Glee was the hottest new show of the year last season. Now coming back next week for Season two, they try to continue their momentous run. Jessalyn Gilsig stars in the hit series as Terri Schuester.
What did she have to say about the character we loved to hate? And what's in story for season two? Find out now:
Adam: First off, I want to congratulate you and the crew on the huge success the first season of Glee was. The show really became a cultural phenomenon in a short period of time. Now entering the second season, how does it feel to be a part of something this big?
Jessalyn: Thank you very much. It's a bit like an out of body experience. I usually forget about it and then I'll be out at the grocery store and think, "Did I forget to get dressed? Why are people staring at me?" And then someone will say, "Hi Mrs. Schue", and I am reminded of what a phenomenon Glee is.
Adam: Glee was nominated for 19 Emmys this year. I repeat…19! (laughs). Tell me what you think when you hear that. 19! (laughs)
Jessalyn: I didn't even realize there were 19 categories! I couldn't believe it. It's such a vote of confidence for a show that isn't like anything else on TV.
Adam: You've had the opportunity to work on a bunch of different shows. Boston Public, Prison Break, Heroes, Friday Night Lights, Nip/Tuck, and more. Quite a wide variety of shows, how do you adapt to the different styles? And was it harder to from those shows to something like Glee?
Jessalyn: I like moving around as I have. As you say, every show has a different style and I think it's my job as an actor to find the tone of the show and then do my take of that tone. Finding the voice for Glee was hard, especially for Terri. I mean it's a comedy, and obviously she's out there as a character and I wanted her to be funny but I also needed her to be real so that when the marriage ended there was a real loss there and not just something that could never be taken seriously.
Adam: I mentioned you worked on Nip/Tuck, which was created by Glee creator Ryan Murphy. Two shows that are total contrast, created by the same guy. (laughs) What's it like working with Murphy on both shows?
Jessalyn: I love working for Ryan. Nip/Tuck was one of the most gratifying creative experiences of my career. He really pushes his actors and takes us out of our comfort zones (in obvious ways in N/T!), but it's also a safe environment. You feel he's really watching and appreciating the risks you're taking so you just want to keep pushing yourself. No two days are ever the same when you work for Ryan Murphy…
Adam: You were cast as Terri Schuester on Glee. How did that come about?
Jessalyn: Ryan called me and said he had a role on a pilot he was doing and that it was a tricky part but he thought I might be able to do something with it. I've always known that by playing Terri I'd be starting at a deficit, but since it was for Ryan, I knew it would be worth it.
Adam: Terri was married to Will (played by Matthew Morrison). When she first made her appearance, Terri was really really disliked by fans to say the least. Fake-pregnancy, lying, controlling… not much to like right? (laughs). Anyways, I want to ask you as the actress playing her, what has been the weirdest fan comment you've had? I know you must have plenty (laughs)
Jessalyn: Thank you for laughing, not everyone thinks it's so funny! I've had many crazy encounters. My hands down favorite was a little girl around 8 who came up to me in a yogurt shop. She said, "Are you Mrs. Shue?". And I said, "Yes". And then she launched into a speech saying, "I'm in a big fight with my friends because they hate you but I think you were just scared and knew he was going to leave you and you didn't know how to tell him so you panicked, but it's not your fault because he was flirting with that teacher at school!" All in one breathe! I loved it, I can now sleep at night knowing one person in the world understands Terri…
Adam: See, I like Terri because you have to give her credit for coming up with this fake-pregnancy plan, and making it work for so long. Plus, anyone can be the "good guy", but it takes real talent to play the evil-bitch. (laughs) Thoughts?
Jessalyn: Well, I don't have much experience playing the good guy. And I don't want to think about why! But I love being the straw the stirs the drink. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's really my job to figure out the character's logic and never abandon her. She makes sense to herself and has reasons for her choices, however misguided, and I have to stand by her.
Adam: It must be a lot of fun playing Terri though, right?
