Cory Monteith signs autographs for fans in the King of Prussia Mall, PA
“You really think the show is going to be a stratospheric hit?” asks Cory Monteith of GLEE, the about-to-be-the-next-big-thing debuting tonight at 9 p.m. on FOX, with a charming modesty that only a guy who was working as a Wal Mart greeter not so long ago could possess.
Um, yes, we do. And so does everyone from Entertainment Weekly to the New York Post (who described it as “the most magically delicious show any network has produced in years”). All signs are that Monteith is about to experience the kind of life-altering fame that comes with a starring role on the most buzzed-about show of the season.
Just don’t tell him that.
“The acting thing is relatively new,” he admits casually, and it’s true that he’s best known for short stints on KAYA and KYLE XY. But it’s a safe bet that by Wednesday morning, there will be dozens of YouTube clips featuring his GLEE alter ego, singing footballer Finn Hudson, belting out an REO Speedwagon tune while soaping up in the locker room. “You’ve just got to focus on what you’re doing, not the fact that America is going to see you in the shower,” he says of the scene with a laugh, adding that the musical aspect of the show is all new to him. “FOX taught me how to sing and dance.”
And, as it turns out, how to interview. When asked what the future holds for Finn and his perky love interest Rachel (played by the stellar Lea Michele), Monteith gives a cautious glance to the always-present network PR rep before answering. “Finn really repects her talent and wants to become just as talented as her,” he then shares. Offering up a clue as to whether or not romance will blossom, the actor slips into character long enough to deliver a bit of Finn’s dialogue from the second episode: “It’s really strange. I can’t stop thinking about Rachel. I really dig her in a Swimfan kind of way and her body is smokin’… if you’re not into boobs!”
Unfortunately, we’ll all have quite a wait for that second episode as tonight’s debut is but a teaser, with the show actually set to launch in the fall. In some ways, this is good news for the cast and crew, who face the daunting task of putting together those gorgeously sung, extensively choreographed numbers (all of which, it was revealed, will be available on iTunes and, eventually, on CD). Asked what number he’s hoping to do as a show-stopping solo, Monteith instantly chimes in with his answer:”Everything I Do I Do It For You by Bryan Adams,” reveals the Calgary native. “That’s a shout out, because Bryan Adams is the man and is Canadian and I’m hoping that [GLEE’s creator] Ryan Murphy will read this and write it into the show. It’s epic right?”
Epic indeed, much like Monteith’s novice interviewing skills that have already included a shout out to his hometown, props to a fellow Canadian and a song request to his show’s most powerful entity! One skill he probably won’t be developing — unlike many other young actors who make it big in Hollywood — is that of assaulting paparazzi while partying on Sunset Boulevard.
“I don’t think so,” he laughs, clearly hoping to keep his major life-changes to a minimum. “I keep a pretty low profile. I live in Culver City with some roomates. I don’t do the whole ‘Hollywood’ thing. I don’t think too much is going to change. If people are taking mpictures of me at Starbucks, it’s not the end of the world. It’s cool, it’s fun, it’s exciting.”
And trust us… it’s only just beginning!
• 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… GLEE Star Lea Michele
• Meet Amber Riley: Proof Positive that an AMERICAN IDOL Rejection is Not the End of the World as You Know It!
• Exclusive Interview: Jane Lynch Talks GLEE and PARTY DOWN