By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
PaleyFest 2015 continued on Friday March 13th with a star studded farewell panel by the FOX hit series Glee. The cast stopped by to discuss the final episodes, saying goodbye to the characters they love and their favorite moments in the shows six seasons. Emertainment Monthly has rounded up the top discussion points of the star-studded panel.
This year members of Glee took the stage to deliver some insight into the final episodes. This years panel was monitored by Tim Stack from Entertainment Weekly. The panel featured, Lea Michele, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Heather Morris, Chord Overstreet, Darren Criss and Dot-Marie Jones. The panel began with Lea Michele and the rest of the cast discussing the final episode and filming a majority of flashback sequences. The two-part finale will begin with an episode entitled “2009,” which is mostly told through flashbacks. Of course during these flashbacks, scenes are shown from past episodes with Cory Monteith as Finn. Monteith passed on suddenly in 2013 and he and his character will be honored during the finale. Lea Michele said it was interesting and surreal donning the characters old outfits. Chris Colfer discussed that it was interesting discovering stuff about the character through the flashbacks and having this be an “origin story” of some sorts.
From “Don’t Stop Believin” to “Vogue,” a lot of classic songs have been covered on Glee over the course of its six year run. The cast reflected on some of their favorite moments. Heather Morris reflected on the Britney Spears episode and having the chance to perform with Britney Spears herself. Darren Criss of course discussed his momentous hit “Teenage Dream,” which he performed with The Warblers. Criss said he credits Glee Executive Producer Brad Buecher with making the “Teenage Dream” number look so great.
Besides being able to sing classic songs, Glee has had numerous musical and theatrical guest stars pass through the halls of McKinley High School. In unison the cast agrees that Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth was their favorite. Lea Michele also really enjoyed her dance-off with Kate Hudson to “All the Jazz” during the shows fourth season. Jane Lynch reflected upon working with her idol, Carol Burnett. She said it was an honor to work with such a comedy legend.
The character’s on Glee have gone through every imaginable social issue that has come to the surface in the past six years. From coming out as gay to a transgender football coach, Glee has done it all. The cast took this time to reflect on their own characters and the issues they helped bring to the forefront of modern television. Chris Colfer and Darren Criss began the discussion by talking about the impact of Kurt and Blaine’s relationship. Criss said, “We were lucky to be involved in a popular relationship. People embraced them.” Colfer responded with “The response to it was the most important thing.” The two characters played one of the most important openly-gay relationships on the show but also on TV at the time. They helped pave the way for other characters like Brittany and Santana (Naya Rivera) to have an open and honest relationship.
Of course, the topic of the finale was the biggest of the night. Lea Michele discussed the atmosphere on set those final weeks. She says, “We had our moments the last week. I cried a lot. I was a mess. I got it all out my system.” In the finale, Darren Criss actually penned the final song that Lea Michele’s character Rachel Berry will ever sing. The original song is called “This Time” and it’s about the time the group has had together. Lea Michele said, “Ryan [Murphy] asked me what I wanted Rachel’s last solo to be. Darren wrote this song- it was the last song I sang and recorded for Glee.” She continues, “Darren gave me the greatest gift. I fell to my knees and cried. It was the most special day.”
The goodbyes were the hardest the cast said but the cool thing was they all took something from the Glee set. Jane Lynch got to keep 3 of Sue Sylvester’s signature track suits. Lea Michele took home Finn’s McKinley High School football jersey while Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss were literally ripping things off of the choir room walls to take. Amber Riley revealed that the crew cut up the floor they danced on and gave each cast member a piece. After filming wrapped, they all went to the auditorium and had a moment together Lea Michele said.
Glee concludes its final season on March 20, 2015 at 9/10c on FOX.
For LiveStream of other PaleyFest panels this week visit: http://media.paleycenter.org/paleyfest-la-2015