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Glee - Heather Morris Interview & Photoshoot for Papermag


Though she was originally hired as a choreographer for Glee, Heather Morris -- who playsplays oversexed and undereducated cheerleader Brittany -- steals more scenes with her deadpan, hilariously blank non sequitur ("I think my cat's been reading my diary;" "Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?") than her dance moves.

The show's producers are clearly smitten. Morris, who typically delivers these Brittanyisms with achingly perfect timing to co-star Naya Rivera and real life bestie and(who plays Santana,) has been featured more prominently in the show's second season. A recent, highly anticipated Britney Spears-themed episode centered on Morris and featured her singing and danced in three numbers. The Arizona native, got her break on the 2006 season of So You Think You can Dance and from there went on to dance back up with Beyonce on concert tour "The Beyonce Experience," the Grammy Awards, SNL, and the American Music Awards. Here, Morris talks to us about Brittany, Britney and her cat, Zack Morris.

How was your character Brittany born?
I always joke around with Ryan (Murphy, Glee Creator) and whenever we would sing I would do this really nasally, irritating voice. It would make us laugh. From there the joke helped shape the character. Oh, and also the character Karen from "Mean Girls."

What was your favorite Britney Spears outfit you got to wear?
Britney wears that infamous red latex body suit in the "Oops I Did It Again Video." I think it is so sexy, they had to make four suits for when we did the remake of the video, and the Costume Designer let me keep one. It's probably going to be my Halloween costume.

What did you like most about making that episode?
Well standing in front of Britney Spears was very rewarding. I just wanted to stare at her. I once auditioned for a video off of her Circus album as a body double and I felt the same way then. But this time it was much more up-close and personal. Also working with the giant albino snake for "I'm a Slave 4 U His name was Banana, he was so warm, plump and heavy. My arms were sore for the next two days.

What's your go to Karaoke song?
"Under Pressure." It's one of the best songs to dance to.

Where do you like to shop?
The Le Creuset outlet, is one of my favorite spots. I collect the red pots. I think you can make the best Spaghetti in them. I also love to shop on Itunes and the Mac Store. I always seem to loose my headphones so I'm always buying new ones.

If you could invite three people over for a slumber party who would they be?
1. Marie Antoinette (she was free spirited)
2. Bjork (I would beg her to just make music, to just go off and I would join in)
3. Michael Cera (for inspiration. I used to always watch him on Arrested Development.)

What are your favorite possessions?
I'm not a very materialistic girl, I get that from my mom. She doesn't like clutter. But if I had to say something, it would be my black cat Zack Morris. Paramount has these stray cats that hang out on the lost and one of them had kittens. So Lea (Michele) took two and I took one. He is one of the best things that has happened to me. Oh, and of course, my promise ring.

What's the last song you downloaded?
Goldfrapp's "We Radiate" from the Vampire Diaries soundtrack and "Black Sheep" by Metric.

What is the last thing you YouTubed?
This old James Brown new clip, he is insanely high or drunk or something. It's very entertaining.

Have you ever been bullied?
Nothing like some of the stories Chris Colfer tells me about his youth. Though I do remember my freshman year when my father passed, I stopped wearing make up, stopped fixing my hair, and didn't care what I looked like. I wore sweats everyday. After a while, the girls started getting really catty. People never really bullied me during this time, but they would judge me and talk about me behind my back, and that can be just as tormenting to a teen.

What makes you gleeful? (Sorry, I had to)
My mom donates a lot of time to a Teen Pregnancy shelter. One of my hobbies is crocheting (I learned it from her) so we make blankets for these expected mothers to be.

How is it working with new cast members this season?
I love working with Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans), he does tons of different voices, he is just hysterical. He feels like a little brother.

Who is an actress you admire?
Both Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart -- they are perfect examples of good actresses from our generation.

Where is our favorite place to travel to?
When I went on tour with Beyonce we hit 45 dates in one year, so I've been a lot of places, but one of the most memorable spots has to be Ethiopia. We had this giant outdoor tent, with a dirt floor, thousands of smiling faces. The entire place was just beaming with love. With so much energy you feel like you could heal the world. We got to take a lot of side trips to see the beautiful country side, safari's, old castles, but for me the people were so amazing. They were so grateful and so giving even though they had hardly anything.

What do you do on set while the other actors are performing scenes your not in?
I'll sit and read or joke around with other cast members, they did just installed Wii Sport into all of our trailers. Although I would much prefer old school games like Super Mario Brothers or Duck Hunt. I still remember to this day how sore my fingers would get. I should dig out my Nintendo from under my bed and bring it into my trailer.

What book are you currently reading?
A Spot of Bother by another funny Brit -- Mark Haddon.

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