Kevin McHale plays the wheelchair bound Artie on the hit Fox series GLEE, and one of the most surprising things about the character and the actor himself is the eclectic group of songs he gets to sing.
And in Season 2, he’s also fallen in love and broken up with the show’s ditzy Brittany (Heather Morris).
We briefly spoke to the young actor as he discusses his favorite songs, the show’s success and being a role model.
ASSIGNMENT X: Are you surprised at how successful the show has become – especially since the first 13 episodes were done in a bubble and completed before anyone had saw anything.
KEVIN McHALE: We knew we were doing something special, but didn’t know if it was special in the way it would be the most expensive home videos ever, or it would connect to some type of crowd and people would like it. Luckily, it connected and people liked it.
AX: When you auditioned, did they make sure you could sing?
McHALE: I had four auditions, and my first one was come and sing a song and do the scenes.
AX: When did they realize you could be funky. They really give you a lot of interesting songs to do?
McHALE: That was more Kevin coming out as we were shooting. They started adding a little of our own personality as the show went on.
AX: What was your favorite song to sing so far?
McHALE: “Imagine” or “Lean on Me,” because “Lean on Me” was this gospel number.
AX: “Safety Dance” is one of those songs, “can you really improve upon it?” or can you do it over and not ruin it.
McHALE: Or is there no way to ruin it. It was fun. I never in a million years thought I would be doing “Safety Dance” and that’s what so fun, in the same episode doing a Mama Cass song. It’s stuff like that, where you go “what the hell am I doing, this is amazing.”
AX: In a way, you’ve become a role model …
McHALE: It’s not so much me, it’s the character itself. Just that character is on TV and I’ve met very many people sons and daughters in wheelchairs. That’s definitely the coolest part. We all get to play these real people. Of course we do crazy and exaggerated and self-deprecating things, but the other portion of it is we’re telling relevant and important stories. It’s cool to be part of something that’s making a difference.
CLICK HERE for ASSIGNMENT X’s interview with MATTHEW MORRISON