Last month, Glee creator Ryan Murphy broke the news on Twitter that a former contender on The Glee Project would be appearing in the Season 4, Episode 14 Valentine’s Day wedding “I Do.”
The internet is full of speculation as to who it might be, and Season 2 finalist Ali Stroker’s name has definitely been thrown around a couple of times! Ali is in a wheelchair just like Artie (Kevin McHale), and the cheery NYC native has said before that she’d love to play his love interest on the show.
Now, Ali can’t confirm or deny whether she’ll be on next week’s Glee, but speaking exclusively with Wetpaint Entertainment — she did open up about what her thoughts regarding whether or not Artie should date someone else in a chair.
Wetpaint Entertainment: There has been talk that you might play a love interest to Artie. If Artie was to have a hypothetical love interest in a wheelchair, is that something you're on board with?
Ali Stroker: It's interesting, because in my own life, for a while, I was hesitant about the idea of dating somebody in a chair. And then, as I get older, I, of course, am more comfortable with myself and my wheelchair and felt so much more open about meeting anybody — because I wouldn't want to be looked at as someone who wouldn't be able to be in a relationship.
Why would I make that assumption about someone else if I didn't want that assumption to be made about me? It's sort of tricky thing. I know many people in chairs that when they date, they're not looking for someone else who’s in a chair because they're like, “oh, it would be very difficult.” But, no, that's saying that being in a wheelchair is difficult, and I've never felt that way. I feel the experience of being in wheelchairs is exciting and adventurous.
That's kind of the impression I've gotten from you every time I see you. Did this show help you find yourself?
Yeah. The greatest gift coming out of The Glee Project was really feeling like I was enough. I didn't have to push and prove myself. I was given this gift of being in a chair, so whenever I come into a room that says something. When I sing or perform being in my chair, it says something, and it allows people to open up their minds and see things differently. And that is enough. I don't have to prove that, and The Glee Project really helped me see that because, not only did I feel that on the show, but then when I watched the show, I realized — I could see the moments where I felt like I had to push, and the moments where I didn't and how much stronger those moments landed.
What have you been up to lately?
I am working on a few different projects that are sort of in the works and cooking. I've been working on my own show for a while now, and it has been definitely quite a journey because writing your own show and your own work about your own life and your own experiences has become more challenging and more vulnerable than I ever expected. So it's something that I definitely become more inspired by, and then I get really afraid and I back away from it. So it's been a cool journey just writing it, and I'm really excited to share it with everyone.
What kind of show is it?
It's basically stories about my life and my experience on The Glee Project, but it will be a stage show, a one-woman show. I'm excited.
Are you still in touch with other Glee Project contestants?
Oh, all of them. I saw them when I was out in L.A. not long ago, and we’re all still so close. It feels like such a family. They’re forever my siblings. You know what I mean? We look out for each other. We care about each other. We root for each other. I feel so lucky to have all of them in my life and forever.
Is it funny to watch your season’s winner Blake Jenner (Ryder) on Glee?
Yeah. I love it. Oh my God, it’s the best. I love watching him.
What do you think of Ryder? What do you think of his character?
Well, I think he’s so sweet and perfect and such a combination of Blake and, of course, an original character. I think Blake has such an amazing job on the show. He’s just a perfect fit. It’s such a great addition to the show.