Monday, 12 January 2015

Jonathan Groff Career Retrospective


To celebrate the release of LOOKING: SEASON ONE, coming to Blu-ray and DVD on 12th January 2015, courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment, we take a look at the career of series lead Jonathan Groff, who has carved out an impressive resume across film, TV and Broadway over the years.

Looking (2014-2015)
This pitch-perfect HBO series about three friends in San Francisco stars Groff, Frankie J Alvarez and Murray Bartlett as the central characters attempting to navigate the various pitfalls of dating, careers, and everything in between. Groff takes the lead as Patrick Murray, a slightly naive, but ultimately loveable video game designer who begins the series in turmoil after receiving an invite to his ex-boyfriend’s engagement party.

The Normal Heart (2014)
This Emmy-winning TV movie charts the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, from the viewpoint of writer/activist Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo), the gay founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. Starring Groff, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch and Matt Bomer, the drama won plaudits for its unflinching look at an uncomfortable time in US politics, when gay rights activists and medical professionals came together in a desperate attempt to expose the extent of the epidemic and confront a city in denial.

Sophie (2014)
This short was funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign, and stars Alex Lombard (who also wrote and directed the feature) and Groff as two strangers who meet in a park and begin a relationship after discovering their shared love of comic books- but the conventional romance takes a dark turn as the story progresses. The psychological thriller offers a fresh take on the boy-meets-girl premise, and was widely praised for its strong lead performances.

C.O.G (2013)
This drama based on the autobiographical short story by David Sedaris follows the exploits of Samuel (Groff), who graduates from Yale and chooses to immerse himself in a totally different environment immediately afterwards. Taking on a fake name and beginning work at an apple farm, he finds himself struggling to fit in and integrate himself with the intensely religious locals and migrant workers... with hugely awkward (and often hilarious) results.

Frozen (2013)
Disney’s record-breaking box office hit features the voices of Groff, Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, and won numerous awards including the Oscar for Best Original Song. When Princess Elsa (Menzel) inadvertently curses her home with a never-ending winter, she runs away to a self-imposed exile. Her sister Anna (Bell) teams up with Kristoff (Groff), his loyal reindeer Sven, and lovable snowman Olaf to reverse the curse on the kingdom and bring back her sister.

Glee (2010-2012)
Groff’s fanbase grew hugely following his appearance on the first season of Ryan Murphy’s hit show Glee, which showcased both his incredible voice and acting talent. Groff played Rachel Berry’s (Lea Michele) love interest Jesse St James, the lead singer of rival group Vocal Adrenaline. Groff’s performance was widely praised in the press and by his peers, and he returned for the third season.

The Conspirator (2010)
This historical drama was directed by Robert Redford and tells the story of Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), the only female conspirator in the group charged in the Abraham Lincoln assassination case. Surratt was the first woman to be executed by the United States federal government, and her case has raised controversy ever since. Groff takes the role of Louis Weichmann, a key prosecution witness, and stars alongside James McAvoy, Justin Long and Evan Rachel Wood.

Taking Woodstock (2009)
The true story of how the seminal music festival came into being is given the Hollywood treatment in this charming Ang Lee- directed comedy drama, based on the memoir by Elliot Tiber. Groff takes the role of Michael Lang, the organizer of Woodstock festival, and comfortably holds his own against acting heavyweights including Imelda Staunton, Liev Schriber and Emile Hirsch.

LOOKING: SEASON ONE, is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 12th January 2015, courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment. The whole season is also available to own and watch instantly on Amazon Instant Video, blinkbox, Google Play and iTunes.