Andrew Rannells (‘Girls’) chats about giving Elijah ‘a voice and weird sense of style’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

“In Season 1, I was meant to come in and do one scene in one episode,” reveals Andrew Rannells after having stayed for the full six seasons of “Girls” on HBO. In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “Then they kept on asking me to come back. Elijah was fun to help develop by giving him a voice and weird sense of style. I come from a theatrical background where your story doesn’t change from night to night. The challenge of constantly having to  update your character and figure out how he is going to react to any given moment is exciting and challenging.” The show was co-created by star Lena Dunham with co-stars Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, and Allison Williams.

This season Rannells got to call back to his theater life when Elijah auditioned for a Broadway adaptation of “White Men Can’t Jump.” He says, “They presented this idea for me and asked for some stories of my early auditions. I told them about auditioning for a musical about a college basketball team and it was basically that episode. I made it through the singing and reading. I was kind of OK with the dancing, and then they bring out basketballs. It was interesting to be a part of the creation of that story. It was a strange coming together of different parts of my life in a really satisfying way. I was really happy I got to do that.”

On whether he is like Elijah, Rannells says they both “have really strong opinions about – what’s the best way to say this – what other people should be doing. But I think I’m better at not saying them out loud. I am least like him in that I’ve always had a goal, vision and ambition. He doesn’t have that for quite some time.”

Looking back on the series, Rannells admits that “my fondest memories were the days I got to spend with Lena when Elijah and Hannah had crazy scenes to do. In our second season Hannah decided to do cocaine for the first time. So her and Elijah had a big cocaine bender. It was a week of Lena and I running round Manhattan and Brooklyn pretending to be high in crazy costumes. It was so fun. I had just left “The Book of Mormon,” and I was shooting this TV show in New York City with these amazing people. I couldn’t believe how lucky I felt.”

Will Rannells score his first Emmy nomination this year? Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. And visit our home page for the latest in entertainment news.

Related: The top 15 ‘Girls’ episodes of all time

Related: Andrew Rannells discusses his dream Tony nomination for ‘Falsettos’

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