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