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.

(Related: Neil 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, 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 it.”

“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 complete inside.”

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,” he said.