A decade after he landed in New York City at the age of 18, Groff has notched starring runs in Spring Awakening and Hair, recurring roles on Glee and Boss, and the lead in this year's C.O.G. And next year he'll appear in Ryan Murphy's adaptation of The Normal Heart for HBO.
"It's such a visceral piece of material," he says of Larry Kramer's landmark play. "I hope the movie does it justice."
For Groff's new HBO series, Looking -- a blend of the blunt emotional honesty of Girls and the moody intimacy of the gay film Weekend -- the cast immersed themselves in San Francisco's gay scene.
"Nothing could prepare us for Folsom Street Fair," he says. "So much nudity and so much leather. The fact that we were shooting something was the most unremarkable thing there."
Photographed at Milk Studios in Los Angeles on October 8, 2013