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Rachel Berry has a lot on her plate right now on Fox’s Glee.
In addition to a massive audition coming up for her dream role in Funny Girl, the NYADA freshman is juggling two guys — the freewheeling and potential escort Brody and her potential endgame in Finn Hudson — a crowded house with new roommate Santana. Add to this the minor detail that she may be eating for two when a pregnancy test reveals she might very well be pregnant.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with star Lea Michele to discuss Rachel’s pregnancy scare, how she’ll lean on Santana, Brody’s (Dean Geyer) secret double life and her ideas for what the potential season four cliffhanger might be — as well as her thoughts on a Broadway-focused fifth season.
THR: Rachel’s pregnant! How might we see her grapple with the news?
Michele: There’s a great scene in the first episode between Santana and Rachel, and what I love about Santana’s character is that she says it like it is. She’s incredibly upfront and honest, and she can smell when there’s something wrong, which is great, but she always digs in a little too deep. Kurt (Chris Colfer), Rachel, Santana (Naya Rivera) and Kurt’s boyfriend all get snowed in and decide to have a movie day, and we watch Moulin Rogue. What always happens when you get snowed in or stuck somewhere is all the secrets come out. At the end of the episode, Santana finds the pregnancy stick in the bathroom and questions Rachel about it. Rachel breaks down to Santana, and it’s such a real moment when she comforts her. It’s a real moment between these two girls who you’ve wanted to be friends for so long, and you finally get to see their friendship.
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THR: Rachel’s looking at a home pregnancy test, which as we’ve seen on TV, aren’t always accurate. Will that be addressed?
Michele: It’s addressed whether or not she’s pregnant. It doesn’t get very deep beyond that. That’s as much as I can say, but you’ll find out in next week’s episode.
THR: Santana is now the fourth roommate in the loft. How will Rachel lean on her?
Michele: Santana is doing her job as a friend and starts to question Brody and what’s going on with Rachel. But she doesn’t stop, and it gets to the point where Kurt and Rachel say whether or not she’s right or wrong, she’s going too far with it. At the end of the day, Santana is the voice of reason and makes everyone have to look at things.
THR: The last we saw Brody, we were led to believe that he’s an escort. How much more of Brody’s secret life will we see?
Michele: You’re going to see a whole lot! (Laughs.) We have an awesome musical number — one of my favorite songs by Marina and the Diamonds — that really gets you in on what he’s up to. There’s a fantastic scene coming up where my knight in shining armor comes to inspect what’s going on, and that person is Finn. The scene between Finn and Brody is insane.
THR: We’ve heard there’s a big throw-down between Brody and Finn. What’s going on there?
Michele: Santana tells Finn (Cory Monteith) she smells a rat and calls Finn to come and investigate what he’s up to. Whether or not he’s an escort, Santana thinks he’s dealing drugs, Rachel thinks he’s working as a cater-waiter; it could be any of those three things.
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THR: How brutal is that confrontation between Finn and Brody going to be? Is that where the cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” comes in?
Michele: It’s pretty hardcore! (Laughs.) I’ve got some great guys defending me! We shot the scene where she finally figures out what’s going on with him, and that scene was pretty incredible to shoot as well. There’s been a lot of dramatic stuff this season. “Creep” is somewhere within the Rachel and Brody rise and possible fall.
THR: How might Brody respond to the pregnancy news? Will Rachel be forced to tell him or might he find out from Finn?
Michele: As of now, it’s still pretty top-secret. Finn is back for this scene. I never got to work with Cory, so Finn and Rachel don’t have any scenes together, and whatever he does, he does without Rachel knowing. It’s really great to see Santana and Finn come to her defense.
THR: Rachel is fresh off a fling with Finn. How will that experience and her pregnancy scare — on top of Brody’s extracurricular activities — factor into what she does next?
Michele: Rachel is experiencing life as a young adult; these are things that young girls do, and it’s important to address the possible risk of having sexual relationships with people. That’s a great thing about Glee is that we don’t just make it a problem-free situation; Glee always addresses the possible risks of sexual activity. At the end of the day, Rachel is a young adult, and that is a very common thing with on-and-off relationships that they would have a love affair together at the wedding. Rachel is a little confused, and you do see that later on, that she realizes the effect of, “What have I been doing?” Rachel always comes back to the fact she needs to get back to herself, and she has a big audition coming up for Funny Girl and once all the boy drama is out of the way, she’s back on track to her original goal.
THR: Finn was very confident in his future with Rachel during his romantic speech to her at the wedding. Does their recent fling restore her vision for the couple?
Michele: Rachel has so many things in her life that she wants to achieve. She wants to be an actress and be on Broadway. As much as she might know that Finn is endgame, she still has her eye on the prize as to what she needs to do with her life. She might be exactly where Finn is, but she won’t let it outside of the box as much as he does. Cory has a great storyline coming up where he really realizes, “What do I need to do with my life?” and he goes down that path, too. These are two people who know what the endgame is, but it’s still important that they get their lives on track, which I think is a really good message.
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THR: How will Rachel help Finn find his calling?
Michele: I haven’t gotten to work with Cory in a really long time, so that sucks (laughs) but I’ve been loving his storyline. It’s really obvious that Finn is a great leader for Glee Club, and he’s a really great teacher figure. That’s something that he’s realizing that he should look into, and you’ll see where that goes.
THR: Ryan Murphy teased a big story line involving Rachel for the end of the season. How much do you know?
Michele: I don’t know, the only thing I can guess is whether or not Rachel is going to get cast in Funny Girl. I think that’s going to be the cliffhanger: Does she get it or does she not get it? I hope she gets it, because in my eyes, I’d love to see her in a show next year in that world of rehearsals, a cast, is she the lead or understudy? That [Broadway] was my world, and I’d love to get to play that storyline out next year, but I don’t know whether or not it’s going to happen. If I could hope for a potential cliffhanger, that’s what I would hope for and that she would get the Funny Girl role and that would be the storyline for Rachel next year.
THR: Plans for season five are being worked out, with Ryan mentioning that he’s interested in focusing on one core location. Any hints?
Michele: I’ve heard of one formula for next year that is very exciting. I have an idea of what it is. It’s new and different than what we’ve done this year. You’ll still get to see both locations because I’m still going to be on the show and so are the kids that are in high school. But who knows what the whole year will be or what the show will morph into throughout the year. It will be very exciting — and I’m not going anywhere!
THR: Would you like to see Glee tackle Broadway in a way similar to how Smash has done?
Michele: Absolutely. Everything that we’ve done so far, whether it was going from a small glee club to a successful glee club to a glee club performing at a competition in New York City to being a glee club and also exploring characters in New York City, sometimes you just have a gut feeling as to what will work on a show, and I had a gut feeling that you wanted to see these characters in New York. To see Santana working at Coyote Ugly, Kurt at Vogue, Rachel walking near Washington Square. I can see her in a rehearsal space, on her opening night. It just feels like the correct next step to me.
What are you looking forward to seeing on Glee? Do you think Rachel is really pregnant? Would you watch Rachel take on Broadway? Glee returns at a special time Thursday at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit
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