Jonathan Groff reveals he was meant to star in 'Glee' alongside Lea Michele

Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff

Jonathan Groff recently opened up to Vanity Fair about how Glee creator Ryan Murphy actually wrote the lead roles in the hit show for him and Lea Michele.

The two had found success on Broadway with Spring Awakening, which they both departed in May 2008. That was the same year Groff appeared in an unaired pilot Murphy and frequent collaborator Brad Falchuk created for FX starring Joseph Fiennes, called Pretty/Handsome.

He says it was also around the time he left the musical that Murphy approached him about Glee. We know how the rest goes — Michele signed on and starred in the series for its six season run. Groff, however, opted out.

Related: Jonathan Groff Says He Felt Shame About Being Gay Until Looking

"I really felt like I didn’t want to sign on to be a singing teenager again for another seven years, which I had just done for two years in Spring Awakening," he said. "I was 23, and I really wanted to act."

It's an odd way of putting it, considering Glee involved both singing and acting, but the Frozen star felt like committing to Glee "felt like more of the same as opposed to something that would be an opportunity for artistic growth."

"And that next year, I did three off-Broadway plays," he added.

Still, by the second half of the first season, Groff had appeared in seven episodes of the show as Jesse St. James, and would return throughout three additional seasons for a total of 15 appearances in the show.

Now, he's back on Broadway alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez in Merrily We Roll Along, and seems satisfied with prioritizing his artistic growth over any other factors.

"Even the jobs that have blessedly made me money in my life, I never took for that primary purpose," he said. "Every job that I’ve taken has been an artistic curiosity primarily. So I’ve been really lucky in that regard."