Out actor Russell Tovey says that he was “gutted” when he did not land the lead role in HBO's Looking.

The 34-year-old English actor told Backstage that he originally auditioned for the role of Patrick on Looking, which went to Jonathan Groff.

“[Looking creator] Andrew Haigh came to see a play I did called Miracle about four years ago and he messaged me afterward to say, 'Let's do something some day,'” Tovey said.

Auditioning for Patrick was “the most nerve-racking thing ever,” he said.

“And I flew back and I was convinced that he'd gotten it. So I got home and in the middle of the night, checking Twitter, I found out that Jonathan Groff got Looking. I was totally gutted. They said, 'We love you and we'll write you a part.' You hear that a lot – and then you never hear anything,” Tovey said.

In the end, Tovey played the role of Kevin, Patrick's partnered boss with whom Patrick has an affair.

Tovey can currently be seen in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge. He'll also reprise the role of Kevin in the upcoming HBO finale for Looking, which is currently filming in San Francisco.

(Related: Jonathan Groff promises “a lot of sex” in Looking finale.)