FIRST LOOK: Glee's Biggest, Craziest, Most Expensive Show Ever
The new Hollywood Reporter goes behind the scenes as the Fox hit relocates its already complicated production 3,000 miles away to NYC.
It's 7:30 a.m. and Michele's inner Rachel Berry is having a moment. She's found herself on the same corner of 57th and Fifth where Audrey Hepburn stood in Breakfast at Tiffany's. For character and actress alike, the homage hits close to home. "This is my favorite scene," says Michele, who shares the screen with Colfer. "It's so beautiful to be here, right by Central Park, as people are just waking up and going to work." Michele sighs at the surprising quiet.
For the lighting team, however, the early-morning shoot is among the most stressful of their professional lives. As Baffa later explains: "It was overwhelming. We were joking that in L.A., when you shoot in front of a store, you own that section of the block. In New York, you don't ever really own anything. … You have pedestrians moving back and forth and NYPD blue complaining about the lights, saying, 'Move those 18Ks back; leave a lane!' "
Six hours later, the cast and crew are back at their hotel, the InterContinental Times Square, where Glee has negotiated a barter deal in addition to the group rate, promising a mention of the hotel's name when Will Schuester (Morrison) checks in. The lobby scene includes a walk-and-talk with Rachel and Finn that takes them to the bar at Todd English's Ça Va Brasserie, where underaged Puck (Mark Salling), with Zizes (Ashley Fink) in tow, is attempting to order a Manhattan from an incredulous bartender.
Hotel manager Simon Antoine is doing his best to facilitate a smooth operation, but a production delay following the Tiffany & Co. shoot means the InterContinental scenes will have to be done in less than three hours -- or a nanosecond in TV production time. To make matters worse, Antoine is opening his restaurant at 5:30 p.m. sharp for the pre-theater dinner crowd. If the crew blows that deadline, it will mean a hefty fee.
It's 4:15 p.m., but first AD Leo Bauer does not seem particularly nervous. "If we're here past 5, we have to pay a lot of money," he says. "We'll make it. Yeah, this is crazy. But we do it all the time."