Jonathan Groff, who one day earlier wrapped his first film, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, is the veteran of the bunch. After his Tony Award-nominated performance as the libidinous Melchior in Duncan Sheik’s Broadway masterpiece Spring Awakening, he went on to star in Hair and later, this month’s off-Broadway adaptation of Craig Lucas’ Prayer for My Enemy. In Woodstock, the baby-faced charmer channels Michael Lang, the charismatic creator of the world’s most notorious music festival. “On the very first day of shooting,” he says, from the basement of Manhattan’s Belmont Lounge, seated next to Sebastian Stan, who can be seen on NBC’s newest dystopic drama, Kings, “Ang held this big good luck ceremony where he blessed the cameras and the crew, and we all lit incense. There I was, sitting next to Eugene Levy with a stick of incense against my forehead. It was kind of surreal.”
Sprawled on a nearby banquette, Hunter Parrish, who plays the troubled son to Mary-Louise Parker’s drug-peddling soccer mom on Weeds, and who recently took over for Groff in Spring Awakening, shares a surreal experience of his own. “There are a couple of scenes in the show that are about, um, self-pleasure,” says the star of the upcoming film 17 Again, in which he plays Zac Efron’s bully. “After one show, this guy was like, Will you take a picture doing that with me?” Parrish didn’t, but smiled at the little pervert, proof that even though these actors are just starting out, they’ve already learned to play the game.
Photo: Victoria Will