Andrew Rannells says he needed a little
bit of coaxing before accepting the role of Hedwig in the Broadway
production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Hedwig took home four Tony
Awards last month, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actor
in a Musical for Neil Patrick Harris.
Patrick Harris wins Tony; Flirts with Kevin Bacon, Sting as Hedwig.)
Hedwig, which had a long
off-Broadway run at New York City's Jane Street Theater and was later
turned into a movie in 2001 starring John Cameron Mitchell in the
title role, tells the story of a transgender rock musician's search
for “my other half.”
Rannells, 35, will replace Harris for a
limited eight-week engagement starting August 20.
Speaking to TheStar.com,
Rannells (Book of Mormon, Girls) explained that he originally
was uncertain about taking the role.
Director Michael Mayer “had this idea
that I should replace Neil when he left. I came in and saw it that
weekend. Neil was so amazing, I didn't think I could possibly do
“That's the beautiful and deceiving
part of the show,” Rannells said. “People think it's just a punk
rock musical about a trans performer. It's about something else.
It's about feeling lost and looking for love and wanting to feel
On coming out “very young,”
Rannells said his father was accepting.
“Like many people of his generation,
there was a very slight resistance to the initial idea of me being
gay, but he said the more he thought about it, the more he knew, even
from infancy, that I was always somehow different from my brother,”