By LYNN ELBER
AP Television Writer
Morrison, who stars as earnest, upbeat glee club coach Will Schuester on the hit Fox series, planned to spend part of June in London working on his first solo CD.
“I’m writing all the music for it. It’s me and a big orchestra behind me,” Morrison said of the work in progress. He described his style on the album as a “dance heavy” cross between Michael Buble and Justin Timberlake.
‘Glee’ wraps the season with Tuesday’s finale (9 p.m. EDT), in which Schuester’s New Directions club faces off against heavyweight rival Vocal Adrenaline at the long-awaited regional competition. Olivia Newton-John, Josh Groban, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff guest star.
So far, Morrison’s hot record sales have been part of the ‘Glee’ phenomenon, which has seen fans rush to download cast songs and snap up soundtracks. But the 31-year-old California native is used to individual success.
A graduate of a public high school for the arts in Orange County, Calif., Morrison dropped out of New York University to pursue a stage career. At age 19, after his third audition, he made his Broadway debut in ‘Footloose’ and gained notice with a bigger role in ‘Hairspray.’
(“I’m a dancer before everything else,” he says, then lightly mocks his statement: “I’m a dancer,” he adds, with faux drama.)
At 25, he received a Tony Award nomination for the musical ‘The Light in the Piazza.’ He proved his acting chops sans music in ‘A Naked Girl on the Appian Way’ and moved toward movies and TV with bit parts.
‘Glee’ has given Morrison the kind of celebrity quotient that even a star turn on Broadway can’t deliver. His chiseled looks (and abs, as demonstrated in a Vogue magazine shoot) and talent draw varied admirers.
“This woman came up to me and said, ‘I’m not old enough to be a cougar, but I’m a puma.’ I get a lot of that. I get a lot of gay guys. I think ‘Glee’ is one of the gayest shows on TV,” Morrison said of the series that revels in theatricality.
He recalls ‘Glee’ creator Ryan Murphy saying, “You get the gays, everyone else follows.”
Morrison’s character has been through the mill, enduring his wife’s faux pregnancy, a divorce and a rocky budding romance with adorable, repressed guidance counselor Emma (Jayma Mays). The actor said he’s glad that Schuester has become less of a nebbish and more interesting.
“He’s stepped up and he’s just being a man. … It’s a new guy. What I love about him now is he’s not perfect anymore. Now we’re seeing his faults and he’s making some bad choices here and there,” the actor said.
He’s equally pleased with the show’s heart and its direction.
“At the end of the day, ‘Glee’ is about inspiring kids and how the arts matter. The last episode is so touching and so emotional,” Morrison said.
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