Heather Morris insists there's no 'Glee curse' – but says none of her co-stars were prepared for the show's huge fame | The Sun10/26/2023
SHE is best known as the blonde cheerleader from the hit TV show Glee — and even in real life, Heather Morris is the show's biggest fan.
The actress is outspoken about not wanting the sitcom to be tainted by the overblown phenomenon that has become known as the "curse of Glee."
The perpetuation of the curse has, in recent years, become as dramatized as the sitcom itself.
"The whole curse of Glee to me is this made-up concept that helps people wrap their brains around things they can't understand," she exclusively told The U.S. Sun.
"I just hope that people can see the positive instead of the negative.
"I always like to say that we were in the same era as Harry Potter and they had three castmates who passed away during filming.
"That tragedy was never spun into a curse and expanded into this narrative that almost feels more traumatic.
"This is our livelihood and our lives, and for people to put that on us is unfair.
"I'm hoping that people can move on and smile and just enjoy life and not take everything so seriously."
The tragedies associated with the show's stars included the deaths of actor Cory Monteith, the longtime love of castmate Lea Michele, who passed away in 2013 from an accidental drug overdose.
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Five years later, in 2018, Mark Salling committed suicide after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.
This was followed by the accidental drowning of Naya Rivera in 2020.
Each of the stars was only in his or her 30s when they met their demise.
Investigation Discovery even launched a series earlier this year called The Price of Glee, which further explored the curious circumstances surrounding their untimely fates.
Since the end of the show, the former Beyonce backup dancer — who is now a mom of two — has also found success with the launch of The Bystanders, a podcast that she is writing and producing.
The hit show's success also took Heather and her costars by surprise.
She explained how none of them were prepared for the explosion of fame that came with the show's unexpected success when it first aired in 2009.
"You are never ready for fame and most of the cast and I didn't expect how big Glee was going to get," she said.
The experience also seemed to bond them, and many of the show's stars remain a tight Glee group.
"We still get together and keep that group thread going and talk all the time. It's our family and it was our home for so long and so that will always continue. It's our sounding board," she said.
The actress, who had been close with Naya off-screen, remains particularly friendly with Jane Lynch who played coach Sue Sylvester and Darren Criss.
Heather was born in California and raised in Arizona and had never trained to be an actress.
She didn't even go through an audition process when she became cast as Brittany Pierce on the hit show.
She simply followed in the footsteps — or pointed-toe maneuvers — of her dancing sisters and wound up executing dance moves before she could even walk properly.
The talented performer soon realized that she wanted to get more involved in the arts and entertainment.
She was especially interested in trying to make people laugh as a way to pay tribute to her father who passed away when she was just 14.
"My dad was always humorous and quirky," she said.
"I took that on and just try to make people laugh in the weirdest ways."
She found success shortly after making the move to LA in 2006 to pursue dance: It took her only six months to secure a spot as a backup dancer for Beyonce.
It wasn't long after her stint with Queen Bee that celebrity choreographer Zach Woodlee pitched her to Glee showrunner Ryan Murphy as an extra dancer for the show.
"I got the job without auditioning and that's really how my whole ride started. I had never acted before."
The spotlight that came with international stardom shone extra strong.
"I have never listened to an interview where someone who became famous fast was like, I 'handled it like a champ,' or 'I was so ready for it'.
"I didn't even know I was going to get an acting job on this TV show at all. I was almost too grateful the entire time so I pushed myself too far and too fast.
"I knew I had been handed something so awesome and magical so I was never saying no to experiences or opportunities."
Now, she is taking a step backward while taking a deep breath — and navigating life after Glee.
Heather became a mom to two children towards the end of filming and said that auditioning is still a new experience for her.
The Glee girl still gets giddy when it comes to pursuing her ultimate goal of wanting to make people laugh.
"I want to be myself and feel balanced and calm. The industry is super overwhelming so I just want to take on jobs that feel manageable.
"I want to continue to learn and create and to enjoy myself. It can all be so stressful but I just want to be a girl that has fun."
She is certainly having a grand time producing and writing the podcast The Bystanders — and once again, she has been surprised by how well another project of hers has taken off.
Now coming up on its third season, a recent episode broadcast a Glee reunion with former cast mates Jane Lynch and Darren Criss.
Launched during the middle of Covid, The Bystanders puts a comical and quirky twist on the concept of people simply standing by while watching a traumatic occurrence take place.
She recalled the fundraising process when actress Kristen Chenoweth got involved, even sending microphones to actors during the height of the pandemic.
"Jaclyn Hales told me how she and Ashley Lindsey had started writing a film script based on the Genevese story," she said.
The sensational Gevevese story took place in the 1960s when a woman got stabbed to death in her apartment complex and nobody intervened.
The idea really got Heather's creative juices flowing, but she thought a podcast format was an easier and more contained way of bringing the production to life.
"Podcasts were exploding at the time and I immediately thought creating an audio drama was more palatable than this visual beast that is TV and film.
"The audience has really latched on and I think it's because of the way that the actors took this dark log line and transformed it into something quirky and weird that makes you laugh.
"The concept is really heavy and intense and it can feel almost shaming to the two people involved in the scenario so we try not to shame anybody.
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"You never know how you would act as a bystander. For this next season, we are discussing what could go wrong if you don't intervene.
With a larger budget, musical score, adobe sound system, and casting director on board, she said it's almost like watching a play more than listening to a podcast.
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