Meet 'Glee's' New Mean Girl: Erinn Westbrook

by Jarett Wieselman 8:54 AM PDT, October 03, 2013
Photo: FOX

Last year, Glee introduced Kitty, the new head Cheerio with a mean streak. But throughout the course of the fourth season, her edge dulled and we were asked to sympathize with a character who had spent weeks forcing an eating disorder on her "best friend." This year, we're getting a new mean girl, Bree, and according to actress Erinn Westbrook, the writers will be reveling in her bitchiness for quite some time.

In addition to learning that relieving piece of information, Erinn also broke down the show's complex audition process and explained how it feels to have gone from gleek to Glee star!

ETonline: Were you a fan of Glee before being cast?
Erinn Westbrook: I was a fan, which makes this all the more exciting. I love to sing, I love to dance, I love to act, so clearly I gravitated towards this show prior to the audition.

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ETonline: So what was it like the first day you put on that Cheerios costume?
Westbrook: I mean, it was so surreal and it really truly felt like a whirlwind because I was auditioning for all of July, and even during the process, it was a goal, but there were so many girls auditioning, it felt relatively impossible. You hope for the best, but when I found out I was the girl they chose for this part, I was beside myself. It's a dream come true.

ETonline: How secretive is the audition process?
Westbrook: For example, my character was named Ruby in the beginning -- they didn't even want to give away the real name. As the audition pool got smaller and smaller, more information came out about the character and what they were looking for. It's funny to go from auditioning for a girl named Ruby to playing Bree. They were very careful about everything.

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ETonline: What are the auditions like in terms of acting, singing and dancing?
Westbrook: From the very first audition they just want to see us sing and dance, but there was no acting in the beginning. That just stressed how important those portions of your talent are. Once you pass that stage, there is still singing and dancing with every other audition, and then you start acting. You also have to learn choreography, you have to come up with your own choreography, you have to sing additional songs; you do all of that throughout the process.

ETonline: Does all of that even begin to prepare you for what it's like to actually work on Glee?
Westbrook: I don't think anything can really prepare you for it. The audition is just making sure you have the passion, the talent, the ability and the dedication to handle the type of work they will give you. Obviously getting on to set has a completely different feel and you're just thrust into it, but by this point the casting directors know the qualities an actor has to have in order to make a successful character. I'm fully prepared; this is what I am meant to do!

Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.