‘Girls’ Andrew Rannells on Elijah’s next moves

Season 2 of "Girls" premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Andrew Rannells plays Elijah on “Girls.”

You’re on “Girls” as well as NBC’s “The New Normal.”
Totally different shows. … “Girls” could not be more different and so exciting.

And “Girls” is your first show?
I mean, truth be told, I did one episode of “Sex and the City” as a headless stripper. It was when Charlotte started having sex with Harry and Mario Cantone takes Charlotte to a gay bar and the scene starts, like, on a naked torso and it’s mine. But I don’t really count that because “Girls” was the first time I actually got to speak on television. You actually saw my face.

Is it hard switching gears between the two shows?
Initially
it was a little tricky because I get to improvise a little bit over
“The New Normal,” and my instinct is always to curse, which [on "Girls"]
was completely acceptable, and not at NBC. I remember improvising
something — I was like “Well, that’s f—ed,” and then they looked at me
like, “Andrew, you can’t.”

Who is the tougher boss: Lena Dunham, or “New Normal” director Ryan Murphy?
I wouldn’t say either of them are tough. They’re actually really similar in a lot of ways. They both have really clear visions of what they really want, which is awesome to work with. Theatrically, with my experience, you can work with people who are kind of trying to figure it out and that gets a little tedious because then you feel like you’re just spit-balling forever. But Lena and Ryan both have such clear visions of what they do and such a strong sense of what their voice is that it makes it really easy to get on board with their vision.

This season you and Hannah become roommates. Are you a good duo?
Yeah, in this first episode we really are starting off as perfect roommates, and it looks very idyllic, and then it sort of takes off from there. But I think that initially Elijah and Hannah are very good roommates.

Will there be a crash and burn?
Maybe!

Have you ever had a bad roommate?
Well actually my best friend Zuzanna, who played Dorota on “Gossip Girl,” she and I lived together because we met in high school and then moved to the city sort of at the same time. It was pretty disastrous. It’s true, you should not live with your friends. You really shouldn’t. It did change things. It didn’t end the friendship because we’re still friends, but that was a rough relationship. I thought about that a little bit as we were filming this because there are similar arguments about bills and cleanliness and things like that.

What has surprised you about playing Elijah?
I’m in life 10 years older than Elijah’s supposed to be. I’m 34. So it was fun to sort of revisit that. Elijah got to be a lot more selfish and it’s fun to play someone like that, although I never really engaged in that. I was always very self-conscious when I was that age about, like, doing the right thing. I tried to be very perfect about a lot of things, so it was fun to sort of just be a mess. I had a great time.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…