Andrew Rannells was once just a boy from Omaha, Nebraska. Then he moved to New York and landed a role in the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Book Of Mormom — now he is starring in NBC’s new comedy, The New Normal, and in a recurring role on HBO’s Girls. BuzzFeed got the chance to catch up with Andrew over the phone, and he revealed that he is not a hoarder.
Initially people might want to compare The New Normal to Modern Family, how would you say they are different?
Initially they see a gay couple, so they think, “Oh it must be sorta the same thing, it’s about gay people,” but the comparisons pretty much stop at that. Yes, there are gay couples on both shows but I think both looks-wise and subject-wise, the shows are very different.
What are the differences between working with Lena Dunham on Girls and Ryan Murphy on The New Normal?
Actually, you’d think it would be pretty different, just given that this is Lena’s first show and at such a young age is sort of responsible for so much, but actually they run the shows pretty similarly. They are executive producers of their shows, and they direct and write a lot of the episodes so there is kind of a streamlined work process that happens because you’re just going to one person for an answer. Ryan and Lena both have such clear visions of what they want and how to achieve that.
Cast of The New Normal
One of your cast mates is Nene Leakes, from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, did you ever watch the show?
To be honest, I had not seen a lot a lot of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, although I did see specifics, like the “hits” of Nene Leakes and then also watched her on Celebrity Apprentice, when she takes Star Jones down, it was pretty amazing. Actually it was really sort of a pleasant surprise, she’s fabulous in all the ways you would want her to be fabulous. There’s no crazy difficult personality in play there, she’s pretty straightforward.
And what about Ellen Barkin, how is it working with her?
She’s amazing. We got to be friendly when we were both doing shows on Broadway and we would see each other at the same restaurants and at the same events and things. Then, like a year later, here we are working on this show together, which is crazy because I really wanted to work with her.
Who’s the funniest person on set?
I think the cast favorite is Bebe Wood, who plays our little gal on the show. She is such a joy to work with and so much fun, and I think everyone just gets a kick out of being around her and she does all sorts of impressions. She’s a real treat, I love that kid.
What’s your TV guilty pleasure?
I’m so excited for Hoarders to start again. I was always a really big fan of Intervention, but then Hoarders came along and I was like, what the hell is happening!? I’m also not afraid to say that I’m a Toddlers and Tiaras fan and then by proxy, Honey Boo Boo. I love a nice drama, like Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men and Downton Abbey and stuff like that, but if Hoarders is on, I will watch it.
Do you have any hoarding tendencies yourself?
You know, quite the opposite, I often get reprimanded for getting rid of too much stuff. I think I might have a fear of becoming a hoarder, so I’m constantly trying to tear down and streamline things. I don’t want to start collecting cats or newspapers or plastic spoons. They do some crazy shit on that show.
Andrew on Girls.
Now that you are on The New Normal, will we be seeing you on Girls in the upcoming season?
I was really lucky because the second season of Girls started filming last spring, so I was able to get in a few episodes before I had to move to Los Angeles and Lena was so so generous in still including me in it.
Cats or dogs?
I’m a dog person. I’ve very allergic to cats, I will always side with the dogs.
In the show you and Justin Bartha’s character are in search of a biological mom for your child. If you could choose anyone to be your biological mom, who would it be?
Like, my mother? Or the mother of my child?
The mother of your child. Okay and why not, your mother, too.
Okay, so who would I have a child with? Um…Can Meryl Streep carry my child? I would love for Meryl Streep to be my surrogate and also to maybe be my mom. I love my mother, she’s a great gal, but if Meryl is looking for another son, I’m totally available. I would go with Meryl across the board. Meryl for the sweep!
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