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September 5, 2015

Before They Were 'Glee' Stars

by PopEater Staff, posted Feb 13th 2011 4:00PM
Glee cast
It might be hard to remember a world before 'Glee' now, but just two short years ago, hardly anyone knew who Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer were.

The 'Glee' cast members all had lives and jobs before they became household names. Hollywood Life recently reported Cory Monteith was a Wal-Mart greeter before his big break. You know who else had a sucky part-time job in a department store? Finn Hudson. Which got us thinking -- how similar are the actors to their 'Glee' characters?

Let's compare, shall we?

Lea Michele
Before 'Glee': Not only was she all over Broadway since she was a kid, in shows like 'Les Miserables' and 'Spring Awakening,' but she also went to theater kid haven, Stagedoor Manor.
Gleek Factor: 10. Theater camp? Come on, if Stagedoor Manor existed in the fictional world our Gleeks live in, you know Rachel Berry would beg her gay dads to send her there every summer. See Lea and the 'Spring Awakening' cast perform at the 2007 Tony Awards:

Matthew Morrison
Before 'Glee': Basically a male version of Lea Michele. Except replace 'Les Mis' and 'Spring Awakening' with 'The Light in the Piazza' and 'Hairspray.'
Gleek Factor: 7. They're both pretty much theater nerds. But Morrison was never a teacher, so we're docking his Gleekiness a few points. See him do a song from 'Hairspray' on Caroline Rhea's show:

Chris Colfer
Before 'Glee': When he was younger, Colfer played Sancho Panza in a high school production of 'Man of La Mancha.'
Gleek Factor: 9. If McKinley High did normal musicals -- read: not 'Rocky Horror' -- Kurt Hummel would be all over that. Though we think Sancho's costume would turn Kurt off. He'd much rather go for Don Quixote.

Jenna Ushkowitz
Before 'Glee': Ushkowitz was a host of the YES Network's 'Yankees on Deck.' But don't let the sportiness fool you -- she also starred in 'Spring Awakening,' like co-star Lea Michele.
Gleek Factor: 3. If it wasn't for her foray into sports journalism and her overall sunny disposition in interviews, her Gleekiness would rank higher thanks to the stint on ol' Broadway. But Tina Cohen-Chang is not the cheeriest of the bunch. And baseball? Please. As if any of the Gleeks have a clue who Nick Swisher or Mark Teixeira are, especially Tina. All she cares about is Mike Chang's abs and her Hot Topic wardrobe. See her 'Spring Awakening' vid:

Kevin McHale
Before 'Glee': So ... remember boy bands? Yeah. Kevin McHale (sans trademark specs) was in a boy band, one called NLT. Uh huh. That's pretty much all there is to say about that.
Gleek Factor: 6. So what if Artie can't walk and wears terrible Cosby sweaters? He's kind of a ladies man, scoring with both Tina and Brittany. And every time he has one of those fever dreams where he magically regains functions of his legs (see The Safety Dance) we remember that Artie, despite his handicap, can really dance, just like McHale in his boy band days. See an NLT music video:

Heather Morris
Before 'Glee': She's one of the biggest surprises to come out of 'Glee' since the show premiered. Before she perfected the "dumb blond cheerleader" cliché, she was one of Beyonce's back up dancers -- which is why she was originally hired to teach the 'Glee' cast the 'Single Ladies' dance to perform in an episode. And that was enough for Ryan Murphy to cast her as Brittany, only one week later.
Gleek Factor: 3. We all know Brittany S. Pierce can dance, but that's about where the similarities end. Morris has much more going on between the ears than Brittany ever will, which is why both Brittany and Morris are our favorites. Not everyone can seriously deliver lines like "I'm pretty sure my cat's been reading my diary." But somehow she pulls it off every single time. See Heather Morris as Beyonce's back-up dancer:

Darren Criss
Before 'Glee': Before coming on as the newest cast member and Kurt's love interest, Criss co-wrote and starred in the most amazing thing ever: 'A Very Potter Musical,' which is exactly what it sounds like. And yes, you should watch the whole thing immediately.
Gleek Factor: 10. Blaine is the hot star of The Warblers, and charming and clever to boot. Criss is the hot star of our hearts. So basically, they're the same person. Plus, we don't think it's beyond Blaine to be so, totally awesome that he writes a whole musical in his free time. Check out 'A Very Potter Musical Pt. 1':

Jane Lynch
Before 'Glee': She's been doing comedy for years, showing up in Christopher Guest and Judd Apatow films, but one of her earliest gigs was in a Frosted Flakes commercial way back when.
Gleek Factor: 7. Jane Lynch is just as witty and hilarious as Sue Sylvester. But there's no way Lynch is anywhere near as cold-hearted as Sue, thank goodness. See the commercial:

Mike O'Malley
Before 'Glee': No matter how many shows he's on or how many Emmys he's nominated for, Mike O'Malley will always be remembered for one thing: Hosting Nickelodeon's 'GUTS,' aka the greatest sports game show of all time.
Gleek Factor: 6. O'Malley and Burt Hummel actually have quite a bit in common. They're both the total guy's guy, they both like sports, they're both adorably awkward and sweet. But, as far as we know, O'Malley doesn't have a gay teenage son ... or a heart problem. See a 'GUTS' clip:

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You forgot one. Considering that I'm a 90s kid and watched a lot of the sitcoms that aired during the decade, you forgot Naya Rivera (Santana). She appeared as a young Hillary on a episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", then she had a recurring role on "Family Matters" as Richie Winslow's sometimes girlfriend Gwendolyn.

February 13 2011 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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A very potter musical is the best fan made Harry potter thing EVER!

February 13 2011 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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