Jenna Ushkowitz Interview — JustJared.com Exclusive
JJ: How did you get into showbiz? Was it that Jell-O commercial?
JU: (laughs) That was one of them. I did three Jell-O commercials with Bill Cosby. I was kind of one of those kids who would go up to people in restaurants and say hi to all the tables – that kind of thing. So it kind of rooted from that and they were, like, why don’t you get her into modeling? She’s a cute little Asian girl! So they put me in and we found a manager on Long Island. The first job that I booked was Fisher-Price for the Dress Me Up Ernie doll and the second one was a Toys ‘R’ Us commercial with Geoffrey the giraffe.
JJ: You have your minor in musical theater – did you play any instruments in college or do you play any now?
JU: No. I learned for Spring Awakening how to play the piano but only a little bit. I can only play you two songs from Spring Awakening! [laughs] I can play “Touch Me” and I can play “The Mirror-Blue Night.”
JJ: What’s your favorite prop from the set of Glee?
JU: Okay, well, there’s this weiner dog statue and Matt Morrison‘s music teacher kept it in his classroom when he was younger.
It’s in the choir room right now. He actually took it from his music teacher’s classroom and put it onto the Glee set. There’s a story back there, that’s why I like it. Or Artie’s wheelchair – either one!
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JJ: Do your song suggestions ever make it to scripts?
JU: No! [laughs] We’ve learned how to hum or sing around the writers and around Ryan and make it their idea. Manipulate it so they think it was their idea – that they came up with it – then it’ll totally make it in but if you request it, it probably never will be.
“Bust Ya Windows” actually was Amber‘s favorite song and she had all of us listening to it. And then when we came back from the pilot, Ryan was, like, “guess what we’re doing?” So she actually did get that.
JJ: Do you have any funny memories on set that you had between scenes?
JU: Amber decided to leave one of our guest stars a note that said “I can’t wait for our scene!” with big lip marks, “Love, Lea Michele” and so he went up to Lea and was, like, “I’m very excited for our scene together, thank you for your note” and she was, like, “What? What note?” and me and Amber are in the makeup chair shaking and convulsing.
JJ: I saw there’s an episode called “Ballads” in the future – do you know any songs that are coming out of that episode?
JU: “Endless Love” and “Don’t Stand So Close”/”Young Girl” mashup by Matt – Mr. Schuester.
JJ:Have you had any funny fan encounters?
JU: We had somebody ask us to sign their forehead. That’s not safe! And with permanent marker? No way. And then we also had somebody ask us to sign their baby. We only signed the dress of the baby – we did not sign the baby. That wouldn’t be safe either.
JJ: Do you have any Thanksgiving plans? Who does the cooking? Where do you go?
JU: To eat! In New York. A lot. I don’t know – I usually watch the parade, but I don’t know if I should boycott it this year!
Usually we go to Disney World every year – we’re not going this year because I’ve done enough traveling and my family has been gracious enough to say, “let’s cook dinner at home.”
We make homemade stuffing – my mom is making Tofurky because I am a vegetarian and we just eat a lot! That’s pretty much it. But usually we have a timeshare so we go to Disney and eat at the Grand Floridian.
JJ: How long have you been a vegetarian? Why did you decide to make the switch?
JU: Probably a year now…and it’s more acceptable in L.A., actually, so kind of when I moved, I’d always wanted to do it. I am trying to have a smaller carbon footprint.
JJ: For a greener world.
JU: Yes, a greener world! Thank you!
A new episode of Glee airs TONIGHT at 9/8c on FOX!