Matthew Morrison Talks the 10-Year 'Glee' Anniversary and Where Will Schuester Is Today (Exclusive)
By Paige Gawley
Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Matthew Morrison is reflecting on the decade that's passed since he first set foot in McKinley High.
ET caught up with the 40-year-old actor at Tushy's Funeral for a Tree in New York City on Thursday, and he spoke at length about starring as Will Schuester, the lovable glee club adviser, on Gleefrom 2009 to 2015.
"A lot has happened. It feels like a good number, yeah," Morrison said of marking nearly 10 years since Glee's premiere in May 2009. "I actually love the experience now. At the time it was just a hard show to film. It was really challenging."
Despite how hard it was to make a musical show, Morrison is thankful for its impact, both on his life and that of the people who watched it.
"I constantly get people coming up to me like, 'You helped me coming out of the closet' or '[You helped me] when I was getting bullied in high school,'" he revealed. "So I feel like, unlike a lot of shows, this show really had a touch point that people could get behind. The messages were very strong and, when you tell stuff through music, I feel like it deepens it more."
"I’m just really proud of what we did on that show," he added.
During his time as Mr. Schue, Morrison starred in countless musical numbers, but two stood out to him as being the most memorable -- one as his favorite, and one as the most unbelievable.
"I’d have to say the 'Singin’ in the Rain' and 'Umbrella' mashup that I did with Gwyneth [Paltrow]," he said of his favorite number in the series, which took place during season two. "It was just so much fun. And just working with her, she was such a star and she’s just the nicest person."
"That number was [us] just on this flooded stage kicking water at each other all day," he added. "It was the best."
As for the most inconceivable performance -- "There were a lot of them," Morrison quipped -- the actor pointed to "You're All the World to Me," a black-and-white number that he sang with Jayma Mays during season four.
"I still can’t believe we did that number," he admitted. "… [Mays' character] Emma and I were in that room that was rotating and we were dancing on the ceiling. We shot it in this spinning box… That was very challenging."
With the glee club long-since having performed its final song and dance, Morrison has some ideas about what Will Schuester has been up to since the show wrapped.
"He’s got four kids. And I’d like to believe that Will is opening up a string of performing arts high schools all across the nation," he pondered.
As for whether he'd return to the role, Morrison, who said he keeps in touch with pretty much everyone from the cast, said he'd be up to return in some capacity, but not for a full-on revival.
"I would love to do, like, a concert with everyone or something like that," he said. "I think the show had such a moment at the right time and to recreate it now it just wouldn’t have the same impact."
After Glee ended, Morrison kept busy with roles on both Broadway and TV, including shows like Younger and Grey's Anatomy. The thing that's kept him busiest, though, is welcoming his son, Revel, whom he shares with his wife, Renee Puente.
"He's inspired me for so many things," Morrison gushed of the 1-year-old, even pointing to Revel as the reason he became passionate about protecting the environment and officiated Funeral for a Tree. The event was put on by Tushy, a company that makes attachable bidets in an attempt to limit toilet paper use.
"After having a child, I just feel so much more passionate about things," Morrison said. "About what I can do for my children’s generation, my grandchildren’s generation, to give them a beautiful planet to live in and give them oxygen to breathe."
His dedication to the environment, which he helps to protect with a reusable water bottle and a focus on cycling, coincides with his love of nature, something he hopes to pass on to his son.
"We’re about to take this epic cross-country road trip in June and I’m so excited for it just ‘cause I want to go to these amazing national parks and just watch my son play with sticks and just hang out," he said. "So I’m really looking forward to that and just teaching him an appreciation for nature."
Morrison just wrapped an album, is set to appear in "a very popular show" later this year, is busy with his company, Sherpapa, and is even working on The Museum of Dance -- which he calls "an immersive theater experience" -- but his number one priority is clear.
"I'm working on the greatest role I ever had," he said. "Being a father."