Jessalyn: Absolutely. I love trying to understand how she works. I feel as though I know women like her and when they speak you think, "Is anyone hearing this?"
Adam: Of course, the lie eventually was exposed when Will found out the pregnancy was fake. That kitchen scene when he confronts her was one of the show's most intense scenes of the season. Tell me about shooting that with Matthew Morrison.
Jessalyn: We were excited about that scene. I remember when I read it thinking the marathon is coming to an end and we can really tell their story now. Again, we had to stay in character and at the same time it was a dramatic and honest scene. I'm glad it was Matthew, we really had a great time with the challenge.
Adam: Terri spent a lot of last season trying to get in between Will and Emma, who were getting closer. Tell me what it's like working with Jayma Mays (Emma), and what is your favorite scene with her?
Jessalyn: Jayma and I get along really well off set which makes messing with her in a scene that much more fun. I always feel as though I'm batting around a little kitten (not that I have ever done that!). I keep thinking that someday she's going to turn around and let me have it though, we'll see…
Adam: Here a fun fact; you both have appearance on Heroes. (laughs)
Jessalyn: I know! Maybe we're locked in forever now, we can only appear on the same series. I'd be fine with that.
Adam: Despite most of the season of evilness, the viewers can't help but to feel somewhat bad when Terri's worst nightmare happens…Will leaves her. With the divorce finalized, is Terri really done with Will?
Jessalyn: I don't think Will and Terri are ever really done. They definitely need a break from one another but there is an attraction there (however healthy or unhealthy), and I know Terri isn't going to let him just ride off into the sunset with the redhead…
Adam: Near the end of the season, Terri took Finn as a mentor. Tell me about their relationship, and will that continue during Season two?
Jessalyn: We haven't shot any more of that in the second season. I think we were in delicate territory there with the grown woman and the high school student. I knew what they were trying though, and I really liked the idea for Terri as she was accessing the feelings she had when she first knew Will and I think Finn was experiencing an adult in the real world seeing his potential. Maybe we'll get to revisit it someday.
Adam: When season two starts, what can you tell us about Terri. Where do we kick things off with her?
Jessalyn: Terri appears briefly at the beginning of Season Two but I think she makes quite an impression. She finds Will and Emma enjoying a drive and she is not happy so she goes off. But as usual, a lot of it is about her pain and humiliation of having failed so greatly and lost someone she truly loved. It's sad, but hopefully is funny too.
Adam: It isn't an episode of Glee without singing (laughs). Do you get to sing again in season two? If so, can you tell us what?
Jessalyn: I haven't sung yet, but I'm ready! Practicing in the shower and the car every day. Hopefully the call will come!
Adam: Season two premieres on September 21st. Think fast; give me one sentence hyping the new season. (laughs)
Jessalyn: Brittany – not the one you think but rather the one played by Heather Morris. She's a revelation.
Adam: Finally, I ask this to all my interviewees. What have you been watching on TV lately?
Jessalyn: Let's see, Breaking Bad is amazing. It's a hard watch but worth it. The C Word. Treme. 30 Rock. And don't tell anyone, but I watch "Modern Family".
I want to thank Jessalyn for taking time off her busy schedule to have a chat. Glee returns for season two on September 21st on FOX and Global TV.
Republished with permission from TV Done Wright. Read the original interview here.
TVDoneWright.com was launched in April of 2009, in hopes to get exposure so when site owner/founded Adam Wright graduates, he has lots of experience and contacts for a job. Adam is currently taking Journalism at St Thomas University in Fredericton NB (Canada). This year will be his last, meaning after he graduates, he'll be free to pursue a dream job in the TV world. He wants to become a comedy/satire writer on a TV show, or a TV critic. TVDoneWrignt.com site has grown quickly. Adam started off alone, then formed my team of writers. They come from all over Canada, and the US. Adam created TVDW.com to inform and entertain. They offer all the latest news, reviews, updates, but they also do more.He writes satire/comedy pieces for the site. They also have have over a dozen interviews with TV stars. All this within a little more than a year.