Russell Tovey and Jonathan Groff's 'Looking' love affair almost didn't happen

The torrid love affair between Looking's Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and Kevin (Russell Tovey) has been one of the most explosive on-screen gay romances in recent years, but it very nearly didn't happen, as Tovey reveals in a new interview when he talks about his audition process for the HBO show. It seems Groff and Tovey were initially competing for the same part, and it was only after creator Andrew Haigh and the production team for the show - currently filming a feature-length finale after two critically acclaimed series - did some behind the scenes juggling that they could find a place for Tovey on Looking.  6aeb7cb4ae0690621ed7e4dda06a7e7e367040348d00aba6bc8a3c44d37d89f9_large “[Creator] Andrew Haigh came to see a play I did called Miracle about four years ago and he messaged me afterward to say, ‘Let’s do something some day,’ ” Tovey says in an interview with Backstage. “Then Looking came up and I said, ‘Great, he knows me,’ and did an iPhone tape, which was a big mistake. They said, ‘Really nice but terrible quality. Can you do it again?’ So I did it again.” Backstage reports that HBO flew Tovey out to Los Angeles for a screen test, “which was the most nerve-racking thing ever. I was being put in different groups with different Doms, different Augies. And then eventually it was just me and Jonathan [Groff] going in. He was just so kind and sweet to me when I turned up. He was, like, ‘I loved The History Boys’! And I flew back and I was convinced that he’d gotten it. So I got home and in the middle of the night, checking Twitter, I found out that Jonathan Groff got Looking. I was totally gutted. They said, ‘We love you and we’ll write you a part.’ You hear that a lot—and then you never hear anything.” looking-jonathan-groff-russell-tovey-33225   But Tovey was in luck. He was sent the role of Kevin, Patrick's partnered boss who embarks on a secret workplace affair with him. The role wasn't handed to him though: Tovey still had to put himself on tape. “I did 10 versions, all American accents, and then as I was leaving, I said, ‘Let’s do one British quickly because I’m going to leave and they’re going to want me to do one with a British accent.’ So I did it and they said, ‘We love the Brit! The Brit is what we want! You got it!’ ” Phew. Frankly, we can't bear to imagine an alternative universe in which pictures like this don't exist: Screen-Shot-2014-10-23-at-7.03.42-PM Look-even-Jonathan-Groff-swooning In the meantime, the cast and crew of Looking have been teasing pics and info from the series finale - and Groff himself reveals that it'll contain the 'most intense sex scene he's ever filmed.' But is it with Tovey? We'll have to watch and find out... More stories: Exploring London's chemsex chillout scene on stage Transgender woman Vicky Thompson found dead in Leeds men’s prison