022.
  30. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (25 June 2019). "The Prom Film to Star Meryl Streep, James Corden, Andrew Rannells & Nicole Kidman". Broadway.com. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  31. ^ Brenner, Joanna. "Andrew Rannells's New Memoir Is All About the Perks of Being a Late Bloomer". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  32. ^ Jones, Daniel (2021-08-13). "What Did He Think of Our Night Together?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  33. ^ Rannells, Andrew (2017-07-28). "During a Night of Casual Sex, Urgent Messages Go Unanswered". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  34. ^ Siegel, Miranda (May 29, 2012). "Andrew Rannells on His Girls Character, Slapping Marnie, and His New Ryan Murphy Show". Vulture-New York. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  35. ^ Martin, Denise (January 29, 2013). "Andrew Rannells: The Boy Scout With the Dirty Mouth". Vulture-New York. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  36. ^ "Andrew Rannells and Tuc Watkins Make Their Relationship 'Instagram Official'". Towleroad Gay News. 2019-09-22. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  37. ^ a b Broverman, Neal (2020-10-01). "Andrew Rannells and Tuc Watkins: The Couple That Plays Together". www.out.com. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  38. ^ "The Tallest Man I Ever Loved | With Andrew Rannells". www.wbur.org. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  39. ^ Rudolph, Christopher (8 March 2018). "Shania Twain, "Broad City" Stars And More Join The Judges' Panel On "Drag Race" Season 10". www.newnownext.com.
  40. ^ "Andrew Rannells in Concert". Live from Lincoln Center: Stars in Concert. Season 1. 2018. PBS. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  41. ^ "Andrew Rannells". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  42. ^ Jones, Kenneth (December 2, 2004). "Hai-Ya! It's Karate, Kid!, Hick-Kicking New Musical Spoof, Premieres in NYC Dec. 2-18". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  43. ^ Joy, Cara (November 11, 2005). "Andrew Rannells to Star as Hairspray's Next Link Larkin". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  44. ^ Jones, Kenneth (September 6, 2005). "John Pinette Slips Into Edna's Housecoat in Broadway's Hairspray Sept. 6". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  45. ^ BWW News Desk. "Andrew Rannells to Take Over as Link in Hairspray, Nov. 15". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  46. ^ Jones, Kenneth (October 8, 2006). "NAMT's Festival of New Musicals, a Vital Marketplace for New Shows, Plays NYC Oct. 8-9". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  47. ^ Aradi, Cathi (March 3, 2008). "JBB EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Andrew Rannells!". jerseyboysblog.com. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  48. ^ Hernandez, Ernio (November 8, 2007). "Jersey Boys Cast Announced for San Francisco Return". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  49. ^ Gans, Andrew (October 20, 2008). "Jersey Boys Extends Toronto Run Through February 2009; New Canadian Cast Expected". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  50. ^ Gans, Andrew (December 29, 2008). "Hairspray's Rannells Will Join Broadway's Jersey Boys in January". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  51. ^ Gans, Andrew (July 14, 2009). "Arcelus Returns to Jersey Boys Cast July 14". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  52. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 7, 2010). "Paper Mill's Smokey Joe's Cafe, with Finley, Rannells, Summers, Begins April 7". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  53. ^ Liner, Elaine (January 28, 2010). "The Dallas Theater Center's World Premiere, Give It Up! Asks The Audience To Give Up More Than Two And A Half Hours To Its Redbull-buzzed Idiocy". Dallas Observer. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  54. ^ Hetrick, Adam (January 22, 2010). "Give It Up!, Beane and Flinn's Musical Battle of the Sexes, Opens in Dallas Jan. 22". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  55. ^ Clement, Olivia (December 15, 2017). "The Leftovers Charlie Carver Joins Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, and More for Broadway's The Boys in the Band". Playbill. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  56. ^ "Vote Now! Hamilton Breaks Record for Most Broadway.com Audience Choice Award Nominations". Broadway.com. April 29, 2016.

External links[edit]