Emmy countdown: Matthew Morrison


Matthew Morrison career highlights

Gleeks everywhere rejoiced when Fox's musical comedy series nabbed 19 Emmy nominations for its breakout freshman season. Along with co-star Lea Michele, Broadway veteran Matthew Morrison earned a lead actor nom for his turn as the eternally optimistic high school music teacher Will Schuester on "Glee" Morrison chats with THR's Leslie Bruce about his transition to television, his fears for the future and his perpetually shiny locks.

The Hollywood Reporter:
Were you surprised when you found out you received a nomination?

Matthew Morrison:
I was not expecting it at all. I'm in the comedy category, but my role really isn't a comedic part. I thought that was going to weigh against me. Just to be in the same breath as Alec Baldwin and Steve Carell is amazing.
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How is Matthew Morrison similar to Will Schuester?

Morrison: Honestly, if I hadn't moved to New York and had success on Broadway, I would probably be teaching musical theater to kids at my old high school, Orange County High School of the Arts. If I could have written a role for myself, Will Schuester would be it.

THR: The rehearsals for "Glee" are reportedly very intense. What has the transition from stage to television been like?

Morrison: I thought, "I'm going to L.A.! I'm going to get a tan and have an easy TV job. And then 'Glee' starts. I play a teacher from Ohio, so they won't let me tan. I have to stay as white as I can be. On top of the toughest schedule I've ever had. We work 16-hour days, five days a week. When we're not filming, we're either in dance rehearsals or the recording studio. It's nonstop, which is why I love it.

Between all the rehearsals and the endless choreography, what's been the most difficult part of filming "Glee"?

Morrison: That's the easy stuff! I think the hardest part is being in a scene with Jane Lynch. The most difficult ones are when she gets right in my face; I could almost kiss her. Then she says something really intimate and offensive, and I can feel her nostrils breathing on me. I just want to burst out laughing.

Obviously, most of the cast plays high schoolers. How will the show adapt once the students "graduate"?

It's crazy being a part of something I could potentially be doing for many years. I always think about "Saved by the Bell." The kids have to graduate. Please don't let me end up like Mr. Belding! I don't want to start the new class; I don't want to do the college years.

How much of the show's success do you attribute to your hair, and how do you maintain your mane?

I feel like it's another character on the show, so maybe I should be getting paid more. I'm pretty low-maintenance. I take a shower every morning and put about three squirts of Lubriderm in my hair. Why are you laughing?

THR: You really put body lotion in your hair?

Morrison: I do.

Moving on, if you could step into the character of any of your fellow lead actor nominees, comedy or drama, who would it be?

Morrison: Jon Hamm in "Mad Men"; I love the subtlety of it. That's the kind of actor I want to be. I love that high-risk, high-intensity drama. I'm a big fan of his.