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‘Glee’s Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz Reveal If They Thought About Quitting in the Exhausting First Seasons (Exclusive)


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Image Credit: FOX/Everett Collection

Gleeks out there rejoice now that Kevin McHale Y Jenna Ushkowitz they’ve brought back their podcast. They are starting over from the beginning with their And that’s what you REALLY missed podcast and opening on all. hollywoodlife spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Kevin and Jenna about if they ever thought about leaving the show when they were doing everything from filming the show to going on constant press tour.

“I don’t think anyone has asked me that,” Jenna said. “I think in those early days if you had asked me that, I think from season 3, 2, 1, pilot time, I never thought about quitting. It just wasn’t an option. I loved the show too much. I think after we started seeing cast members go from series regular to recurring or leaving or whatever, and then obviously Cory [Monteith] going on, I think that was another story. I think there are definitely times when I think we all feel that way. There were definitely times where I was like, ‘It’s time for me to move on.’ But looking back in hindsight, I don’t know if I would do anything differently. But perspective and timing make you really appreciate things.”

The cast of ‘Glee’ in the pilot episode. (FOX/Everett Collection)

Kevin added: “I don’t think I ever felt like this. I think it was just that things got weird towards the end, for lack of a better word. I think we all come from a place where we all worked a little bit, but we were like workhorses. We loved what we did, regardless of where we came from, whether it was theater, television or music, we were all really obsessed with what we did. We were obsessed with each other, and we knew that what we were doing was unique and rarefied and special. Especially as the show grew in success and, beyond the numbers, how much it really meant to people, I think it really made us feel grateful day in and day out to be there.”

He continued: “I can’t speak for everyone. I think there were some people who wanted out earlier, which I understand because, as you heard, we didn’t even get a break to really do other projects where on a normal show you have that time to do stuff. That became a problem for some of us because we were getting offers to do things left and right. At some point, you’re like, I had to turn down every other opportunity that I have. But at the same time it’s like, well, we only have these opportunities because we’re in this. I think you have to respect whoever gave it to you.”

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Even though they were “exhausted” balancing as many things as Happiness Exploding in popularity, Jenna said the cast tried to “soak up” all these experiences. “Thank God we had the energy to do it because I don’t know how we would do it now. Even on weekends we did photo shoots. That’s the only time they were able to get the press or do a photo shoot because we worked so hard. I think at that time everything was new and exciting. It was all like crossing things off to-do lists, like being in the Fashion September issue and be on the cover of Rolling Stone And all these amazing things that, even in the craziness of it all and how hard we were working and how exhausted we were, we were still so grateful.”

Kevin noted that the cast “remained supportive of each other in those moments when everyone is tired, the crew is tired. And that’s the other thing too. It’s like the crew was there before you and they leave after you. I think remembering that perspective of, at the end of the day, there are many hours and it’s difficult, but we can sing, dance, make people laugh and cry, and that’s a privilege.

This is not his first rodeo with a Happiness podcast. Their spectacularity the podcast was paused after naya rivera tragic death in 2020. When it came to returning to the podcast platform, Kevin admitted that it wasn’t an immediate decision. “It was kind of like iHeart talking and then we were like, ‘What would this look like if we did it again? We want? Is it going to be too hard, honestly, to watch the show again?’” he said.

The actor said the iHeartRadio team made him and Jenna feel “really safe and secure.” He added: “I feel like that made us excited to do this again, to do it in a different and more thoughtful way, I think, and to really serve the fans, I think they deserve to have an unfiltered view of our perspective on our experience.”

The cultural climate of 2022 is very different from what it was in 2009. However, Jenna and Kevin are undeterred in addressing things about Happiness They don’t work in today’s world.

“It’s actually a sign of the times and the progression we’ve made. I think it’s actually a good thing if there are clear things that don’t work anymore and being able to point them out and talk about it,” Jenna said. hollywoodlife. “Even on another hit show like FriendsThings don’t age well. It’s just that things don’t work out. In fact, I think it’s a really good thing. I think we’ll definitely go for stuff like that because there’s no reason to shy away from it. It’s the only way to progress.”

Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale with the cast of ‘Glee’. (FOX/Everett Collection)

Kevin agreed with Jenna about criticizing the show constructively. “We love the show and we respect the show. It’s okay if things aren’t as good as they used to be. It’s fine,” she said. “I don’t think it’s bad to be able to denounce and tell the truth about something that happened. It’s a snapshot of the time and where we were.”

The co-stars revisited the pilot episode with the creator. Ryan Murphy in the first episode of his new podcast. hollywoodlife he asked the duo if anything in the pilot was altered before it aired.

“I think, and I think I can say this, ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ was supposed to be a different song,” Jenna said. “It didn’t clear up or something, so it changed very quickly to ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane,’ which Mate [Morrison] singing. I can’t imagine it being anything else at this point. Obviously, Ryan talked about that Mr. Schu musical number and when he was in high school doing that number, which was kind of polarizing, and they took it out. We also shot a musical number. we made one of a chorus line and that was also in it. And then reshooting the ‘being a part of something special makes you special’ scene as well when Grass [Michele] he’s not wearing that yellow costume anymore because he just wasn’t reading right. That scene hits so hard and it’s so iconic, so I’m really glad Ryan had the means to see that.”

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Discovery+ will launch a Happiness Docuseries that will dive into the ups and downs of the hit series. When asked if they’ll be addressing the docuseries when they come out, Kevin said, “We’re not a part of it.” Jenna followed up with, “I don’t know who’s a part of this… There’s no one we know who’s a part of this at least. That says a lot, I think, already. I don’t know. I mean, we’ll have to see when it comes out, to be honest. I eat what rises to the top because like I said before, you just have to look at your sources. You have to look at who is doing things and whose experiences you are looking at.”

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