Broadway's New Hedwig Star Reveals His Makeup Removal Tips

Sep 17 2014 - 11:00am

InStyle [1] interviewed Andrew Rannells and got the inside scoop on his character on Girls, stage makeup, and working on what Rannells calls a "terrifying show."

Clean-scrubbed Andrew Rannells, known to Girls fans as Hannah's delightfully abrasive gay ex-boyfriend, has now stepped into the bedazzled platforms of Neil Patrick Harris [2] to play the endearing transgender train wreck at the core of Broadway's Hedwig and the Angry Inch. A musical-theater vet, the Omaha, NE, native had polished his song-and-dance chops with stints in Jersey Boys and Hairspray, and earned a Tony nod for his sly turn in the comic juggernaut The Book of Mormon (watch him slay that show's standout song "I Believe" here [3]).

The complex character of Hedwig, an East German songwriter who gave up being a man in her quest for freedom, brings Rannells a whole new set of challenges — not the least of which was logistical. While rehearsing Hedwig, the star was shooting the fourth season of Girls and filming The Intern with Anne Hathaway [4] and Robert De Niro [5]. "It was a crazy summer," he says, "but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way."


InStyle: You've been described as a triple threat. If you could add yet another threat to your arsenal, what would it be?
Andrew Rannells: Teleportation. That sounds so nerdy. But life these days would be so much easier if I could just be like, "And now I'm there!"

InStyle: What was most scary about taking on Hedwig?
AR: Well, let me just say, I packed the house on the first night with friends — Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet came, and my best friend and boyfriend came. Which was a nice introduction to this terrifying show.

InStyle: How long does your makeup take to apply?
AR: About an hour. My makeup artists Nicole and Josh do so much weird sh*t to my face. They put Elmer's glue stick on my eyebrows and comb it through to flatten them down, and then they put makeup over it. I try to relax and pretend like it's some sort of spa treatment. For opening night, a lot of women I know gave me different eye makeup removers.

InStyle: What works best?
AR: It's a combination. Lancome Effacil [6] ($28) and Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads [7] ($9) have been working very well. And Albolene Cleansing Concentrate Moisturizing Skin Cleanser [8] ($7), a really old-timey petroleum-based makeup remover, is great, too. Wow — I never thought I would be speaking knowledgeably about something like this.

Read the complete interview when you click through [9].

More from InStyle:
Go Backstage With a Tony-Nominated Costume Designer [10]
See Lena Dunham's Transformation From Brunette to Blonde [11]
Allison Williams's Best Beauty Looks Ever [12]

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