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

Andrew Rannells attends the premiere of
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.

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