Matthew Morrison, who stars on the hit Fox TV show “Glee” as teacher Will Shuester, spoke with Make It Better before his Goodman Theatre gala performance.
“The last three years of my life have been very gleeful,” he said, introducing his performance, “but I’ve missed performing in theaters like this one.” That’s because the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated TV star is also a Broadway veteran: He was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in “A Light in the Piazza,” and also performed in “Hairspray” and “South Pacific.”
His performance at the Goodman’s “One Enchanted Decade” benefit featured songs from “Glee,” and from his recently released, self-titled album, which includes collaborations with Gwyneth Paltrow, Sting and Elton John. This summer he’ll be touring with the Backstreet Boys and the New Kids on the Block, but sadly, won’t be joining them for their Chicago performances.
MIB: Are you as earnest and good in real life as your character, Will Shuester?
MM: No, I’m a jerk in real life [laughs]. And that’s the quote you’re going to use. Honestly, if I hadn’t gone to New York and had the success that I did, I would probably be teaching music, like Mr. Shuester.
MIB: What other character on the show do you most identify with?
MM: Finn. That’s who I most associate myself with, because when I was in high school, I really struggled between the arts and athletics. I was a big soccer player.
MIB: You’ve covered so many great musical artists on “Glee” and now on your new album. What artist most inspires you?
MM: Michael Jackson. He could do it all. He was a triple threat: singer, actor, dancer. He was amazing.
MIB: Everyone wants to know the answer to this question—are you still single?
MM: I am. I have no time right now. I’m all over the place.
MIB: What, if anything, do you miss about being on Broadway?
MM: I miss what I’m about to do tonight—performing live. There’s nothing like it, it’s such a rush. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life up until getting “Glee.” I miss it so much. I’m excited to get out there.