For most television actors, the months between filming seasons of a show is a time for vacation or squeezing in film roles. For the Glee kids, not so much. Instead, they hit the road to tide their fans over until new episodes hit the air.
And now the cast makes the jump to the big screen with Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, a best-of mix of their stadium tour that took them across the U.S. and to Europe during their summer off.
While the live tour isn’t a new thing for the cast — they did the same last summer — the experience of playing to 20,000 fans a night isn’t something they find easy to get used to.
“It is different because on a set it’s closed off. I think crowds are a little more forgiving than your script supervisor,” says Darren Criss, who plays Colfer’s private school-attending boyfriend, Blaine.
The concert film also features some cute backstage interviews with the cast, done as their on-screen characters — an acting exercise that proved more difficult for some, it turns out.
“It’s hard. I definitely blew it a couple of times,” Criss says.
In one particularly humourous moment, Michele’s Rachel is told that her idol, Barbra Streisand, is in the audience that night, which renders her speechless.
Michele admits real life isn’t that far off.
“I did get to meet her,” she says. “I held it together and cried when she walked away.”
Backstage interviews aside, Michele says keeping in character on tour wasn’t a priority.
“Some of us onstage, if they wanted to really embody their characters, they did,” she says. “I feel like I did a nice blend of Rachel and of Lea while I was on stage performing. We are our characters, but when we walk off stage we are definitely ourselves.”
Adapting their live show for the presence of cameras might have seemed like a challenge for the cast, but they say that during the two days the film crew was with them the bigger problem was remembering they were there.
“I kept seeing this woman who was walking backward backstage,” Michele remembers. “Every time I would walk toward her, she would start walking backward in front of me. I was like, ‘This woman has lost her mind.’ And then I realized she had a camera on the front of her and she was videotaping me walking.”