“Glee The 3D Concert Movie” is inspired by the Emmy-award winning musical comedy series that has encouraged millions to embrace their inner-Gleek. Filmed over two days at the Glee Live! In Concert! Events at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the concert documentary brings the cast together so fans can experience the characters, music and magic in a whole new way, via the immersive magic of 3D.
MoviesOnline sat down with cast members Dianna Agron, Kevin McHale, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Naya Rivera and Harry Shum, Jr. at the Los Angeles press day for their new movie to talk about what it was like performing live an all new singing and dancing celebration of the show for their amazing fans. They talked to us about the show’s impact, their most memorable moments on stage, and their advice for anyone who wants to pursue a dream of singing and dancing. They also updated us on what we can look forward to in the third season of the highly successful series.
Q: The show has had a huge impact on the music industry. During the season, do you guys have fun watching the charts to see where the songs go?
Cory: We go to Kevin for that.
Kevin: I’m the numbers guy. I’m definitely the one that checks it probably ten times more than anybody. I look up the numbers.
Cory: If I don’t know what the numbers are doing, I just ask Kevin.
Kevin: Even with the ratings of the show, they’ll be like “Ask Kevin, I don’t know.”
Q: When you guys were out on tour, what one moment of the night was your favorite?
Heather: Like every night that we had? What was the best night overall? I liked the beginning of the night when we would be on the mics and we had to do the mic check. “Heather?” “Kevin?” and then they’d start singing up on stage. There were five of them that start. They were joking around on stage the whole time. That’s my favorite part.
Dianna: We’d have conversations with each other.
Heather: And nobody else can hear it. Yeah.
Cory: During “New York” is when all the boys go down and everyone waves and then what would you say, Kevin? Put your hands up?
Cory: And literally seeing this with the thousands of people was one of the coolest things.
Harry: That was totally cool.
Dianna: Dublin, last show, there was a kid’s house on stage. It was just every moment you could find to do something a little bit different, a little crazy, involving huge beach balls at one point, water guns, shirtless boys.
Heather: Shirtless boys.
Kevin: I wore the Iron Man flag around my neck.
Dianna: Warbler ties, things being thrown out into the audience.
Heather: A dancer wore a green screen suit or a green suit all the way over his face. And my slave shorts. It was really good.
Q: You’ve done two seasons and a third season is on its way. Do you guys feel like you’re at the peak of Glee fan popularity right now with the movie coming out?
Harry: It’s all downhill from here.
Cory: We can only speculate and I speak for myself but I would never have imagined if you told me a year ago that we were going to be doing a 3-dimensional concert film. I mean, I never would have believed it. I don’t think we’d believe you if you told us what we’d be doing a year from now.
Q: What are each of you looking forward to this season?
Dianna: Being seniors.
Dianna: It opens up the door for so many exciting things that I think we all remember from our own senior year.
Heather: Senior pranks.
Dianna: It’s just a very special time in high school. You’re kinda top dog a little bit.
Q: Cory, there are a lot of kids who watch the show and would love to see the movie. Do you think the sexual content of the show is more for ratings or is the show meant for a more mature audience?
Cory: I think the show explores a lot of mature content. It pushes a lot of boundaries and maybe it’s crossed the line a few times, but what’s really important about the show is it brings these topics of conversation up for discussion and into people’s awareness and it challenges conservative ideas about how people live. I think it’s a responsibility in a way.
Heather: That’s the two, I think.
Dianna: I didn’t know Rizzo was pregnant. I didn’t understand any of that so I think that hopefully, for some of our younger audience members, a lot is going over their head. I know it would have gone over my head for sure.
Q: A lot of kids dream about being rock stars on stage. Was that your dream when you were younger and now that you’re rock stars on stage, what has that been like? Do you get nervous going out before such an enormous crowd?
Harry: I think at some point everyone when they’re kids was on their beds going [playing air guitar]. I think everyone experienced that at some point in their lives.
Heather: And it still feels exactly the same. Once you get over the nervousness, then you have that one moment where you’re like “This feels like I’m playing in my room.” It’s fun.
Kevin: It’s easier when you’re on stage with fourteen other people so you’re not so nervous, but I remember when I had to kill time before Safety Dance for people to change and it was easy to take that for granted when you’re in front of that many people. I thought “God, this is easy!” But when you actually have to talk to them and you don’t plan ahead what you’re going to say and your joke doesn’t pan out and then it gets quiet and you’re like “Oh God! This is happening in front of 20,000 people!”
Dianna: Kevin got a lot of crickets.
Kevin: Thank God I’m not afraid of making a fool of myself!
Q: When the show first hit and “Don’t Stop Believin’” really took off, was there ever any doubt in your mind that the show wouldn’t become what it was when you had such a resonant song? And also, what did that song mean to each of you?
