Andrew Rannells on replacing NPH in Hedwig: “It’s scary and exciting and every kind of wonderful imaginable”
Andrew Rannells is heading back to Broadway and will have mighty big shoes to fill – shoes belonging to Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris.
“It’s scary and exciting and every kind of wonderful imaginable,” Andrew tells TheStar.com.
When he was approached about replacing Harris when he leaves the show in August, Rannells immediately came to New York to see the show.
“Neil was so amazing I didn’t think I could possibly do it,” he admits.
It took a talk with creator John Cameron Mitchell to change his mind.
Mitchell pointed out that while they seems very different, he and Harris actually both have an inner sweetness needed to sell the character.
“That’s the beautiful and deceiving part of the show. People think it’s just a punk rock musical about a trans performer. It’s something else. It’s about feeling lost and looking for love and wanting to feel complete inside.”
Rannells has focused a lot on television in recent years with a role on HBO’s Girls and a season of the NBC comedy The New Normal.
But his roots are on the stage. He originated the role of Elder Prince in The Book of Mormon on Broadway and also starred in Broadway’s Hairspray (2002) and Jersey Boys (2005).
‘On a certain level, I guess I’m waiting for the shoe to drop,’ he says. ‘I’ve been extra careful crossing streets lately, waiting to see if I get hit by a car. You know, it’s Catholic guilt. Things are going so well that something bad has got to happen.”