Glee, 411 - Kevin McHale, Darren Criss, Blake Jenner, Heather Morris and Jenna Ushkowitz
Glee, 411 "Sadie Hawkins"- Artie (Kevin McHale), Blaine (Darren Criss), Ryder (Blake Jenner), Brittany (Heather Morris) and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) ©2013 Fox

On the last day of the TV Critics tour we visited a few productions, including the popular high school musical drama Glee.

Arriving at Paramount Studios, we were taken to soundstage 20 and were given a tour of the New York sets, ending up in McKinley High’s music room where we were joined by members of the cast.

Now in their senior year, Blaine (Darren Criss), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Artie (Kevin McHale) and Brittany (Heather Morris) spoke with us about this season, and perhaps their future once they graduate.

Darren, where do you see things going for Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine?

Glee, 412 - Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss
Glee, 412 “Naked”- Sam (Chord Overstreet) and Blaine (Darren Criss) participate in a calendar photo shoot to raise money for Regionals ©2013 Fox

Darren: I think any relationship that got such a killer start as the two of them, it’s good to have some troubled water to ultimately have some kind of payoff in the end, whenever that may be.

It’s a new chapter for both people. And I do like that they’re very much staying in each other’s lives. I think that’s a very good example to set. I hope we get to continue to ride that train. But, of course, I want to see them together in the end. Duh!

Heather, what are you hoping for Brittany and Santana’s (Naya Rivera) future?

Heather: Santana and Brittany’s relationship is more like best friends. She was the only person that stuck with me, and that’s a good message for people.

Glee, 412 - Jenna Ushkowitz, Chord Overstreet, Heather Morris and Jacob Artist
Glee, 412 “Naked”- Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Sam (Chord Overstreet), Brittany (Heather Morris) and Jake (Jacob Artist) ©2013 Fox

But it’s good that she moved on and gave me room to figure it out, because I don’t think that they were great for each other, even though they’re best friends.

Can you talk about how the show has changed this year, with several characters moving to New York and a lot of new kids coming on the series?

Heather: I think it’s so awesome, because these kids are the best. It’s such a [great] group of performers and it helps the onscreen chemistry just being able to ad lib and have fun.

Jenna: At the beginning, it was hard because I missed the people that I’d seen for four years. But then you realize how amazing these kids are. They were literally thrown into a well-oiled machine and they took off with us.

It’s really cool to see them get to do what we did three years ago. It’s a whole new growing process, but we’re working as a unit and we have a great time.

Glee 4 - TCAs: Kevin McHale
Kevin McHale arrives on the silver carpet at the Winter All-Star Party during the 2013 TCA ©2013 Fox

Kevin: I feel like it would have been easy for all of them to come on the show and be intimidated, because we’re so talented (he laughs). But it went from us feeling like older brothers and sisters to us learning from them.

It would have been so nice [if they had been] rude and untalented, but unfortunately it’s quite the opposite. I can’t imagine the show without them now.

I love the whole transition between New York and McKinley.  We wondered how that was going to be over the summer. And when we got the first script, we were all so excited. It worked so nice. Sometimes I don’t read the New York stuff, so I’m surprised. It’s like I’m watching a whole different show.

How long does it take to develop a production number from the script to getting it shot?

Glee, 412 - Kevin McHale and Cory Monteith
Glee, 412 “Naked”- Artie (Kevin McHale) and Finn (Cory Monteith) chat in the library ©2013 Fox

Jenna: We’ve come a long way from where we had, for the pilot, four weeks of rehearsal for Don’t Stop Believin,’ and two days of shooting. We’re shooting a number today that we learned yesterday in 16 minutes.

What would you like to see for your characters, moving past McKinley?

Kevin: I think for Artie, the whole directing thing has been wonderful. I think maybe he would pursue it, which I hope doesn’t cut off the singing in college, if he goes to New York.

Glee 4 - TCAs: Jenna Ushkowitz
Jenna Ushkowitz arrives on the silver carpet at the Winter All-Star Party during the 2013 TCA ©2013 Fox

Jenna: In all honesty, I think Tina was for the last three seasons the underdog of underdogs. It made her who she was, and it makes her so much stronger this year as a senior.

I want kids to be able to see that girl who they relate with come up in the world and gain a different confidence that she never thought she had before and maybe go and pursue New York.

Darren: Regardless of where Blaine goes, LA, New York, Timbuktu, I would like to see him struggle. In my actor mind he’s a very privileged young lad. He went to a private school, probably has a bit of money.

It would be nice to see somebody who has everything, realizing that things don’t get handed to you and you have to work really hard for them.

Heather: I want Brittany to go to jail. I think that would be the best story ever. Maybe she goes to volunteer there and then ends up staying!

After the panel I asked Kevin and Jenna about their concert tour which took them to England. Click here to listen to their answer.

[jwplayer config=”Audio” mediaid=”33327″]

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.

4 replies on “Glee – Audio: Darren Criss, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris & Jenna Ushkowitz”

  1. Rumor has it producers’s are considering as Darren Crisss as a recurring guest only next season, its a company decision ‘coz his girlfriend’s pregnancy will hurt his career on Glee. Thus the entrance of Oliver Kieran-Jones as his replacement.

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