Cory: I think that was one of the first kind of experiences, how resonant that song was, that was such an indication of where the show was going. Once again, I don’t think any of us could have imagined the lengths that it would go. That was one of the first early moments when myself, I was just shocked at how widely it was being received across demographics and across age groups. That was a big moment for me.
Harry: I don’t even think we realized when we were filming it the gravity and the effect that it could have because I remember when we all watched the pilot together for the first time before it had aired, we were like “Oh crap! This is good!” When we were filming it, we had no idea what we were doing. We were having fun. It was such a new thing we didn’t know what to compare it to. And then, once it was all put together and Ryan did his thing, we were like “Ooohh!”
Heather: We were like naïve to it because we’re just the performers. We were in this room watching the show like Monday night with Ryan and then we didn’t really see everybody else seeing the show and we wanted to be included and go to all the after parties and then finally it started to hit that we were being invited and we were like “Oh! That’s when we’re cool.” Because we get to be invited and then we can say no.
Cory: People used to ask me that all the time right when we first got started, “Is this show like High School Musical?”
Harry: They said that when they hadn’t seen it.
Kevin: Like that but kinda punched in the stomach and had its lunch money stolen?
Heather: Yeah, that’s right.
Cory: I think it was pretty fast people understood that this show was just a different animal and it was trying to do a different thing. It was trying to be a different type of television show.
Q: Did any of you have any apprehensions about taking the show on the road and not being in the studio?
Heather: We’d done it last year. We did the tour last year so I think a lot of people who weren’t prepared then got to have a feel for what it was like to do a live stage show with an audience and they got prepared mentally for this time. This time it was easy.
Harry: I think a big part of it is the cast. Everyone brings something to the table and it’s something different. So it’s like a lot of weight off your shoulders, kinda like well you’re going to get something amazing here and you’re going to get something amazing when you bring another person on this stage. I think that helped a lot in terms of nerves.
Q: Do you ever foresee a time where you’ll leave Glee but maybe you’ll tour again?
Heather: Like a reunion tour? Like the Backstreet Boys?
Cory: A Glee Reunion?
Heather: Yeah, like at the Hollywood Bowl.
Kevin: Let’s trademark that right now.
Naya: Glee: The Ten Year Reunion.
Heather: Yeah, at the Hollywood Bowl.
Dianna: Never say never.
Q: Naya and Dianna, can you talk about the impact of Glee? We see a kid in the movie that went through a lot of bullying and then got inspiration from the character of Kurt. Can you talk about what you’ve been hearing from girls in the last year since the storyline has been so big, and Dianna, do you feel a little left out?
Dianna: Like I said, Quinn can always go both ways.
Heather: I got asked a question who would be Britanny’s next hook-up and I said it’s going to be Dianna for sure.
Kevin: That’s what I would say for Artie.
Heather: Yeah, everybody wants to go with Quinn. Quinn’s a popular girl.
Naya: Well I guess I can say Heather and I both receive letters constantly now from teenage girls that are struggling with their sexuality. I think that since we’ve tapped into that now, they have something to look up to that maybe wasn’t on television before in that way. We just have countless stories. I know she met someone at a meet and greet that was like “Thank you. I came out to my parents because of you guys.” I get letters like that too. So I think it’s great.
Heather: Girls are just more quiet about it. I’m sure growing up I probably had a handful of girlfriends that weren’t sure but I just kept it under wraps. It wasn’t as accepted to just say it out loud. I think it’s easier for some people now.
Q: Usually with the TV show you guys get a break. How did you prepare for the tour and a two-hour non-stop stage show that’s so physically demanding?
Kevin: Please define break. What is that? I remember during the sixth show when I was pushing myself up the ramp and my arms were just giving out, and I was like, “No, not tonight, Kevin. Not tonight.”
Dianna: Not tonight!
Kevin: Not today!
Naya: I went on a crazy steroid regimen before the tour so I had no problems. I was like ripping and running.
Dianna: Just channeling Beyonce.
Heather: I have a good luck charm. I made a cut-off denim jacket. It was like my good luck charm.
Harry: You wear that a lot.
Heather: I know. So that’s how I prepared for it. It was all luck.
Q: What’s your advice for anyone who wants to pursue their dreams of singing and dancing?
Dianna: Oh gosh, I think that…
Cory: If I can do it, anyone can.
Heather: I second that.
Dianna: I think why go through life not trying. It’s definitely the easiest field for people to put down. I remember when I was moving to LA and people were like “Oh, see you back next year.” Wouldn’t it be awful to not try. Obviously, everybody in this room wanted something and lived without regret, I guess.
Harry: I think it’s amazing like Cory said. It’s funny but I think it’s really amazing that it’s never too late sometimes. If he wouldn’t have tried…what if you didn’t even go to the audition? I’m sure this wouldn’t have happened.
Cory: The thought crossed my mind.
Harry: To not, right? And you did and it’s awesome.
Cory: Hey, hey!
Dianna: Say it’s awesome, Cory!
Cory: It’s awesome!
