On Tuesday, August 14, Blake Jenner became the latest winner of "The Glee Project" landing a seven-episode story arc on the Fox show "Glee." While he was one of the strongest and most consistent contenders during the entire season, he seemed to have the least obvious personal story. And in a show where "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy kept asking the contestants to show their vulnerability so he could envision the part he would write for them, Jenner's apparent lack of depth seemed like a drawback.
Sure, he was very camera-friendly, had a nice tone to his voice and could act like nobody's business. But what was the character that Murphy would create for this potential "Glee" cast member? In a recent conference call Jenner talked about the bold move he made during his final audition that probably won him the role and what part he hopes Ryan will write for him.
Blake Jenner pulled out the poetry
All season, Jenner was the pretty boy with the golden pipes. But didn't "Glee" have enough of those? Surely Ryan would have been more inspired by Ali Stroker, who was bound to a wheelchair, or Aylin Bayramoglu, who was bravely becoming an actress against her Muslim family's beliefs.
And clearly this distinction was not lost on Jenner. In the eleventh hour, when he had finished his final performance in front of Murphy, and the decision was about to be made, Jenner pulled out a poem. He read the words he had written about being the actor who has struggled, the young boy who had been bullied, the starving artist trying to overcome adversity. And those few verses seemed to seal the deal for Jenner who later became the newest cast member of "Glee."
He recalled, "It was a risk because it was either a hit or miss. That was the last chance I had to show Ryan who I was and that there were different levels of me… The poem is just the start of the levels of me that he could see eventually… Either the poem was going to work, or it was going to flop. It was a risk going in, but it was the last chance that I had, and I was totally going to take it."
He added, "I'm really glad that I did it because I do feel like it helped. But I think win or lose, it just showed me for the world to see and to just know exactly who I am and what I've been through."
What character will Blake Jenner play on 'Glee'?
So now the questions start about the kind of character Murphy will create for Jenner? Will he just be the next Cory Monteith, whose character Finn graduated last season? Jenner does not believe that is possible or necessary for the show. He said, "Nobody could ever replace any character on 'Glee.' Everybody's their own and that character is there to stay, whether they're on the episode or not or if their spirit's just in the choir room. So I don't think anybody could ever replace Finn."
Jenner said he does hope he gets to be the guy in the choir room that everybody turns to for advice or a friendly ear. He wants to be the kid who stands up for his friends while hiding a few demons of his own.
He described his dream role, "He's there for everyone, but he's also got some skeletons in his closet. He's also got some stuff in his life going on that he just doesn't want to open up because he's so used to being there for everyone, but he's not used to having to vent to someone. I'd love to be that he's got something going on in his life that secretly… but eventually they boil up and then people just have to finally help him after he's helped everyone."
Tune in next season when Blake Jenner joins the cast of "Glee" on Fox.
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