'Glee' Co-Creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan Meet the Press and Spill the Beans
by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 9th 2010 9:00AM
In anticipation of the Tuesday, April 13th premiere of Fox's musical hit 'Glee,' two of the co-creators, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, met with the press via a conference call the other day. TV Squad was in on the call and you'll be thrilled with some of the big news coming up in the last nine episodes of this award-winning first season. There were some insights revealed when the cast and the other co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy were on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' yesterday, but Gleeks want more, and that's what this is all about.
Among the highlights – for all you who need encouragement -- Jane Lynch does "Vogue" in the Madonna musical episode. Kristin Chenoweth was not paired up with Idina Menzel, but Kristin's episode (the third one back) is supposed to be wonderful. And if you liked Puck's performance of "Sweet Caroline," wait till you see him do a song like a member of the Rat Pack. For all the details, read on.
Q: Are you ever surprised at how quickly 'Glee' became so popular?
Brad Falchuck: I think we're all very surprised. I mean we shot the first 13 episodes without any of them airing, except we did the special sneak screening of the pilot, so we had no idea what we had ... We knew we were working hard, but we didn't know it was going to become the kind of phenomenon that it has become. We certainly couldn't have expected that. It would have been inappropriate to expect that; it would have been hubris.
Q: Will Finn and Rachel's relationship be resurrected?
BF: Well, the Finn/Rachel relationship is obviously a core to the show. It's something that's really sort of important because it's the bridge of the two worlds that really in the pilot we were trying to put together, which was this sort of popular jock boy with this unique glee girl. She represents glee and he represents the rest of the world. And so we always are going to explore that relationship in many different ways, and it's going to be a push and a pull. No matter what's going on in their lives, they'll always have one eye on the other one ... By episode 22, we'll reach a really temporary conclusion to that.
Q: What about Rachel and Puck?
BF: Well, every good girl likes a bad boy, and there's nobody more good than Rachel and nobody more bad than Puck. So we had no idea it was going to be quite so popular, those two.
Q: Isn't it ironic that you're following a show – 'American Idol' – that dismisses Broadway style music?
BF: I don't see an irony in it ... Our show is such a musical menagerie, it's not like we only rely on Broadway singing. We have as many rap songs as Broadway songs. And you know we're just lucky to follow 'Idol.'
Q: Have the cast felt the pressure of celebrity, like appearing on 'Oprah' and being invited to the White House?
Ian Brennan: Speaking for everyone, I mean, we just got back from Chicago where we filmed 'Oprah,' and then went on to the White House. I was shocked at how poised and professional everyone has been ... I think it's an interesting time for them, but they all seem to be handling it really well, the publicity and the fame and all of it. I could not have been more proud of them this weekend.
Q: Can you tell us how the Brittany character developed?
IB: Heather Morris is just a total comic genius. Occasionally, we would just kind of toss her a few lines, and then they ended up being so shockingly hilarious. And then randomly being able to pair her with kind of this twosome in Heather's character and then Naya Rivera's character, Santana, they're like this kind of weird, wonderful, brilliant, comedic duo that we stumbled upon, which was totally unintentional. It's such a gift to have them; they're both really good and really funny. They're absolutely my favorite stuff to write now.
Q: Was there any temptation to try and get Idina Menzel and Kristin in the same episode [since they co-starred on Broadway in 'Wicked']?
BF: Well, it didn't work for the storytelling. It's always story first; what's the story, what's the story, what's the story, and then we kind of go from there about can we get so and so to play that character, are they available, would they be even interested in doing that. When you have people like Idina and Kristin, who are such mega talent stars, you have to sort of get them just the right thing, and you want to really treat them right. So it never really came up.
Q: What was it like going to the White House?
IB: We met the President, which was amazing. It was a total, absolute surreal dream. Amber absolutely knocked the 'National Anthem' out of the park; for me, it was just one of the best moments of my life because we kind of all stood up and watched Michelle and Barack and Malia and Sasha standing next to Amber as she wailed. Obama kept looking over to Michelle kind of eyes wide, like 'Damn, this girl is good." It was just absolutely, absolutely incredible.
Q: Jane Lynch had said she wouldn't sing on the show, so how did you convince her to do a number?
BF: We just gave her the script. It was in the Madonna episode, which is truly, I think, probably our most spectacular episode to date ...You can't believe you're watching a television show. And when Jane saw what she'd be doing, she was so excited. When you see her do this "Vogue" it is awesome.
Q: You have some guest stars coming up, including Idina and Kristin returning, but also I've heard about J-Lo?
BF: Jennifer Lopez will not be on this season, but Neil Patrick Harris will be, and he's amazing ... Michael O'Malley will be back as Kurt's dad. He's truly extraordinary and really humanizes both those characters. The episode with Kristin may be our best one yet. It's called "Home"... it's the third one back, and it's so moving and hilarious.
Q: One of the highlights was Mark Salling's Puck doing " Sweet Caroline." He mentioned that he would do a Rat Pack style number?
BF: Mark has really taken that character, and again he's humanized him in a way that has really given him a lot of dimension. Puck has a lot of very focused stories in the back nine.
Q: What can you tell us about the Neil episode?
BF/IB: The guy's a frigging genius; he's awesome. Everybody loved him, everybody loved working with him, he was delightful, he was easy. I mean he was all the things you want him to be, and he just brought something. And then Joss Whedon directed that episode and they had worked together on 'Dr. Horrible,' so they had great rapport.
Joss is so uniquely talented that when any great director directs something, even when it's something they weren't involved in the writing of, you can always see that director in it. You can feel that director in it. He was incredibly reverent and respectful of the material, because he loves the show, and we were also very reverent and respectful of him because we think he's such a genius.