Appearances > Events from 2015 > May 11 – 2015 Fox Network Upfront
Type: Television Show
Starring: Lea Michele as Rachel Berry
Type: Animation Movie
Starring: Lea Michele as Dorothy (voice)
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One of the constants throughout Glee’s six years has been star Lea Michele, who plays the ambitious Rachel Berry. Michele, who’s currently in New Orleans shooting Fox’s Scream Queens—from Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan—looked back with EW on the impact of Glee and what it’s meant to her life and career.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Do you remember your audition?
What are your memories of shooting that pilot?
Did getting slushied get any easier?
Are you off slushies for the rest of your life?
When did you know that first season that the show was a phenomenon?
The other big major time was when we went to Australia in September 2009. The show had only had one episode air, and we were doing a mall tour. We went to Australia, and I think something like 3,000 kids showed up for us—on the other side of the world, for a show that hadn’t even aired yet. There were just moments at the beginning. And then obviously, later on, we were singing the national anthem at the World Series, and then Oprah, and then Obama. After a while, it became very clear that this was something super special. At the beginning, there were like these little moments that we were sort of like, “That’s strange. What’s that mean?”
What’s the Gleek encounter that’s burned into your memory the most?
Do you have one favorite number?
Is there one song you never got to do that you sort of regret not being able to do?
Which was the most difficult number to do?
And you had crazy makeup, too…
What was it like on set that last day?
But at the end of the day, the last people in that room were me, Jenna, Kevin, Chris, Darren [Criss], Amber, Chord [Overstreet], Becca [Tobin], and Matt Morrison in the choir room. And those were the people—we were the kids who were always there, the originals. To have those people in that room, and then they yelled “Cut” and me and Jenna and Amber and Kevin fell into this ball together, crying. Luckily I had my best friend Jonathan [Groff] there to sort of take care of me. It was really sad.
At the end of the night, we all went to the auditorium, that group with [co-creator] Brad Falchuk—we just sat in a circle and we went around and each said something special about what the show meant. We said goodbye, and that was it. We really honored the last day and made sure everyone was very present and aware of what was going on. We really honored the entire experience in that last day. But it’ll take a long time to still figure out how it feels.
Can you qualify for what this show meant to you personally?
What do you think Glee’s legacy is?
Jane Lynch: “For me, they are both the same—it’s when we shot the “Vogue” video. There was some dancing in that and it was really hard. I literally did not get one of these particular steps until the last minute. We got it once and that’s all we needed. But I loved it.”
Chord Overstreet: “The school shooting one was rough. It was such a tough topic. Nothing was scripted, so we had to improv a lot. The more fun one was always the dude-heavy episodes. I loved the Duets episode. Rocky Horror was great too.” [Ed. Note: Duets was Chord’s first episode of Glee, which aired in season two. Here’s his first performance, alongside Dianna Agron].
Mark Salling: “Hardest physically was the Michael Jackson episode. I think that took a month and a half to shoot. Hardest emotionally was the Cory [Monteith] tribute episode. And the most fun was the Ricky Martin episode. He was just as charming as you would think he might be. It was a lot of fun.”
Amber Riley: “The hardest episode to shoot was that damn wheelchair episode! It kicked my butt! I think I had carpal tunnel from that episode! And the episode I most looked forward to doing was the Madonna episode. It was so big and such a feat and it was dope to see Jane Lynch do that and all those iconic looks.”
Darren Criss: “People would make fun of me for my enthusiasm, but I really just liked working on this show. I really enjoyed doing what we got to do. We weren’t in a court room or in an ER, we were in a classroom with young people singing songs. But days that were hard…there were times when I was really sick, and that was so hard. I think I did “Don’t Stop Me Now” with a 103 degree fever. It was murder. But as time passes, the great memories become louder even. You only remember the good memories.”
Lea Michele: “The hardest episode to shoot would probably be the last one because it was the last one and that was so sad. But it’s also really happy. Everyone really gets their happy ending, which is really wonderful. And the episode I was most excited about was Laryngitis, when Rachel was sick and I got to wear pajamas the entire time. Getting to wear sweats at six in the morning is the greatest thing ever!”