Tag Archives: Mark Salling

‘Glee’ Hit Life-Changing for Cast

(originally published November, 2009)

"Glee" cast photo, Fox

With Fox’s ‘Glee’ turning into an outright phenomenon, will stories of runaway egos and cast discord be far behind? Not if you ask Mark Salling, who plays Puck, the bad boy who’s been hard trying to be good — and winning over viewers’ hearts, if not the heart of his beloved Quinn (Dianna Agron).

He makes it clear, ‘It’s a good group of people.  No one does drugs.  Everybody’s really solid.  I can only speak for myself, though, and being that I’m 27, I think I’m a little too old to be so foolish as to squander everything away.’

Chris Colfer, who plays the flamboyant gay singer Kurt, is only 19, but he isn’t likely to lose his head over the sudden fame, either. He has too deep a sense of responsibility to his character, who’s quickly taking on iconic status. Chris does tell us he feels the show has already been life-changing, though, with thousands of fans showing up for public appearances these days, in addition to a flood of fan mail. The troupe even found themselves singing the national anthem at the World Series. ‘What an honor, to sing an American classic for an American classic,’ he says.

The show’s viewership is more than 8 and a half million and climbing. Sales of ‘Glee’ recordings on iTunes and traditional stores are so brisk that Reuters called them something for the beleaguered recording industry to feel joyful about this holiday season.

Cory Monteith is feeling joyful as well. The handsome 27-year-old plays football star-turned Glee club stalwart Finn Hudson (also the presumed baby daddy of his girlfriend, Quinn’s, gestating offspring). Monteith still can hardly believe he’s getting the chance to sing on television at all , considering he had never sung before getting cast on the Fox show.  ‘I’ve had zero training whatsoever.  This is the first thing I ever did with singing,’ admits the Canadian actor.

‘I’ve been a drummer all of my life so I have played music,’ he adds. ‘For me to now have this platform and to have the opportunities that this show is presenting me is a dream come true.’

Monteith admits that the musical demands of his role were a little intimidating at first. However, even a few weeks in he could tell a big difference with his performing.  ‘What you feed grows.  What you work on improves,’ he notes.  ‘It’s just gotten better and better.’

He also admits, ‘There’s a lot more acting than I thought was required originally with this character,’ as former best friends Finn and Puck literally came to blows on this week’s episode.

He goes on, ‘Finn’s got a certain naivety about him.  I really get the humor that the naivety creates.’

The older generation of ‘Glee’ stars is certainly benefiting from the show at least as much as the newcomers. At this year’s Emmy Awards, Best Supporting Actress winner Kristen Chenoweth predicted that ‘Glee’s’ Jane Lynch will be accepting an Emmy statuette next year, for her portrayal of the tough, mean, manipulating, mercurial, unpredictable and — just possibly — loveable underneath it all Coach Sue. Scores of critics and fans agree. As much as the ultra-talented actress-writer-comedian-singer has impressed audiences with her work in the past — especially in such Christopher Guest and Judd Apatow comedies as ‘Best in Show’ and ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ — Coach Sue is a landmark in her career.

And then there’s the lynchpin of the entire ‘Glee’ machine, Matthew Morrison—a.k.a. Spanish teacher cum Glee club leader, Will Shuester. Hard as it may be to believe now, Morrison says there was a moment he wasn’t sure whether it was going to happen.

‘I wanted the part, but I was kind of scared of it.  TV musicals haven’t really done well in the past.  I knew it was going to be really, really bad or wildly successful. There was no middle road for this kind of show.’

Fortunately for him, the series took that latter track. Morrison, who previously starred in the Broadway productions of ‘Footloose,’ ‘Hairspray,’ and ‘South Pacific,’ to name a few, now has a way to bring all his performing skills to TV.

As he puts it, ‘I’m doing everything in this show that I do well.  I get to showcase my singing, my dancing — it’s like the perfect show for me.  If I could have written the perfect vehicle for myself, this would be it.’

