Andrew Rannells Says He’s a ‘Purebred’ Gay Man

Andrew Rannells. Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

There's a scene in the Girls premiere where Elijah (Andrew Rannells) questions just how gay he is; in fact, he thinks he could be bisexual and even goes so far as to test his theory with a woman (you'll find out who on January 13!). Can Rannells, who is openly gay, relate to his character's identity crisis? We asked him at last night's Cinema Society screening; he answered in the best way imaginable:

Have you ever been in the situation Elijah found himself in?
Not in that situation. No.

Maybe not that exact situation, but ...
Oh, sure, when you try it out? Like, I could be this guy? Absolutely. And not just sexually, but in general. Like, this is so stupid, but at a certain point in my early twenties, I was a guy who drank martinis. I hated martinis. But I was going to be that guy. I was going to try that out. It's silly, but it's how you figure out who you are.

Is having sex with a woman when you identify as a gay male equivalent to drinking martinis when you don't identify as a martini-drinking guy?
I mean, yeah. I personally have never had sex with a woman. I'm more of what you call gold-star gay. I'm purebred. So I knew it wasn't my thing, so I was like, Why do that? So I didn't.

Is "purebred" a commonly used phrase for that?
In my circle of friends, it's used. Like, "Andrew, he's a purebred." Yeah.

So what's the equivalent for a gay guy who isn't a purebred?
I feel like I'm in the minority for a lot of gay men. Most of my friends have tried [having sex with a woman] at some point.

Like before they figure it out?
Sure, sure, sure. Although, I have a lot of friends who, actually, after they've realized they're gay, they feel empowered in a way that they do some things that they didn't think they would do, like explore some things because they're a little more comfortable with who they are. That's why in my head it wasn't such a far leap as to why Elijah would [do what he does], because he's feeling ... confident. He's feeling secure.