As anticipation builds to a Gleektastic pitch for the April 13th mid-season return of Fox’s first-year hit ‘Glee,’ we gathered the show’s stars to chat about their favorite musical performances thus far. The first installment in the series of interviews features Jenna Ushkowitz, who plays speech impediment faker Tina, and Chris Colfer, the glee club’s resident gay male soprano, Kurt.
Chris Colfer: Kurt Hummel
Favorite Performance: “Proud Mary”
Why Proud Mary: While we were doing it, I absolutely hated Proud Mary and the wheelchairs – it was torture. I don’t wish that on anyone. Going up ramps, and the rhythmic pattern, it’s a disaster. But now looking back at it, it’s probably my favorite.
Behind The Scenes: There was no time to get used to the wheelchairs or anything. It was full force ahead – we learned it in a day, filmed it the next day and it was done. It was very humbling and a very eye-opening experience. We’re in awe at how Kevin [McHale, who plays wheelchair-bound Artie] does this every day. But at the end, we all had huge biceps and our backs were dislocated and all that.
Learning The Performances: We’ve gotten so much better at the numbers. It used to take us three weeks to learn one number, that’s how it was when we first started. And now it’s the day before.
The [Show Creator] Ryan Murphy Factor: Every costume, every script, every scene, Ryan is so hands-on with. He’s the heart and the soul of the show.
Jenna Ushkowitz: Tina Cohen-Chang
Favorite Performance: “Single Lades” (“Somebody to Love,” and “My Life Would Suck Without You” are both runners-up)
Behind The Scenes: The rehearsal process is pretty grueling. You’re literally rehearsing all the time. I watched the Single Ladies video on YouTube — the mirror version where you put the choreography in a mirror and you watch it that way, and you learn it on the right foot. We just literally rehearsed in heels for weeks – Chris and I. We also rehearsed in our apartment complex together in the gym. Then we’d be like “OK people are coming, stop.”
How Long it Took To Shoot: The actual day it didn’t take too many times, it’s just a lot of different ways so you want to do it from beginning to end so that way you get the same effect. We must have done it about 10 or 15 times. Single Ladies took a morning for us to shoot. Somebody to Love took longer and Don’t Stop Believing took like 75 times because it was the first one. It’s just a matter of – you have a group of 12 – so it’s working as a unit and getting everyone on the same foot at the same time at the same level and the same focal point etc.
The Ryan Murphy Factor: Ryan Murphy is very hands-on with the choreography. It’s called “lockdown.” We can’t leave until Ryan approves everything. The numbers are very grueling – it’s a lot of time and a lot of energy but it definitely pays off. We love it.
Glee returns April 13th at 9:28 p.m. (following ‘Idol’) on Fox