Jonathan Groff on Looking, Online Dating, and Hitting on Your Boss

The actor who plays Patrick on HBO’s Looking needed a tutorial on online dating

How similar are you to your character, Patrick?
Patrick is examining how he fits into gay culture, and I continue to do the same. Like a lot of gay guys, I love the new Beyoncé album—but with clothes and design, I have a total blind spot.

What research did you do for the video game aspect of the show?
I knew nothing, except for Nintendo. My friend showed me a shooting game, and I also read this book called Extra Lives, which our creator, Michael Lannan, gave me. It talks about how gaming is an art form.

The character also spends a lot of time online dating, right?
They gave me a tutorial on OkCupid. As great as it is to get to know someone on the Internet, it freaks me out—not knowing what’s on the other side.

And then, in the show, you flirt with your boss.
You see them bond over their nerdy love of video games. What a great way for them to connect. There’s an intimacy that happens when you’re in a shared profession. Especially making games: It’s crazy hours, working so closely together.

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