As for the future, they’re all hoping ‘Glee’ continues on its present path with creator Ryan Murphy for a good long run.

And after that?

‘I’d love, love, love to do Broadway,’ says Chris Colfer. ‘I grew up doing community theater. I love doing show tunes, or theatrical anything — moving set pieces. I’m like a circus type. I’ve also always wanted to get into writing and screenwriting. I’m not sure where I’ll find myself in the future.’

It would seem the sky’s the limit.

(“Glee” returns April 13, 2010)

Emily-Fortune Feimster and Stacy Jenel Smith

‘Glee’ Bad Boy Salling Can Sing, Too

Mark Salling  photo: FOX/Matthias Clamer

Mark Salling photo: FOX/Matthias Clamer

Glee” star Mark Salling plays the bad boy jock “Puck” in the frosh Fox hit series – but stay tuned.  He tells us even though his character has been giving members of the Glee club a hard time, he’ll be busting out his singing chops this season too. 

“I eventually will have my opportunity to perform.  My character has aspirations of stardom just like everyone else in the Glee club.  He will get his chance to shine, absolutely,” reveals Salling, who is also a singer/songwriter outside of filming.  “That’s my first love, to be honest, but I’ve been enjoying acting.  This show is a perfect blend of the two so I couldn’t be luckier.” 

One thing he didn’t expect was the amount of time it takes to perfect the song and dance numbers on the show.  “We’ve kind of been in a bubble the last seven or eight months doing the work,” says Salling.  “We’ll have to rehearse sometimes really early in the morning.  We’ll have recording sessions and then memorizing the lines.  It’s definitely a heavier workload than the average TV show,” he adds.  “I feel like we’re really paying our dues, but luckily it’s a lot of fun.” 

He adds, “I didn’t expect it to get so popular so fast.  We appreciate the hardcore fans who have been there even from just one episode.  To tell you the truth, though, I think the episodes just get better and better.” 

shea-fisher-Dont-Chase-MeRIDING HIGH:  Australian country-pop star on the rise Shea Fisher knows how to take the bull by the horns — literally and professionally speaking.  The daughter of eight-time Australian bull riding champ Eddie Fisher and top barrel racer Joanne Fisher, Shea did her own rodeo riding before turning full attention to the singing career that’s already won her four No. 1 hits Down Under.  “I did barrel racing, breakaway racing, junior bull riding for awhile.  I didn’t know girls could do it, and my dad said, ‘Yeah, girls can do it.’  He taught me everything.  I’d have my hair and makeup done before an event and the boys would be like, ‘Who does she think she is?’” recalls Fisher with a laugh.  The answer soon became evident, as she became the first girl to ever make the national finals in professional junior bull riding in Australia when she was 16. 

 But now she’s putting her all into performing.  “I love what I do,” says the down-to-earth 21-year-old beauty. “I get the same adrenaline rush onstage as bull riding.”  And it’s much safer!

 Already noticed hereabouts for her “Don’t Chase Me” song that came out this summer via Nashville-based Stroudavarious Records, she has a second single on the way and will be doing the promo tour number in support of that record this fall.  She’s thrilled to be getting play on country radio and TV, but still hopes to widen her fan demographic.  “I’ve definitely crossed over to mainstream” back home, says Shea, who now divides her time between continents.  “For me, when I’m creating music, I’m not thinking it’s for a certain genre,” she adds.  “I just create what’s natural for me.  Music is about being relevant to people, not about what genre fits.”

 ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT IT:  Tamala Jones may have found a home with ABC’s “Castle,” which is currently in its second season, but the actress tells us she doesn’t allow herself to get too comfortable.  “A lot of people get to a certain level and then they get lazy,” says Jones, who plays medical examiner Lanie Parish.  “People ask me when I go to auditions, ‘Why are you here auditioning?  You have so many credits.’  I actually like auditioning.  It keeps your skills sharp and it keeps you humble.” 

 With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster