I'm a celebrity get me out of hereThe X-Factor 2010Dancing On Ice 2011Big Brother 2011SCD 2012 ForumDancing with the Stars 2011


Big Brother 2013 Forum

The Blue Room Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Celebritain.com Entertainment Forum > Glee
  Active Topics Active Topics
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

We went from geek to chic

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
  Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Bren View Drop Down
Vintage Vamp
Vintage Vamp
Avatar
Private Dancer

Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 61070
  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: We went from geek to chic
    Posted: 18 June 2010 at 12:59

We went from geek to chic: The cast of Glee reveal THEY beat real-life school bullies to become the stars of TV's hottest show


By Nicole Lampert
Last updated at 8:11 AM on 18th June 2010

The heavens have opened, but even getting soaked doesn't put a Glee fan off their quarry.

The streets outside the luxurious Soho Hotel in London are lined by 'Gleeks' hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars of the most talked about television show of the year.

Get past the bodyguards and this is clearly A-List territory.

Glee

Glee clubbers, from left: Rachel, Mercedes, Kurt, Tina and Artie

There is a fleet of assistants to make sure this visit by the cast - a first to London since Glee became such a success - goes smoothly.

And as I am finally summoned to meet the young stars themselves there is an entourage of at least six people still in the room.

But, for all the madness around them, the gang of four seem refreshingly unstarry.

Eight months ago they were nobodies.

They are as shocked about the world going Glee-mad as anyone: President Obama is a fan, as is Wayne Rooney. Madonna and Lady Gaga both love it.

gaga
Rooney

Celebrity fans: People as different as Lady Gaga and Wayne Rooney have declared their love for the show

And for a group of people who just a few years ago were - like the kids they portray - the outcasts in their schools, it is all a bit of a shock.

They all have a story to tell of being bullied at school and frowned upon for wanting to sing and dance.

Just like his character, the camp male soprano Kurt, Chris Colfer's high-pitched voice made him an easy target for bullies in Clovis, a small Californian town.

Glee
Glee

Strong women: Cheerleader dictator Sue Sylvester and her lead dancer Quinn, who becomes pregnant

'I didn't have too many friends and I was made fun of and teased every day,' he says.

'Once I had some paper with something vulgar taped onto my back and no one told me the whole day. None of the teachers. The whole day.

'It wasn't until I was waiting outside for my dad to pick me up that some girl came up and said: "Hey, you've got something on your back."

'This show has made wanting to be musical a cool thing to do - which makes me very bitter because, where I am from, if you were in the school play, people would look at you with pity.'

Glee

Celebrity: The actors playing Kurt, Mercedes, Artie and Tina have had to get used to being famous

As he recalls this story, his friends and fellow co-stars are in hysterics.

Amber Riley, who plays the big-voiced big girl Mercedes, is clutching her side she is laughing so hard.

They've all been there. Interviewing four of them together feels at times like a therapy session for freaks anonymous - because that's how they felt for so long.

Out take

Bryan Adams is the only artist who has refused to let his music be used on the show. Coldplay changed their minds after seeing its sucess.

'My own school experience was like being on the outside looking in,' says Amber, 24.

'I didn't fit anywhere. I would stay in the library or a classroom during lunch.

'I was called "Bunhead" because I wore my hair in a bun. Not very creative, but it was still traumatic. I kept my head down, did my work and got the hell out of there.'

Kevin McHale, 22, who plays the wheelchair-bound Artie recalls how he had food thrown at him, while Jenna Ushkowitz, who plays punky Tina, says: 'We were different. We were geeks.'

Glee, shown here on E4 and Channel 4, first aired just eight months ago on Fox television after American Idol.

It was a huge risk; the first musical TV drama since Fame nearly 30 years ago.

But its pilot - showcasing the 'High School Musical written by evil people' storylines - was an instant hit and a further 21 episodes were immediately commissioned.

 

Based on a 'Glee' or musical drama club called New directions, run by inspiring teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) and their attempts for national glory, it is a lot of fun, with convoluted romantic entanglements and an evil cheerleading coach - Sue Sylvester, played by Jane Lynch - who is a mistress of the putdown.

It manages to be both extremely silly and heart-warming; never more so than in this week's season finale when single mum Quinn reunites with her estranged mother and Finn tells Rachel he loves her.

Although it has a High School Musical feel to it, its grown-up themes mean that in the U.S. it was the most popular new show for the 18-45 demographic.

It's become a similar sensation in the UK.

Its success also lies on its use of music and inspired versions of old hits.

An entire episode was devoted to Madonna and was labelled by the Queen of Pop as 'brilliant on every level'.

A Lady Gaga episode had the singer in raptures, describing it as 'just so amazing', and she is due to star in the show as herself later this year.

Out take

 Jennifer Lopez and Susan Boyle are both being lined up to appear in the next Christmas edition of the show

Olivia Newton-John and American singer-songwriter Josh Groban parodied themselves several times in the show; most notably in the finale on Channel 4 tonight, in which they vote against New directions in the regional finals for not singing their songs.

In an age of new media, fans are not confined to just watching the show.

There have been four albums in eight months - and a fifth, Glee: The Music, Journey To Regionals came out on Monday.

In the UK alone, there has barely been a week where at least one Glee album has not been in the Top Ten and the cast has combined UK sales of 600,000 copies.

UK fans have also downloaded 1.5 million tracks, while worldwide they have sold seven million albums.

The success of the show has been so sudden that the usual marketing was not in place.

But coming up are more Dvds, books, clothing lines, puzzles, mugs and Wii games.

