‘Glee’ Opportunity Was Initially Turned Down By Jonathan Groff To Stay In Theater

Jonathan Groff spent two years in the Tony-nominated role of Melchior Gabor in Spring Awakening.

Then another role was offered. It was in TV’s Glee, joining his Spring Awakening co-star, Lea Michele.

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Groff thought about it, then turned it down.

“I really felt like I didn’t want to sign on to be a singing teenager again for another seven years, which I had just done for two years in Spring Awakening,” he tells Vanity Fair in an interview.

This was even after EP Ryan Murphy told him that he had written Glee with Groff and Michele in mind.

“I was 23, and I really wanted to act,” Gross explains. “I love singing, but doing that felt like more of the same, as opposed to something that would be an opportunity for artistic growth. And that next year, I did three off-Broadway plays.”

Groff would eventually make his way to Glee in a recurring role as Jesse St. James. And he’s realized the best of both worlds, as he’s now a star in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.

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