Harry Shum on Mike’s Future and Tina’s “Diva” Attitude — Exclusive
Is it just us, or has Glee been a bit lacking in awesome dance moves lately? We think a little Chang(e) is in order here! Glee actor Harry Shum Jr. (Mike Chang), who has been on a bit of a break from the show, couldn’t agree more!
Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Harry during the TCA Press Tour, where he talked about his future with Glee and how Mike might help change Tina’s (Jenna Ushkowitz) diva antics.
Harry Shum, Jr.: Currently not. I think I'm coming back soon, but I don't know when yet. They're trying to find the exact times when I’m coming back. The last one I shot was the Christmas episode where I made a little cameo. But from [executive producer Brad Falchuk], I've heard I'm coming back soon, I just don't know exactly the details.
Can you do other stuff in the meantime?
I can. I've been doing a lot of these little shorts online, which have been doing really great. The last one I did, I had a good 5 million hits, and they’ve been creating some really good buzz. I do it because, creatively, I want to be able to do drama and comedy, and while I'm off work and have time to be able to do it, and I kind of went off. This one Australian TV morning program, like The Today Show, did a whole segment on it, and I don't think they even knew I was in it. But the story was really good. It was written by these really talented directors, Wong Fu. It was really just a great love story. It was a love story about a girl who asks a guy, “How many people have you loved?” and poetry comes out of his mouth. So it's something that got everyone really talking, which is really cool. And I've been writing a lot, just trying to figure out my next couple years, what’s going to happen.
Would you want to be full-time on a show again?
I love TV. I've always loved TV, and I love working on TV. I just feel it's the best of both worlds. You’re able to do a film outside of that as well, so I think that's the best situation. I just love having that time whether it be seven months out of the year where you get to be on a show and play this wonderful character for that amount of time, and then go off and do a couple movies.
So they were exploring Tina’s and Mike’s relationship again?
Yeah. They were. They left that up in the air as far as what's going to happen. I know Tina on the show has become somewhat of a — what's the word? Diva? Yes, I was thinking of something more vulgar, but let's go [with] diva. And I think within that diva element comes anger. So, hopefully Mike Chang will come in and get her back to a place where she's going to be happy, whether they get back together or not. So we'll see. I would love for them to explore it more. We still have a half season left. If Mike randomly goes to New York, or he just tries out for NYADA — because now you’re finding out that he can sing — I would love to see something like that.
So do you think NYADA might be on option?
I don't know. I throw it out there to Ryan Murphy and then see what sticks with him because I would love to do a little more on the show. I think this season, there's been a lot more characters to explore, obviously, but I would love for Mike Chang to have another definite episode where he gets to showcase a little more than just dancing. He’s at Joffrey. The story is that he’s meeting a lot of girls, but I'm like, I don't know.
Show me. Don't tell me.
Yeah! Let's see it. I'm scared for people to see me in tights, but hey. I'm up for the challenge.
Just out of my own curiosity, you were introduced as the non-singing character, but all of a sudden, you have these amazing chops. How did that happen?
I think it's one of the characters that actually has grown the most out. I think people have changed, but the fact that this kid went from non-existent to someone that people have noticed, and to do something that he definitely had no confidence in and to go out against the will of his parents and changing their minds. I think there's been a lot of growth of this character on the show. So I'm really excited that they actually gave me the opportunity and actually trusted in me that I was able to pull it off.
Were you always a good singer? Was the bad singing for our benefit?
Well, the first song that I sang, I purposely did it. But I don't think I was a strong singer at that point. I had to take a lot of vocal training and try to get good at it. So I'm up for growing and learning the techniques that need to be learned to sing a lot more complicated songs.