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Jonathan Groff's Mentor Responds to Tony Acceptance Speech Shoutout

"There was something special about him as an eighth grader," Sue Fisher shared. 

By: Jun. 20, 2024
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Jonathan Groff's Tony Award acceptance speech for Merrily We Roll Along has been making waves across the internet for its touching nature. In the speech, Groff shouted out some of his teachers and mentors, specifcially mentioning his middle school drama teacher and director, Sue Fisher, who "told [Groff] that [he] could do this for a living."

Watch Groff's full speech here.

In a new interview with WGAL, Fisher has spoken out about Groff's touching shoutout and his Tony win.

"There was something special about him as an eighth grader," Fisher shared. 

Fisher recalled when she first told Groff that he was going to go far. "I said, 'Jonathan, you have a talent like I have not seen in an eighth grader.' I said, 'You are an actor and you could make this your life.'"

Watch the full clip here.

Last weekend, Jonathan Groff won the 2024 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Merrily We Roll Along.

About Jonathan Groff

Jonathan Groff is a Emmy and two-time Tony Award nominee. Groff recently co-starred opposite Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix Resurrections. The film, written and directed by Lana Wachowski, released in theaters and on HBO Max on Wednesday December 22nd. On Monday November 15, 2021, Groff reunited with the entire original Broadway cast and band of Spring Awakening for a one-night-only, sold-out, 15th anniversary reunion concert, which benefitted The Actors Fund. The reunion concert was the subject of the HBO documentary, "Spring Awakening: Those You've Known," produced by Groff, his castmate Lauren Pritchard and Radical Media. The documentary is available to stream on HBO Max. Groff recently completed production on M. Night Shyamalan’s highly anticipated feature Knock at the Cabin. On August 24th, Groff voiced the titular role of Ollie in "Lost Ollie," an animated limited series produced by 21 Laps Entertainment for Netflix. In 2019, Groff starred as the lovable doomed florist Seymour Krelborn in the celebrated Off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Groff's Spring Awakening director Michael Mayer. Groff starred opposite Tammy Blanchard and Christian Borle in Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's beloved musical. He received rave reviews for his performance, and was an Outer Critics Circle Award honoree, as well as a Lucille Lortel and Drama League "Distinguished Performance Award" nominee. The production was also honored with Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Drama League Awards for "Outstanding Revival of a Musical,” and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

On screen, Groff is the voice of Kristoff and Sven in the Disney animated hit films Frozen and Frozen II. Frozen won an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for “Best Animated Feature Film.” Additional film credits include American Sniper, C.O.G., The Conspirator and Taking Woodstock. Groff is also known for his starring role as Holden Ford in David Fincher’s critically acclaimed Netflix television series “Mindhunter,” which was executive produced by Oscar-winner Charlize Theron. Groff played an FBI agent who interviewed incarcerated serial killers in an attempt to solve ongoing crimes. Groff also starred in the HBO series “Looking,” and reprised his role as Patrick in “Looking: The Movie,” which concluded the acclaimed two-season series. He also appeared as the recurring character, Jesse St. James, on the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning show "Glee," created and produced by Ryan Murphy. In the summer of 2015, Groff originated the role as King George III in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Hamilton on Broadway. The musical, which began Off-Broadway and tells the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, won 11 Tony Awards in 2016, including “Best Musical." Groff also received a Tony Award nomination for his performance, and the cast won a Grammy Award and Billboard Music Award for the original cast recording. The Emmy Award-winning film adaptation of the Broadway musical is currently streaming on Disney+. Groff also received an individual Emmy Award nomination for his performance in this film. In 2006, Groff gave an award-winning breakout performance in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening (Theatre World Award winner; Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award nominee). Additional theatre credits include The Bobby DarinStory, “Encores! Off-Center: A New Brain,” The Bacchae, Hair, The Submission, The Singing Forest, Prayer for my Enemy (for which he won an Obie Award), Deathtrap and Red.