Q&A: Lea Michele on why ‘Glee’s’ finale was one of TV’s all-time great goodbyes
The final curtain came down on “Glee” on Friday night, but how does actress Lea Michele think it all went down?
Showtracker talked with the star who played Rachel Berry on the Fox musical comedy, which just ended its six-season run. The first part was published Friday morning. Now, Michele discusses the finale and her future.
Showtracker: Lea, the “Glee” finale just aired on Fox. What was making it like for you?
Michele: We wrapped the show about three weeks ago and we were all so interested in knowing what this final script was going to be. What we ended up doing was two episodes back to back. One was a flashback to 2009: Basically, scenes that you didn’t see from the pilot. We re-created them. Then the finale episode was, in a way, a flash forward. [Producers] Brad [Falchuk], Ryan [Murphy] and Ian [Brennan] did an amazing job in giving the audience exactly what they wanted for these last two hours of “Glee.” You get to be reminded of where they came from, and then get a really beautiful sneak peek to where these characters end up.
Showtracker: It meant saying goodbye to your character Rachel Berry, the socially awkward belter who became one of the show’s breakout characters.
Michele: It was obviously a very emotional, you know, last day. There were a lot of lasts. It was like “the last solo,” “the last dance rehearsal,” “the last recording session.” By the time that last day came, I think we were all emotionally exhausted.
Showtracker: You got to sing an original tune, “This Time,” especially for the finale.
Michele: Yeah, Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, wrote that song for me. You know, it’s hard to think of putting everything in one song; finding a song that already exists that matches this moment perfectly would have been really difficult. So he did us such a favor -- to have him write this song that really encapsulated all the emotions and all the feelings of what it’s like to move on from something after such a long time.
Showtracker: Finales are almost always controversial. Do you think this one gave the Gleeks what they wanted?
Michele: Absolutely. When I think of some of the greatest television series finales, for me the two that stand out the most are “Sex and the City” and “Six Feet Under.” Those two shows wrapped up the story lines and made the fans so happy. In “Sex and the City,” you get little glimpses of the families and their futures. Not far, far futures, but you just get to see where they are. Carrie is where you’ve always wanted her to be, in New York and in love. “Six Feet Under” is another great example of a show where they did a flash-forward for all of the characters. I think that “Glee” really does the same thing. It succeeds in giving everyone the happy ending for these characters that they deserve and that they always wanted.
Showtracker: So now you’re working with your boss on “Glee” right away again, yes?
Michele: Yes! I’m actually in New Orleans right now working on Ryan Murphy’s new show, “Scream Queens.” I think that he and I, we make a really good team. This show is going to be awesome. It’s so hilarious and smart and scary.
Showtracker: How is your character in “Scream Queens” different from Rachel?
Michele: Well, yesterday when I showed up on set, no one recognized me or even knew who I was. We have the same crew from “Glee.” Hair and makeup and wardrobe and some of the camera guys. No one could even recognize me! Someone compared my character to Charlize Theron in “Monster.”
Showtracker: So people won’t just say, “Oh, she’s doing Rachel again.”
Michele: Oh, you’ll see.
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