Behind the Scenes of Emmy Contender Glee's 'Rumors' Episode

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"I'm putting the camera above you like Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain," director Tim Hunter explains to Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Morrison before the pair's duet scene, which is shot with a Canon 5D. After practicing a tricky lift, the stars high-five each other, and clapping breaks out among the crew. "That felt pretty good," says Chenoweth.

"While character Will Schuester sings his heart out on the McKinley High stage, his sometime love interest Emma Pillsbury (Mays) looks on in wonder. "We've all gotten better at it, but the art of lip-syncing happens in the editing room," says Morrison. Case in point: "There might be stuff that we miss where they'll cut to a reaction of someone else watching me sing."

Jayma Mays, who plays guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury, gets groomed before shooting a scene with Morrison's Will Schuester. 

"Which Glee actor makes it hardest to keep a straight face while filming? "Jane Lynch, obviously," says executive producer Brad Falchuk. "But Kevin McHale (center, with Lea Michele and Morrison) is a close second."

The pair's characters' Quinn and Finn were re-united as love interests in the show's sophomore run after breaking up during the first season. 
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Monteith and Agron rehearse their duet of Fleetwood Mac's "I Don't Want to Know" for the "Rumors" episode. 

Both Michele and Agron's characters, Rachel and Quinn respectively, competed for the attentions of Cory Monteith's Finn throughout Season two. Both Michele and Agron's characters, Rachel and Quinn respectively, competed for the attentions of Cory Monteith's Finn throughout Season two. 

"When we're doing the serious stuff, I'm like, 'Oh, let's get back to the comedy,' and when we're doing comedy, we crave more of those dramatic story lines," says Michele (photographed during rehearsal April 1). "But I think it's so equally balanced on the show that I feel satisfied. I did every sort of tragic Broadway musical possible -- I died, I had abortions, I was poor, I was an immigrant. … Thankfully, Glee came along because I just couldn't do the tragedies anymore."

Morrison's character's future was put into question during the Season Two ep. which saw Mr. Schue debating between continuing to teach his Mckinley High students and leaving to pursue his lifelong dream of being on Broadway. 

Mark Watson, Matthew Morrison's stand-in, waits during a lighting adjustement at The Million Dollar Theater in L.A. 

"As the lighting team preps Morrison and Chenoweth's performance scene, director Tim Hunter weighs in. "Don't fix it if it's not a problem," he says. "Everything Kristin does is magic and will probably be amazingly funny."

"The show always seems like a continuous experiment," says Murphy (left, with assistant choreographer Brooke Lipton). Indeed, season two tested original songs for the first time. The result? "'Loser Like Me' was embraced and sold more than 300,000 copies," he adds. "It means we can try other songs."

Matthew Morrison works on his laptop backstage in between shooting scenes for the Fox show's "Rumors" episode April 1.

Chenoweth steadies herself on Morrison as her dress is adjusted by on-set costumer Roric Ruegsegger, before the pair sing "Nice to Meet You, Have I Slept With You?", a song from Chenoweth's character April Rhodes' one-woman show. 

Dolly grip Corey Corona lines up dolly track, looking for irregularities on the show's set. 

Piano accompanist Brad Ellis has been with the show since the beginning but has never had a line of dialogue. "He was the rehearsal pianist for auditions, and they just liked him," explains Morrison. "Ryan gave him one direction: to be angry and look miserable -- like he hated all the kids. Brad's fantastic. He really is a virtuoso. Name any song, and he just pumps it out. It's amazing."

Where Monteith's character, Finn, often is embarrassed by his lack of dance moves, co-star Agron credits the show's choreographers for giving each actor one-on-one attention. "Zach [Woodlee] and Brooke are amazing," she says.

Because of the show's intricately choreographed dance routines, the cast spends a lot of time rehearsing to get their moves just right. Here, Agron and Monteith, practice steps. 

Monteith and Agron practice their moves to duet "I Don't Want to Know." Says Michele of the song-and-dance numbers: "We've gotten to the point now where we know the formula. It's nice to take our time and work on it, but we don't want too much time because the earlier takes when you're not thinking about it are usually the best. I find my best coverage is when the camera is not on me. Doesn't that suck?"

Dianna Agron on the choir room set, a place the Glee cast spends a lot of their filming time in. 

What would it mean to win an Emmy? Says Morrison: "It would be a validation for the work that we're doing and the time we're putting in. But honestly, the viewers that we have and the popularity of the show internationally is more validating to me, and the fact that we're actually changing people's lives."

Tim Hunter directed the "Rumors" episode, which shot part of its scenes on location at The Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles on May 6, 2011.

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