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Girls got Glee

2009-11-02 16:24

Tell us about yourselves and how you were cast.
Lea Michele: I’ve been working in musical theatre on Broadway since I was eight years old. Last year, when Spring Awakening (a rock musical) wrapped, I came to California and gave television a try. Being a huge fan of Ryan Murphy (the show’s writer and producer), when I read the script, I fell in love with the story and character, and put my fighting gear on and said I would do anything to be a part of it. The first audition was in August last year. I had two or three auditions, and then was in a massive car accident right outside the Fox studio lot, but made it in with glass in my hair and minor cuts on my body (laughs), and now I’m here just having the greatest time of my life.

Amber Riley: I met Ryan (Murphy) when I was 14 and did a pilot for him with Delta Burke (St Sass, which never made it to being a full-blown TV show). A friend of mine called and said there was a casting director looking for someone who could sing. I thought they needed a singer, and when I got there they handed me sides (a por- tion of the script for an actor who is auditioning for a role) and I was, “Okay acting chops, come back out” – I hadn’t acted in a long time. So I sang And I am Telling You . . . (from Dreamgirls). I was mortified, terrified. I had to put my game face on, but I pulled through it and did it. I got the call and saw Ryan and freaked out because I was so excited to see him again. The rest is a dream.

If I say the word “glee”, what springs to mind?
Lea: Joy. There are few moments in my life that I can say have been truly gleeful, and I know this sounds cheesy, but so many of them have come from this experience. It brings such light being with the cast. You feel glee when you’re being yourself.

Amber: Glee is moments of happiness. What we have every day when we come to the set – an inside joke during dance rehearsal, someone falling and us giggling at them. It’s those memories you always come back to when you’re sitting at home alone. You think of it and you automatically smile. Your day is better.

For every generation, there’s a high school series that connects with an audience. How does Glee connect?
Amber: One of the wonderful things that I love about these characters is that they are very real and human. They are not perfect. They personify experiences each and every one of us has gone through.

How was school for each of you?
Lea: I was very much like Rachel, with the same sense that I knew what I wanted. I knew that being a singer and actor was what I wanted to do, and people didn’t really get that about me. I had already been working since I was little, and no one got that about me. I’d watch shows like Beverly Hills, 90210 and look at them and think to myself, “I would love to be as pretty as her, or so cool.” There were very few shows that I could watch and relate to.

Amber: I was pretty normal in high school. I was the cruiser. I hung out with everybody. I didn’t really have a place. I was a drifter - I was in drama, I was in chorus - I was everywhere.

Catch Glee on Sundays on M-Net at 18:00. 

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Margaret Gardiner joined the fan club and asked Glee's Lea Michele and Amber Riley a few questions.

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