Glee Preview: 5 Questions For First-Time Director Matthew Morrison

Mr. Schue is for the first time calling the shots off screen as Matthew Morrison steps behind the cameras to helm tonight’s holiday-themed episode of Glee (8/7c on Fox). How’d the first-time director do? “We just had a screening of it for the whole cast and crew yesterday at work and it got such a great response,” Morrison tells TVLine. “I’m very proud of it.” The ambitious undertaking was not without its challenges though. Read on to find out what “scared” Morrison most about making his directorial debut, and why he’s confident his co-stars will not be following his lead anytime soon.

TVLINE | How did the cast adjust to seeing you as their boss as opposed to just a co-star?
That was the thing I was most worried about. I was scared. I didn’t know how they’d react. But there was such a good vibe on the set. Everybody had my back. Every cast member was so open to what I had to say.

TVLINE | What’s the gist of the episode?
Sue is working for this homeless shelter for the holidays and she’s trying to get the glee club to come, but they already booked this PBS Christmas special. So Sue goes crazy a little bit, as Sue does. The episode is all about the kids getting it together and figuring out what the holiday spirit means.

TVLINE | Any personal highlights?
Two of the acts are entirely in black-and-white. It’s an [homage] to the Judy Garland Christmas specials, and it’s very heightened and there’s a laugh track. And the black-and-white is beautiful.

TVLINE | Why did you decide to direct?
I’ve been doing this role for three now and, while there are new challenges every week, it [has become] pretty manageable. This was completely outside of the box for me, and I found it so rewarding.

TVLINE | Did any of your co-stars get bit by the directing bug while watching you in action?
No. Just the opposite. [Laughs] Everyone was like, “Oh, my God — you are working hard.”

For more from Morrison, including scoop on next month’s big “Proposal,” hit up Ask Ausiello tonight!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sam says:

    Hopefully he doesn’t direct as badly as he acts. I feel like his feedback was “Bigger!” and “Less believable!”

  2. L says:

    I’m not a huge fan of him or his character on the show, but here’s hoping his directing does the episode justice.

  3. Amelie says:

    Not much of a Morrison fan, and to be honest I don’t really like his character Will much either, with that character less is definitely more. But hey, good for him.

  4. Sam's actual brain says:

    Thanks Sam. As usual, you and probably others like yourself here, will bash Matt, proving over and over again why the glee fandom is made of morons who have nothing better to do than insult others online.

    For a show that’s called Glee, its fandom sure can be the most disrespectful and mean people out there.

    • Adriana says:

      I sooo agree with you. I’m sick & tired of people complaining about this and that. If you don’t like the show, then change the channel. I’ve had it with fans of Brittana or Finchel or Klaine talking about how their favourites don’t get as much screen time as the others. I like about Glee that’s not about one person or a couple. It’s about everybody on the show.

  5. Sienna says:

    I’m really looking forward to this episode. I admire the guy for being up for the challenge of directing. Good for him.

    • yep says:

      It is a monumental task to direct even a small play for a dance class much less hours of prep then many hours shooting then all the hours post production that none of us fans know about. So I’m impressed with Matt for taking on a project like this. He’s a good guy and a respected member of their team.
      As for the disrespectful comments of some of those who choose to post on a forum like this shame on you for being condescending about a character and actor on the show. I loved Will and Emma season one but they have all but been forgotten since then. The writing for them season 2 was dismal inane and they became wall art. The majority of fandom of the show keep harping to the writers for more of their favorite characters and got it thus leaving Will, Sue, Emma out on a limb. This is where many people have voiced their dislike for said characters but the show has to and needs to keep some adults in school as a foundation to support and monitor the students in any given storyline. Parents of the kids can’t just be it for the show. As much as I love Burt and Carol they don’t represent the authority. Figgins is the bumbling principle with no say and power. This is why Sue as the aggressor and Will is supposed to be their confidant and champion to help them. But the writing hasn’t held up to that premise. An equal balance of minimal to lack of authority to the Glee club fumbling through their school years with little to no help. This premise to the show has been as much as lost and just about the kids and their personal lives.

  6. BrittnyAnn Scott says:

    For all of you saying that Matthew Morrison’s ‘directing hopefully is better than his acting’ how dare you?!? Why can’t you just be happy for someone getting out of their comfort zone and doing something new?!?! I applaud you Mr.Morrison for being the kind of actor/director that others can look up to.

  7. Jess says:

    Love Matt and Will! So happy for him.

  8. sophaus says:

    Thank you for saying that… It’s so very true. Glee “fans” just hate on the show all the time, and it gets really old hat!
    Can we all seriously not watch a show without criticizing every tiny element?

  9. Dan says:

    I have no problem with Mr. Morrisons acting, he seems to do an ok job with the material he gets. I have a problem with the character Will and how he is written though (a teacher constantly ignoring some students problems etc.).
    But thats the thing about Glee, you can’t take it too seriously… You can find stupid things to hate about every character on that show if you look for it.

