He’ll be back, but not like be­fore: Groff plays FBI agent

Texarkana Gazette - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Jocelyn Noveck

NEW YORK—His TV fans know him as Pa­trick in HBO’s “Look­ing,” and as Jesse St. James in “Glee.” His movie fans know him as the voice of Kristoff in “Frozen.” And his theater fans? They know him as the pouty,

GROFF thor­oughly an­noyed King Ge­orge in “Hamil­ton.”

This week, fans will see Jonathan Groff in an en­tirely new sort of role—as an FBI agent, try­ing to get into the mind of se­rial killers, in the new Net­flix se­ries “Mind­hunter.”

The se­ries takes place in the ’70s—think Son of Sam and Charles Man­son—and is pro­duced, and di­rected in part, by David Fincher, who knows his way around a gritty crime story, hav­ing di­rected “Gone Girl” and “Zo­diac.” It’s based on the book “Mind­hunter: In­side the FBI’s Elite Se­rial Crime Unit” by John Dou­glas, who spent many years de­vel­op­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal profiling to probe the minds of the coun­try’s worst killers.

Based on the early episodes, it will pull no punches: Some­body’s head gets blown off in the first, and in the sec­ond, a se­rial killer de­scribes truly un­speak­able (even for ca­ble) crimes. “It’s not easy butcher­ing peo­ple,” the killer notes drily.

Groff’s char­ac­ter, Holden— based loosely on au­thor Dou­glas—is a fresh-faced new­comer to the FBI, and Fincher says the ac­tor’s nat­u­ral sense of cu­rios­ity was ideal.

“I met Jonathan when we were cast­ing for ‘The So­cial Net­work,’” Fincher said in an email mes­sage. “Part of what makes a great per­for­mance is there has to be an in­her­ent thing in the ac­tor that you know is al­ways un­der­neath the sur­face. In the case of Jonathan, (it’s) cu­rios­ity and de­cency. With Holden Ford, it’s a hunger to be bet­ter, a hunger to un­der­stand, and Jonathan nat­u­rally has that. He’s a great stu­dent.”

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