What’s been your experience working with series creator Ryan Murphy?
One of the best parts about working with Ryan is when you see him get inspired by something. He'll meet someone or hear a song and you can watch his wheels start turning. I don't know how he and the other writers come up with the storylines for our show. They all fit together like a puzzle.
Are you a fan of Ryan Murphy's other shows? (please tell us you’ve seen Popular; Kurt is SO the new Mary Cherry)
I was very little when Popular was on, so I'm not familiar with it at all. BIG Nip/Tuck fan though.
It’s been publicized that Ryan Murphy created the role of Kurt after seeing you audition. What was your reaction to that news and did you get a lot of input into the development of the character?
Of the entire Glee process, that is the most mind-blowing part. I still get speechless when I'm asked about it. Sometimes I feel if I think about it too hard I'll wake up from a dream. We were very lucky and given full control on creating our characters. It's been full steam ahead ever since.
How does your high school experience compare to Kurt’s?
I had a pretty sucky high school experience to put it bluntly. I was President of the Writer's Club, a Speech and Debate Champion, Drama nerd...one of those under-appreciated overachievers. I was never physically tossed in the dumpster, just mentally.
What are some of the best fan encounters you’ve had so far?
A girl asked us to sign her forehead. That was pretty interesting. I really love meeting the fans because they're all exactly like me or how I was in high school. Once a gleek, always a gleek.
What’s been your approach to playing one of the few openly gay characters on TV?
I was cast before they wrote the character, so I was very cautious when I first found out about Kurt, just because of all the taboos about playing a gay character. It was because of that I wanted to play him very different. So rather than being loud and over the top like other stereotypically gay characters, I was set on making him very subdued and internal. I think it made him much more real and is why so many people identify with him. The most important things are just to be honest and never be afraid.
How tough was it to learn those “Singles Ladies” moves?
It may have been one of the most challenging things I've ever done. Before that dance I had never really danced before so it was quite the boot camp. And once you learn it, you'll never forget it. And if you do it on TV, stores will play it every time you walk in.
We won’t ask about the best singer but who’s the best dancer on the cast?
Matthew Morrison always amazes us with what he can do.
What do you and the cast generally do during your downtime on set?
We're usually being loud and obnoxious playing games or listening to music. I bet we annoy the crew so much. We're always in each other's trailers, that's where they know to find us.
Who’s your favorite character on the show (apart from Kurt)?
Sue Sylvester all the way. What's not to love about her? Jane [Lynch] is brilliant.
What singers/bands are you listening to right now?
Passion Pit, 3OH!3, Lady Gaga, Snow Patrol... and whatever we are currently performing on the show! Our music awareness has sky rocketed, so many doors have been opened to new artists and genres.
By Carla Thorpe