He beat 'lonely' years in Omaha

Andrew Rannells The actor said that he felt "very lost and very lonely" growing up in Omaha, but joining a theater community gave him the drive to get through the years here until he left.

Actor and Omaha native Andrew Rannells tells his story in a new episode of "It Got Better."

The video is part of a digital documentary series by Lexus' L/Studio in which LGBT celebrities talk about the experience of growing up different.

In Rannells' episode, the actor talks about feeling "very lost and very lonely" during his adolescent years in Omaha, despite his supportive family.

He recalls the moment he figured out what he wanted to do with his life. It was while watching the Tony Awards in the early '90s with his mother. He saw the huge musical numbers and thought, "That is the coolest thing I've ever seen, and that is exactly what I want to do with my life."

Rannells started acting in a local children's theater. Being a part of the theater community, he said, "gave me the drive to get through the next six years in Omaha."

After moving to New York, Rannells went on to star in several movies, TV shows and stage productions, including "Book of Mormon," "Girls" and "The New Normal." This fall, he will star in the Nancy Meyers comedy "The Intern," along with Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro and (another Omaha native) Adam DeVine.

To see Rannells' "It Got Better" video, go to Omaha.com/go.

Contact the writer: 402-444-3182, micah.mertes@owh.com, twitter.com/micahmertes

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