Glee's success is down to the fact it can be enjoyed by grown-ups and older children alike, who can sit on the sofa and watch it together as family.

Glee

Inspiring: Matthew Morrison plays Glee club teacher Will Schuester

President Obama invited the cast to perform at a children's party at the White House, and Wayne Rooney says the show is relaxing.

So are these former outcasts enjoying their new fame? Oh yes!

'It has almost felt like we are our own little Glee club, but it has taken us all the way to Oprah and the White House,' says Kevin. 'It's insane.'

And one of the most satisfying things has been to turn their backs on the high-school bullies who made their own schooldays so miserable.

'I get all these people trying to get hold of me on Facebook writing: "Do you remember when we blah, blah, blah," says Chris.

'No. Because we never did. I couldn't respond without swearing.'

Kevin agrees: 'There are so many people who have tried to get in touch. We really didn't get along and now they want to be my "friend" on Facebook.

'It's so nice to click "ignore" to these requests.'

What makes the show modern - especially in the more conservative America - is the way it has made things that were formerly unacceptable simply accepted.

Chris plays one of the first openly gay teenagers on mainstream television; lead diva Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) has two adopted gay fathers; the cheerleading president of the celibacy club Quinn (dianna Agron) is pregnant; and Artie is in a wheelchair.

In real-life, Kevin, who plays the nerdy Artie, was once in a boyband and, although he retains his Buddy Holly glasses, his quiffed hair gives him instant cool - and he can actually walk.

He says of his role: 'On any other show it would be 11 kids and a kid in a wheelchair, but in Glee it is just about 12 kids. I think the show is very brave.

'We point out stuff that others wouldn't, but we don't make a big deal of it.'

The next series is set to be even more controversial. The Glee group is to get a Christian member who producers have hinted will be gently mocked - as all the characters are - while Kurt is to get a boyfriend.

Chris looks pained at the idea of being a gay role model.

According to rumours, the 20-year-old actor has been told to play down his own sexuality (although he has admitted being gay, it is alleged makers Fox wanted him to go back into the closet).

He squirms in his seat at the idea of the storyline that producers have already announced. 'I have just asked that I be the better-looking one, so I am not the weakest link.

'I'm not sure we could have a gay kiss. A lot of conservative minds watch our show.'

Glee

Famous faces: Olivia Newton-John and Josh Groban have both appeared in the show twice

Of all the actors, Chris is the most like his character and producers actually created the role for him after he auditioned for Artie.

They also recreated a storyline from his own schooldays when he was banned from singing Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked! because it was 'only for women'.

Although Kurt the character is tarter, more fashion savvy and more confident than his alter ego, you can see where the producers found him in Chris.

'More and more our real personalities are coming out in the show,' says Amber, who was rejected for American Idol before winning her Glee role.

'I think Mercedes is the younger version of me. But she says the things I would want to say, and gets away with it. I would love to do that.'

Jenna, 24, has an acting career that goes back to Sesame Street at the age of three, and includes several Broadway roles.

Like her screen character Tina, she is the quietest of the bunch and says: 'There is definitely some aggression in me that comes out through Tina, but would never come out through me.'

Kevin adds: 'The characters are like exaggerated versions of ourselves. One thing is for sure - we all love to sing.'

As for the rumours that Lea is as diva-ish as her demanding character Rachel, the group are surprisingly quiet.

The 23-year-old actress, who was a veteran of several Broadway productions before Glee, is rumoured to have two assistants on set and to refuse to talk to underlings.

These are the sort of rumours that normally surround any starring diva, but she got caught out in a very public way when she snapped at a Time magazine photographer who asked her name.

Glee

Tight-lipped: The cast members refused to confirm or deny rumours of diva-like behaviour from their co-star Lea

So what's she really like? The four exchange glances before they talk over each other to sit on the fence.

'We don't feed into that gossip,' says Amber. 'People are going to believe what they want to believe.'

Kevin: 'We think the rumours are funny.'

Chris: 'We are not going to confirm or deny.'

Jenna: ' Just rumours . . .'

But they all say that long working days - an average of 12 to 18 hours - can lead to tension.

Kevin says: 'Thank God we know nothing else. We have eight days to make an episode, but while we're doing Episode Two we're rehearsing for Episode Three and getting the songs we are going to be doing in Episode Four.

'It's organised chaos. Fridays are the longest - we call them Fraturdays, as they always run into Saturday.

'And then at weekends we do press and photoshoots. When we get tired, we snap. But we're like brothers and sisters, we know when to stay away from each other.'

There are also rumours of romance on set, with Lea being linked to both Matthew Morrison, who plays teacher Will Schuester, and Cory Monteith, who plays heart-throb Finn.

Meanwhile, Kevin and Jenna just giggle when asked about their alleged off-screen romance, saying: 'We're like family.'

But things are about to getting a little more intense for this family.

The Glee club is given a stay of execution in the final episode - which is lucky, as Fox has already made the unusual step of announcing it is commissioning two more series (normally only one series is commissioned at a time).

The cast, who have just finished a short tour of the U.S., are now promoting the show around the world before going back to Los Angeles to start their 18-hour days all over again.

'It's hard work, but it sure beats staying at home doing nothing but dreaming,' says Amber as she lets out another roar of laughter.

• Glee: The Music, Journey To Regionals is out on CD and download on Epic Records. Glee: Road To Sectionals is available on Dvd, and Glee The Season Finale is on Channel 4 tonight at 8.35pm.



Edited by Bren - 18 June 2010 at 12:59
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down


Click Here to Visit!
Sirlinksalot:bigbrother Reality TV Links:Bigbrother