  10. Jarrad says:

    Yeah, Glee fans used to be a whole lot nicer than they are now. I’m not sure when the change happened from happy, positive fans to snarky life-sucking trolls. Anyhow, congrats on the directing gig to Matthew Morrison. He is setting himself to have a well-rounded career which is a smart move.

  11. Angel says:

    Perhaps unlike a few others here, I’ve been out of high school a few years, and have enjoyed the adult characters very much, including Will Schuester. Many times, he’s been hilarious in scenes with Sue, been supportive and kind with Emma and Coach Bieste, stood up to students in his club who were acting out, and disrupting the work, broken up fights, and, oh yeah, worked hard enough at his second job to help his students win Sectionals a couple of times. He even finds the time to to bring some cheer and sing with children in a cancer ward once a month. Matthew brings out the sincerity, good humor, determination, and compassion in the character, and his songs have been favorites (and have done well on the music charts.) I look forward to seeing more of the character in the second half of the season, and to tonight’s episode with Matthew having directed it.

  12. Waage says:

    Such an awful episode.

  13. Ev says:

    I rather liked this episode. It was a bit choppy at times, but the role reversal between the Sue being the “help others” character and the Glee club’s “i’m too busy” attitude was a welcome change. They are teenagers after all. It wasn’t the best out there, but very a very respectable showing for this first-time director. Rory’s Linus bit at the end was a great!

  14. Sal says:

    Matthew Morrison is great actor and it was nice to see how he directed the christmas special. I really liked the episode, wish there was more of a storyline. Because last year’s christmas special was such a beautiful storyline. Although, I really loved the black and white special tributing The Judy Garland Christmas Specials. It was a new, facisnating idea. The part about star wars was random… don’t know hwy the writers included that.? Great job as usually Matthew.

  15. Love glee, but this was THE WORST EPISODE EVER!
    All of the songs sucked.
    Rachel was in every scene for no reason (worst character too)
    The reference was lost on almost everyone (should have mentioned Judy xmas specials at least once for people to google)
    All of the people in the black and white scene would not have been able to be IN the scene it is parodying (blacks, jews, gays)
    Terrible Terrible. Terrible.

  16. Phil Sweet says:

    This episode PALED (putting it mildly) in comparison with last seasons Christmas episode. I like Matt Morrison but directing is not his strong suit.

  17. Marlayna says:

    I liked this episode. I thought that the black and white act was stunning – especailly let it snow, FYI Judy Garland special was mentioned by Artie. Rachel was very frustrating but as usual she got there in the end. All in all not a super favourite episode of mine but I enjoyed it. Well done Matt.

  18. Barb says:

    You do realize he didn’t write or edit the show? I think he did a good job with the material he was given.

  19. Skimo says:

    What a bunch of freaking grinches on here! Maybe you need to watch the christmas episode and learn a thing or two about the holiday spirit instead of bashing people. Either that or go back to your cave animal.

  20. Jean says:

    Loved the opening of the show with the Mercedes/Amber solo, it was a great grabber. It was a nice twist to see Sue reaching out in a sentimental way, so uncharacteristic for her; and, how the group split, some doing the homeless shelter and some the show. The black and white 50s style show work was very impressive.

  21. shelley says:

    Geez people instead of using the web to search porn and bash T.V personalities you don’t like type in a judy garland Christmas special and see that the similarities were pretty spot on. Back then those types of Holiday specials were over the top and very Broadwayish those who have been to a broadway show know that if you can’t afford good tickets you are sitting at the back and if the stars don’t make the over top hand, arm and face gestures it’s just people walking around talking and it could get pretty boring IMO. So even though I don’t think that this episode was up to glee standards that us true Gleeks have come to expect here’s hoping that the episodes will get better..

    So for some people that like to knock these actors saying I don’t like the way they act or the way they sing fine every one has an opinion but remember the line between bashing someone and voicing why you thought the other person was better suited for the part or a song, and to those who just love to be mean all the time maybe after your nasty comments we would love for you to post your link where you post your video of you either singing or dancing..just saying

  22. Rhonda says:

    Love Mr. Schue/Matthew Morrison. Great job!

  23. Debbie says:

    Although I love Matthew and his character Will, I can’t say I loved tonight’s black n white scenes. I found them a bit corny. I think if he directs again, he should stick with the “regular” format of the show!

  24. Roman says:

    Gosh, I wonder whether anyone of you would have guessed, that matt made the director, if no one told you. Greez from switzerland

  25. G-maw Debbie says:

    Are these shows made to put a mirror in our face? Or are they here to make us forget our mundane lives for a few minutes? Maybe both? Why knock something that can make someone laugh, when you realise school hasn’t changed so much in the last 35 years! You need to start looking for the good in things, instead of the bad! Learn from our mistakes and lend a helping hand! Don’t be so quick to judge! (Unless that’s the way YOU want to be judged?)