A year ago, Brooklyn girl Greta Gerwig graced the cover of our first “New Hollywood” issue. This time, we photographed actor Jonathan Groff, who lives in Chelsea when not shooting his HBO series Looking in San Francisco. An undeniably talented actor, what makes Groff truly new is the fact that he has been openly gay since his career onscreen took off. Sure, it’s great when a movie star comes out of the closet (even if sometimes the public’s reaction is “well…about time”), but to live honestly and claim your sexuality is, unfortunately, still a big, brave move. And Groff is thriving in both edgy, indie projects (C.O.G.) and mainstream television and movies—from his role on Glee to providing the voice of Kristoff in Disney’s animated blockbuster Frozen.
But it’s the actor’s role on Looking that has made me a fan. The HBO show, which got renewed for a second season despite its rocky start, depicts gay life in the most honest way I have ever seen on television or film. Groff and his costars aren’t over-the-top drag queens, over-sexed muscle heads or sassy sidekicks. They are ordinary gay men “looking” for love and struggling with life—just like straight people. In its simplicity, Looking is groundbreaking.
This month, we also profile 15 first-timers—including Charlie McDowell, Desiree Akhavan and Lou Howe—whose talent is making them Hollywood’s next hot thing. These fascinating directors, screenwriters, actors, composers, casting directors, production and costume designers will define what we watch on the big and small screen for years to come.
Peter Davis Editor-in-Chief