The Glee star spoke with THR about her thoughts on the possible Emmy consideration, and what it feels like to know that many lesbian women look up to her as a role mode.
Naya submitted this November’s Season 3, Episode 6: “Mash Off”— in which Santana was both publicly outed against her will and sang an emotional solo (Adele’s “Rumor Has It”) — for Emmy consideration this year. Naya says she “definitely felt the pressure” to tell the story well, especially since Kurt’s coming out story had garnered so much attention, and because there were “so many different layers” to Santana’s story.
Now that Santana is out and proud, Naya says she has been approaching the character in a different way than before. “It was really hard because it had to have a subtlety to it; she still had to dish out insults to all the guys but I didn't want there to be a layer of hurt under it anymore. It had to be, ‘That's who she is,’ and she had to keep her softness with Brittany had to continue throughout the rest of the season.”
Naya says that she is overwhelmed by the fan response to her character this season. “I get so many stories of people that the storyline truly touched them and and hit home for them. It's created a fan base for me that I never thought I'd have.”
But when THR offers that she’s become an icon and role model for lesbian women, Naya says that the impact of that statement still hasn’t hit her quite yet. “ Those are big words: icon and role model. I never thought that would happen for me going into the show.”
Santana has grown so much since Season 1, Naya says. “It's really cool to see how it's evolved and it's given me the greatest fan base in the entire world.”