Interview with Glee’s Cory Monteith
It seems a lot of people like the Fox series ‘Glee.’ So much so that the new series has already been signed for 9 more episodes. Fox touts the show as “a new comedy for the aspiring underdog in all of us.” Glee’s certainly got it all: hit songs, dance, laughs, intrigue and gays.
Earlier this month, the cast of ‘Glee’ visited Chicago’s Orland Square Mall to meet the fans. That’s where Michael J. Roberts and Alissa Norby had an opportunity to interview the multi-talented Gleekers and to gab about what it’s been like to star in America’s favorite show choir.
Here ChicagoPride.com talks to the relatively unknown Cory Monteith, who plays jock crooner Finn Hudson, the show’s breakout star.
SBC (ShowBizChicago): So you come from a television background more than a theatre background. So what’s been the biggest adjustment, doing the old song-dance-and jazz hand combo?
CM: (Cory Monteith) What hasn’t been the biggest adjustment for me on this show [is more like it]. It’s been a huge learning curve for me. I’ve never sung.
SBC: Any jazz hand injuries?
CM: Yeah I got a little carpal tunnel.
SBC: We call that ‘The Fosse’.
CM: That’s good, I’m going to use that joke. No but it’s been pretty smooth sailing for something that I had to pick up pretty quickly.
SBC: How have the rehearsals been for you?
CM: We shoot 13-14 hours a day, and when we’re not shooting, we’re inthe dance studio learning the choreography or the music studio recording the songs. So I’ve been working all of the time.
SBC: What is the process of linking the recordings to the dramatic movement of the individual scenes?
CM: That’s a good question. I think anticipating what you are trying to do and convey. You have to lip-synch to the track that you recorded. So when I go into the studio, I have to make the acting choices before I record the song. The lip-synching will be informed by the choices in the studio.
CP: So tell us more about your character of Finn.
CM: Finn Hudson is the quarterback of the football team. I’m dating the captain of the cheerleading squad and the celibacy club. Basically we’re a big stereotype. The show takes a satirical look at roles like that [because] no one is safe and everyone gets mad fun of. I get blackmailed into joining the Glee Club through threat of being expelled for drugs in my locker which weren’t there.
SBC: Your character is interesting in the sense that Finn is a balance act between heart and sincerity but also a notion of insensitivity toward his peers,which is encouraged through the student body. How did you, as an actor, work on striking this balance?
CM: I do try to strike that balance. He walks the balance between doing what other people want him to do and following his own dreams. I think that’s something that a lot of teenagers cannot relate to, you know,whether they’re going to be the cool kids and jump off the bridge because their buddy told them to or if they’re going to march to the beat of their own drum, do what makes them happy, and what makes them excited about life.
SBC: Glee is also about the relationship between teachers and students, and the growth that can result from that experience. Who have been your biggest influences?
CM: My first acting teacher actually has been a huge influence on me not only in terms of the craft, but personally, and how to approach life. Another cool thing about Glee, especially the Mr. Schuester/FinnHudson relationship, is that it really turns into a mentor relationship as the show goes along. It explores what can happen in that sort of father/son relationship. Because the show is rooted in that sort of honesty, the comedy works and there is something to sing about.
SBC: And the songs move the story along.
CM: The songs are chosen for the activity in the storyline, not because we could get the clearance rights or the artist pushed hard enough.They’re the songs Ryan Murphy chose to illuminate the story. Much like a musical.