Ryan tells The Hollywood Reporter that he likes the fact that this season’s Britney episode will be reined in a bit. “For the most part, the Britney stuff in the second go-around is much more relatable and real, and there's not a lot of fantasy stuff,” Ryan explains. “There's still some crazy moments, don't get me wrong — but that was basically the feeling.”
Ryan admits that he decided to do another Britney tribute because the first one was a big hit, but he didn’t want to have to tailor the episode to satisfy the real-life Britney. “The first episode, we had Britney's cooperation, and she was in it and had approvals, and I never wanted to do that again,” Ryan says. “I hope she would like [this new one], but it was meant to be another type of love letter to her.”
Ryan also commented on what we can expect later this season from the newest New Direction member Marley (Melissa Benoist). We’ll continue to see Marley interacting with her mother, and we’ll also learn about Marley’s “own self-consciousness about her weight.” Let’s just hope that Marley doesn’t resort to Sue Sylvester’s diet drink of water, lemon, and ipecac.
And if you’re loving Melissa in the role of Marley, you actually have Jacob Artist (Jake) to thank for that! Ryan says he and the producers were having trouble casting the role of Marley, so he had Jacob read lines with a bunch of prospective Marleys. At the end of the auditions, Jacob told Ryan, “Melissa is the one.” Good call, Jacob!
Also, if you’re antsy to see characters who haven’t yet returned, Ryan says to be patient. In particular, he’s excited about the way that the show will be checking in on Santana (Naya Rivera) in college. Ryan says that Santana “comes back in a really unexpected, fun way.” We’re assuming this means a sassy way, too.