'Glee's' Blake Jenner on Being Catfished: 'It's Wishful Thinking'
The actor behind Ryder talks with THR about what to expect in the fourth season finale: "His mind is going crazy in this episode."
Who's Catfishing Ryder? That's one of the biggest burning questions heading into Glee's fourth season finale on Thursday as New Directions heads to Regionals.
The hour, appropriately titled "All or Nothing," will finally reveal just whom Ryder has been swapping IMs and text messages with and comes as the glee club is preparing for an epic battle on the stage against the likes of Jessica Sanchez's Frida Romero and her rival club.
After weeks of mystery, Ryder will finally have had enough and turn to his friends for answers in an hour that will set up the new McKinley High star's fifth-season story line. To get the scoop on what's ahead for Ryder, The Hollywood Reporter turned to co-star Blake Jenner for all the details.
The Hollywood Reporter: Ryder has allowed himself to continue to be Catfished. How will we see him flush out who's behind "Katie"?
Blake Jenner: You're going to see him go through quite a bit. He's been angry for a while about it and ever since he found out it wasn't the girl he thought it was when he saw her and made a fool of himself singing a song to her and calling her Katie when her name was Marisa, it'd been bottled up anger for a while. The big reveal is coming in the season finale and you'll see him take it all in.
THR: Everyone has questioned why Ryder has allowed himself to continue this -- is he really convinced that this relationship is bringing out the best in him?
Jenner: I think so. It's a 50-50 thing: part of him is angry that he doesn't know who it is and wants to know if this person is playing games with him. The other part of him hopes this is his dream girl. Even though it's not the girl in the picture, hopefully it's some other girl who is shy or someone he's liked before. Ryder was very closed off before this and if he is anything like who I was in high school, he doesn't put his personal stuff out there. He's there for other people but he never once played the victim. This is the first time that he actually let out all his feelings and secrets to this person who he doesn't even know what they look like. That's really let him grow as a person and as a man; now he's revealed his secret that he was molested to the whole glee club. He's revealed himself quite a bit to people, more than he would before he was being Catfished. Before he'd hold all his secrets in and now he's letting them out and that's definitely changed him.
THR: What shifts for Ryder that he's back on this mission again to find out who it is?
Jenner: He gets angry and pissed off and is a a blur of emotions but always comes back to this person who makes him feel good. He's hoping that this works out; it's wishful thinking for him and he's betting on something that's a gamble. He's angry that it's not a real person for him to hold; he's a teenage boy looking for love and has had some bad luck with that in the past and he's trying out every option.
THR: How will Jake (Jacob Artist), Marley (Melissa Benoist) and Kitty (Becca Tobin) support him in his effort to figure out who's doing this?
Jenner: You'll see some scenes with Marley trying to keep everything together. There won't be too much of Jake and Kitty in this last episode since everybody is focusing on Regionals.
THR: Speaking of Marley, Ryder was very focused on her earlier this season. Is she still his perfect ideal girl?
Jenner: Oh yeah! Ryder went on for a while trying to make Marley feel special and that's always going to be his idea of a perfect girl. Part of him is hoping the Catfish is her. Marley has a part of Ryder's heart and if she ever wants to be with him, his door is wide open! (Laughs.) Ryder will always like Marley but he's been a bad guy -- kissing her behind Jake's back -- and with everything that's happened, I think he'd be respectful of their relationship. He's coming into his own and becoming a man.
THR: The last hint we saw came during the shooting episode when a phone in a bag rang inside the choir room. Might who's behind the Catfishing be a member of New Directions? Is it someone we know? Our best guess is Unique is behind the Catfishing.
Jenner: It could be someone you know. Either way, people will definitely be surprised with who it is and they'll wonder where the story is going to go next season. I was surprised when I read the script. It could be anybody; it could be Mr. Schue, which is the weiedest theory I've heard. You're getting married, dude! What are you doing messing around with this kid's emotions! Teach him some songs, don't screw with his love life! (Laughs.)
THR: What will Ryder's response look like when he finds out who's Catfishing him?
Jenner: This episode tells a lot about Ryder and shows how much of a team player he is. Even in the darkest of moments, he may get mad, sad or excited but he'll always come back and be a man and take responsibility. You'll see him step up to the plate more than he ever has. He hasn't had a moment yet of being a leader. You'll see him go through some emotions when he finds out -- the promo shows him upset that someone playing games and that comes early in the episode. At first he's nice about it and just wants to know but nobody is answering since they're all scared and he gets pissed off since he's been dealing with this for a while now and he's just tired of it.
THR: Personal problems for members of New Directions have always plagued the squad come go-time, most recently with Marley's eating disorder. Might the Catfishing affect him at Regionals?
Jenner: Definitely. You're going to see how the Catfishing affects Regionals and how it impacts him and what his choices are. His mind is going crazy in this episode and he doesn't know what the right thing to do is; he wants to do right by everybody but feels like a fool. Any guy who's conflicted wants to hit something and also wants to hug someone -- he doesn't know what to do and who to confide in and just wants to be alone. He's just a teenage boy with problems! (Laughs.)
THR: Ryder has quickly become an integral part of New Directions. Will you be back for season five?
Jenner: I hope so. I don't know anything for sure but I'm hoping I get to tell Ryder's story more in season five. The plan is to pick up right where we left off after Regionals and gearing up for Nationals. You don't know if they're going to win or going to Nationals or if it's jealousy of another team going to Nationals and make due with what they've got. The finale filled with surprises.
THR: How will Ryder's Catfishing story spill into season five?
Jenner: There's going to be a cliffhanger with Ryder's story; it's not exactly concluded and you'll see how that takes us into season five with him.
THR: Looking back on the past year, is this where you thought you'd be when you first auditioned for The Glee Project?
Jenner: It's been quite a ride for myself and Ryder Lynn. That was when I was working at a parrot shop and Johnny Rockets and other places all at the same time. I never dreamed that I'd be here on such a great show playing an awesome character. It still feels like a dream.
Glee's fourth season finale airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on Fox. Hit the comments below with your thoughts on who's Catfishing Ryder and stay tuned to THR's The Live Feed for more Glee season finale scoop in the coming days.