As anticipation builds to a gleektastic pitch for the April 13th mid-season return of Fox’s first-year ‘Glee,’ we gathered the show’s stars to chat about their favorite musical performances thus far. The second installment in the series of interviews features Kevin McHale, who plays wheel-chair bound paraplegic Artie, and Amber Riley, the fashion-obsessed diva resentful of singing back-up, Mercedes.
Kevin McHale: Artie Abrams
Favorite Performance: “Proud Mary”
Why Proud Mary: I might be a little biased, [but] I think some others would say that too. Either that, or “Jump” with the mattresses. Give us a prop and we love it, we go all out.
Behind The Scenes: We have no idea what we’re doing at first. They built the ramps for us to practice for the wheelchair number, and somehow our amazing choreographer Zach Woodley mapped out the traffic. We had no idea about all the chairs, where we’d be going and everything. A lot of us were weak in our upper body (myself included), because normally I’m on flat surfaces. We somehow made it work.
Learning The Performances: We learned the number in two days and then shot it on the third day. Shooting probably took ½ to ¾ of a day. Originally “Don’t Stop Believing” – which is a simple number – took like a day and a half. Now we’ve got it down, can do it pretty fast.
Making The Magic: We go into the studio to record the singing separately. That’s kinda the cool part – we all go in and do it separately and then they put it together and see how it sounds. It’s definitely a whole thing- you have to think of what’s happening in the scene and how your character reflects that. It’s a whole big challenge, but luckily everyone’s on the same page and everyone knows exactly what’s going on.
Amber Riley: Mercedes Jones
Favorite Performance: “Somebody to Love”
Episode: The Rhodes Not Taken
Why Somebody to Love: It was [just] a lot of fun.
Behind The Scenes: It is a whole lot of work, I can’t even begin to explain, but it’s equally a lot of fun.
Making The Magic: It probably ranges from 25 to … I think most we’ve ever done one number is 70 times. That was for “Don’t Stop Believing!”
Dream Song: I don’t really have one. I try not to think too hard about what’s going on, we trust our writers and producers because what they come up with is always a million times better than what we come up with.
Listen to the cast performing “Somebody to Love” below:
Glee returns April 13th at 9:28 p.m. (following ‘Idol’) on Fox