What sinister plans does Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) have in store for the kids of Glee in next week’s all-new episode? Jessalyn Gilsig (Terri Schuester), who returns to the Fox sensation as one of Sue’s “League of Doom” cohorts in “A Night of Neglect,” shares some juicy details with us in an exclusive Wetpaint interview. Jessalyn also dishes on what she has in common with her trouble-making character, how she really feels about Matthew Morrison (Mr. Schue), and what the future may hold for Terri and Will.
Wetpaint: What's you favorite Glee episode so far and why?
Jessalyn Gilsig: I think my favorite is “Preggers,” when the football team danced to “Single Ladies.” I feel like that’s the perfect symbol of what Glee is. It’s the only show that can somehow make football players dancing to “Single Ladies” not only hysterical but also exhilarating. That sort of embodies the show. I love that moment.
Glee has dealt with a lot of touchy subjects. What would you like to see them tackle next?
I guess with some of the girls there’s more to look at. I feel like the girls are portrayed as — except for Emma [Jayma Mays], who’s like an adult — they’re portrayed as very sexually confident, and I feel like the teenage experience of being a girl is more complex. I would like to see more of the confusion about sexuality when you’re in school for girls. But I feel like that’s coming with Santana [Naya Rivera] and Brittany [Heather Morris].
Who's your dream Glee guest star?
I don’t have one. I have guest star fatigue to be honest. I’m not that excited by the guest stars. I feel like there’s enough there in the cast to draw on. So I think it’s great when people want to be a part of the show, and of course it’s exciting to meet famous, successful people, but I’m as much in awe of those kids as I am any celebrity who would come to our show.
Do you think there will be a point when Terri and Will can become friends?
I don’t know. You know, you can never underestimate [Glee co-creator] Ryan [Murphy] and the way he’s going to evolve the relationship. I think “friends” would be hard for Terri. I guess it’s possible, but at this point I think it would be really hard to be friends with your ex once you’ve moved on and you’re happy with other people. I don’t know that Terri has the emotional constitution to be friends with Will, but maybe she does.
We hear Terri’s going to team up with Sue in her new “League of Doom” in the April 19 episode — can you tease anything about that?
I can tell you that my code name is Honey Badger. It’s hilarious. We were joking about it because it’s Terri and Sandy [Stephen Tobolowsky] and Dustin [Cheyenne Jackson] and she calls us to teacher’s lounge at midnight on a weeknight, which is something we really don’t do. But we show up because when Sue calls, we go. Not only that, but then she enlists us to be in this big scam and we’re all being told these fatuous lies so that we’re completely willing to participate and do whatever she tells us to do. It’s really hilarious.
What are your thoughts on Terri being compared to a honey badger? Those things are vicious!
[Laughs] I have to admit I think it’s perfectly appropriate for Terri. It’s the kind of vermin that just never goes away. It’s always hanging about.
What type of role do you prefer to play? You've been on Nip/Tuck, which was considerably darker — but your role on Glee isn't that upbeat either. Do you prefer light or dark comedy?
Without trying, I end up bringing a kind of darkness. I can’t figure it out, but sometimes I think I just come off as darker than I’m intending to be. When I was shooting Glee the other day, I was with Jane and she was making me laugh so hard, and we just kept trying to find ways to make the scene funnier and just make each other laugh. I thought, “This is just an amazing job. This is an incredible way to spend my day and make my living.” So I have to say that doing light comedy for me, definitely at the end of the day, I leave in a really good mood and I don’t have any of that baggage that doing the darker material brings. It’s really healthy. And people like it, people laugh. I mean, I’m almost embarrassed at how enjoyable my job is.
Do you prefer film or TV?
Well, I don’t get to do a lot of film. But I think I prefer TV because you really get a home. You get to take the time to develop a character and get really close to your crew. I think as a woman it’s given me three amazing opportunities that unless you’re a film star, unless you’re like one of the seven highest-paid actresses in the world, you’re not really going to get to play the characters I’ve been able to play — you’re playing more of a supporting role. So for the course that my career has taken I think TV has been very good for me. It’s what I’m used to now, you know? It’s what I know how to do. I’m very grateful for the roles that I’ve played.
What's your relationship like with Matthew Morrison? Is it colored at all by your difficult on-screen relationship?
Yeah, we’re married. [Laughs] He’s great. I don’t hang out with him. I mean, I have a different life than most of the cast. I’m a mother — I’m a single mother. So, for me, if I’m going to go out, I have to get a baby sitter. But I love Matthew. Whenever we get together with the script, I always send him out like, “Matthew, if you take off, you just better remember me when you go.” I’m a big fan of his.
Do you have anything in common with Terri?
Oh, yeah, I think I do. I can relate to Terri’s… I don’t think I go as far as being paranoid, but like her hypersensitivity. I’m that way, but I just keep it to myself. I sort of pick up on dynamics and then probably over-personalize things. The difference is that Terri externalizes that stuff and makes it everybody else’s problem. I can relate to how insecure she is. I just don’t relate to how she thinks it’s relevant to everybody else.
Now it’s time for the Lightning Round — please say the first word that comes to mind when you hear the following names:
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For more on Jessalyn and Sue’s “League of Doom”:
- Ryan Murphy Spills Season 2 Secrets at PaleyFest 2011
- WP’s Updated Scoop on PaleyFest 2011
- Spoiler: Terri Schuester Is “The Honey Badger”