Q: For the ladies, if a guy can’t sing or dance, does he still have a chance?
Dianna: Define ‘can’t sing or dance’ because I feel like it’s all subjective. Actually we had somebody that was interviewing us today who said “Well, you know, I can’t dance.” But it’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Heather: But it’s better that way.
Dianna: That might be what two different styles of dancing would be like.
Heather: Right. I’m like “You’re going to dance with me. Thank you! I’ll get you drunk.”
Dianna: But I think that’s the thing. It’s like maybe we’ve seen too many movies where Patrick Swayze is lifting up the girl and you’re like “Wow, I definitely can’t do that.” And maybe that’s the perception: If I can’t do that, I’m not a dancer. I think that the beautiful thing is that we’ve seen so many kids on YouTube, not even just kids, all ages, recreating our dances or submitting their own funny videos and things like that and some of the viral video stars are the ones that maybe necessarily you wouldn’t peg as the person to be the singer or the dancer. Keenan came and visited us on the Chicago leg. He’s such a cutie and he’s 14 years old. He’s in high school and he’s got a condition and he is the most brilliant, happy boy who doesn’t see anything about his life as holding him back. It was his first concert ever.
Harry: That’s awesome.
Dianna: Yeah. It was so cool.
Naya: That’s a nice story.
Q: Has the confusion over what happens with the seniors after they graduate affected the climate or the mood of the cast? Also, what do each of you hope or imagine for your characters this coming season?
Kevin: It really hasn’t affected anything.
Naya: It hasn’t and nothing has even been like established or confirmed. We’re focused on this season and I think that’s our attitude right now. We’re really excited to get back to work. It’s like going back to school. We’re really excited about this season. As far as what I would like to see in my character, I don’t know. I’d like to see her be pretty mean this year, like real mean, and maybe get a girlfriend.
Heather: I’d like to see her have a girlfriend for sure, like a hot girlfriend.
Naya: She spoons.
Heather: Like hot. Like gorgeous.
Q: The stage in this film was huge. What did that do to the performances, the fact that you had so much space to work out in and so much distance to cover?
Kevin: It was more so like you said. We had so much space to work with because normally we don’t get that much space, and the more space you have, the more you feel you can let loose. It wasn’t a concern to cover it because there’s a lot of us and there’s a lot of energy. It was easy to cover the whole thing. So it was nice to be able to actually do a dance and have a lot of room to do the moves full out.
Dianna: Although every now and then there’d be an explosion, an aerobic explosion, and everybody would be like “Oh! That was really close! Maybe I should pay attention.”
Cory: The possibility of being set on fire on that stage just makes the performance that much more fun.
Harry: It was very hot and it was very high.
Q: What about falling off the edge?
Cory: That’s a real danger.
Dianna: You should always look down every now and then.
Heather: That’s true otherwise you might fall off the stage.
Dianna: Lea saved me once. There was a slightly smaller stage and the fireworks I guess we could maybe call them, the drizzling rain fire, came down a little closer than we expected.
Harry: It rained on top of us.
Dianna: It rained on top of us and Lea said “Get over here! You’re about to die!” Not really but it was kinda serious.
Q: What was it like working with the 3D cameras?
Heather: They were cool.
Dianna: Yeah, they were actually really beautiful to watch because they’re all suspended on these cords. I called them the Black Flying Swans. And also, the lighting had to be a bit different for the movie so you could see so many more people than you could normally see. So that was a really cool thing to pay attention to.
Q: Did that affect you at all in terms of your performance?
Kevin: It only got in my way once. The whole thing was I didn’t get out of my chair until it was hidden behind the band and that had been so strongly stressed when we started the tour to not break that and the 3D camera was in the way in the back and I got a little angry because I had to leave the chair out in the middle so everybody could see me get up and leave because we had to make room for the camera. That was the only thing.
Dianna: Harry saved me. Remember? There was a camera on the back of Kevin’s chair and Harry is a very coordinated dancer. I remember the first number I’m right behind him and so that would be an area that I might not necessarily want on camera swaying back and forth. Harry just kinda went like [demonstrates him tripping] and I thought “That’s really weird. Harry’s really coordinated. Why did he trip?” and then I saw he was going in and out of the camera and I thought “What a gentleman! He’s saving me.” You saved me!
Harry: Of course, I don’t want you to get hurt.
Heather: I know. Or shown!
Q: Since you’ve had two successful tours now, has there been any talk about doing another one next summer?
Naya: I had a good time.
Dianna: Yeah, it was so much fun.
Harry: Yeah, it was a lot of fun.
Heather: Yeah, it was fun.
Dianna: But we just don’t know.
Harry: We’re going to do one on the moon.
Cory: Let’s do one on the moon.
Kevin: We didn’t think one would happen in the first place so now that we’ve done two I think we’ll just go season by season and see what happens.
“Glee The 3D Movie” opens in theaters on August 12th.