Defying GLEE’s Hiatus: We Catch Up with Star Jessalyn Gilsig


Simply put, our life sucks without GLEE. Which is why, in an effort to help fans keep holding on until the show’s much anticipated April 13 return — we at, in lieu of uploading a killer shower rendition of ‘Can’t Help Fight This Feeling,’ which let’s face it nobody needs to see — will be spending the next few Wednesdays sharing interviews with some of your favorite stars from the show. Today’s focus, Jessalyn Gilsig. Who was kind enough to take some time at the recent Television Critics Association Press Tour to discuss what’s in store for Finn when GLEE finally returns in 41 days, 4 hours, and 42 minutes. But who’s counting?

What’s it like playing the character audiences love to hate?
Jessalyn Gilsig: It’s a challenge finding the balance so that it stays entertaining. But I try not to worry about being too likeable. I think if I do that, I’ll really fall into a trap of not honoring the writing. You kind of just have to accept that you’re going to be the one that everybody hates. It’s lonely, but somebody’s gotta do it.

How would you defend Terri’s actions?
I don’t think she’s crazy, I think she’s panicked and very short-sighted. Terri instinctively knew the Glee Club was giving Will more confidence and she could feel him pulling away. But instead of just having an honest conversation, I think she very humanely panicked and concocted the whole fake pregnancy.

So he’s the jerk!
Thank you! He’s married, he’s the one cleaning the chalkboard late at night with you-know-who! He should not be fooling around with anyone.

Do you think there’s any hope for a happily-ever-after for Terri and Will?
Yes. Terri will always fight for the marriage. It obviously started off in a good place. It would be nice to find that connection again. I think we’ve earned a flashback. In high school Terri was Quinn and Will was Finn and I kind of want to see that prom where they were in love.

Have you been given any hints as to where your character is heading?
They’ve given me a couple of hints which I’m really excited about. I have so much faith in Ryan [Murphy] because with his characters, no one is as they appear and there’s always an experience they can have that can reveal something about them that we hadn’t expected and I think he’s going to give Terri that chance.

How would you compare Terri to NIP/TUCK’s Gina?
Gina was very calculated. She’d leave town for a couple of months and come back with a plan and before you knew it, you were insnared in that plan. I think Terri is the opposite, she literally wakes up in the morning and all she knows is she doesn’t know what she’s doing. On our first day of shooting, Ryan told me Terri is no Gina… which really freaked me out because when I showed up to work, I was so nonchalant, thinking, “Oh I’ll just play Gina!”

Are you looking forward to getting the opportunity to sing?
I hope so yeah.

Do you find yourself wishing you could jump on stage with the ‘kids’?
On one level I’m thankful because I have a three year old son, so I feel like I get to see her. But the performer in me would love to try it, so hopefully I’ll get a chance.

Do you have a musical background?
I sing, but I’m not Lea Michele by any stretch. They’re amazing. But what I like about the show is that there’s a way of telling the story through a song if you don’t have those pipes and I think they want that. It wouldn’t be believable if everybody was a Broadway singer.

Describe the GLEE phenomenon?
When I’m out and about it’s been really comforting because I feel like we’ve tapped into a kind of joyousness and desire for people to be emotional, express themselves, be creative and have fun. It’s just nice that people are willing to go with us. You meet people who are like, “I hate musicals.” But then you see an episode like the Beyonce one that incorporated football, Kurt coming out to his father, so complex, so human, but fun and entertaining. I’m really proud of it.

My career has always been people thinking I live in their building. With GLEE, people are like, “Mrs. Schuester!” I was stuck at the airport recently in security hell and families with kids would come up to me and thank me. Telling me that this is the one show they could watch with their children where they would all get something out of it. I mean what more can you ask for? It’s amazing.

• Defying GLEE’s Hiatus: We Catch Up with Star Dianna Agron
• Defying GLEE’s Hiatus: We Catch Up with Star Jane Lynch
• Defying GLEE’s Hiatus: We Catch Up with Stars Chris Colfer and Kevin McHale
• Defying GLEE’s Hiatus: We Catch Up with Star Cory Monteith

For the latest GLEE Scoop, follow theTVaddict on:
Twitter and Facebook.

Photo Credit: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

For all the latest TV news and reviews