21 questions

Andrew Rannells Tries to Make People Happy by Singing and Making Faces

Name: Andrew Rannells
Age: 32
Neighborhood: Hells Kitchen
Occupation: Actor, currently appearing in The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Tie: Fran Lebowitz and Jack Kerouac (the college years).

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Breakfast at the Bright Food Shop … which closed and is now a Qdoba. Thanks, everyone.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I try to make people happy by singing and making faces.

What was your first job in New York?
I worked the front desk at a gym in Brooklyn Heights.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Lombardi. Judith Light and Dan Lauria were incredible.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
Generally, no. But it depends on their pitch.

What’s your drink?
Tie: Makers on the rocks or a vodka gimlet straight up.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
I at least make breakfast every day.

What’s your favorite medication?
Mucinex D.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
Pictures of my father and his parents and a large New Yorker poster. (I apologize to my mother and her parents and New York Magazine.)

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Anything over $20.

When’s bedtime?
1 a.m., if I don’t go out after my show.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
I moved here in 1997 so I never really experienced “old” Times Square. But I would like to, so, old Times Square.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
It saddens me that he has turned himself into this character that people are actually buying. He’s no longer a person, he’s a weird brand.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
The disappearance of small, family-owned businesses.

Who is your mortal enemy?
The people passing out flyers on the street who ask, “Do you like comedy?”

When’s the last time you drove a car?
Six months ago in Nebraska while visiting my family.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
My 401K looked pretty fucked for a while, but it’s hanging in there. There really isn’t ever a “good” time to be an actor, so mostly it hasn’t.

Times, Post, or Daily News?

Where do you go to be alone?
It used to be the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, but now I’ll go for a run on the path along the West Side Highway.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Spatial compromise, both physical and emotional.

Andrew Rannells Tries to Make People Happy by Singing and Making Faces