'Glee' not 'dying' to score guest stars
"GLEE" COUNTDOWN: 2 DAYS
We’ve caught “Glee” fever over here on Show Tracker -- like we ever lost it. To celebrate the hit show coming back to finish its already successful freshman season, we wanted to offer a few gleeful nuggets to get fans ready for Tuesday.
Jennifer Lopez as a lunch lady?
Lady Gaga herself (her music however will be featured)?
And of course there were those holding their breath that Madonna would pop up on the episode dedicated to her music, not to mention the numerous stars that have dropped hints (and possibly their resumes) in a bid to get on the show.
Rumors aside the show has already amassed an impressive line-up of guest stars during it’s 13 episode run. Broadway vet Kristin Chenoweth made a spot as a washed-up former member of the glee club, Josh Groban did a walk on role as himself, Mike O'Malley has a recurring spot as Kurt's father and hit rapper Eve appeared in numerous episodes.
But the guest spots don't end there.
We previously reported that Idina Menzel and Molly Shannon are headed to the second half of the season. Broadway fans have been anticipating Jonathan Groff's guest stint as the male lead of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline, directed by Menzel's character. Olivia Newton-John will also appear in the back nine episodes, as will Neil Patrick Harris.
Co-creator/executive producer Brad Falchuck said he is excited for the long-awaited guest spots, which include the return of Chenoweth.
"Neil Patrick Harris will be … he’s amazing. Michael O'Malley will be back, who is just honestly just the biggest gift we could get. He’s truly extraordinary and really humanizes both those characters, I think, with what he did with Kurt’s father. That’s been a real grounding relationship in the show is Kurt and his dad,” Falchuck said. “And Idina is incredible and the episode with Kristin in it, I think, is maybe our best one yet. It’s called ‘Home,’ it’s the third one back, and it’s really so moving and hilarious. She is obviously Kristin, so you kind of can’t keep your eyes off her.”
Falchuck said it’s hard not wanting “mega talent” like Chenoweth and Menzel to stick around as much as possible, though he admits he goes “day-by-day” in regards to having them return for the second season.
“Every episode is sort of what’s going on right now and what do we need right now and what are the stories that are really compelling and interesting right now for these characters, and so we really sort of go day-by-day in that way,” Falchuck said. “You have talents like, that it’s very hard to not want them back. The one advantage we have is that I think we have so many incredibly talented people in our regular cast that, guest actors, we don’t need them as much. But there are certain very special people that of course you’d always be interested in, but you never know is what I say.”
Co-creator/executive producer Ian Brennan adds that the roster of guest stars is exciting, but as they wrote the first 13 episodes they realized “how deep a bench” of characters they had inside the show.
“I think that’s what’s been great is being able to find the ancillary characters, like Tina and Artie. And once we get into those characters we realize that wow those are actually some of our best episodes,” Brennan said. “So it’s not like we’re dying to get guest stars, because we have a pretty good cast as it is.”
-- Gerrick Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter @GerrickKennedy)
Photo: Broadway star Idina Menzel guest stars as Shelby in "Glee" when it returns April 13. Credit: Fox