The second half of Glee Season 4 has been a roller coaster ride, as weightier issues such as gunfire in schools pop up amidst the usual song and dance numbers.
At the center for much of this has been Blake Jenner’s Ryder, who not only admitted to having been molested by a babysitter when he was young, but has also been working to find out the mystery person who has been chatting with him online... yet refuses to show his or her face.
In this exclusive Q&A, Jenner previews tonight’s season finale and just how big of a cliffhanger we can expect from "All or Nothing."
TV Fanatic: We found a lot of Ryder’s backstory in the last couple episodes, which I love. Is that stuff you knew going in or this all kind of stuff that's developed as the season has gone on for you?
Blake Jenner: I've never known one thing. It's definitely things that have developed as the season has gone on. It's just like adapt with what we're given and just give it our all and try to make it real and emotional and everything as possible.
TVF: You've had some really great dramatic scenes this season. Talk about the challenges in that.
BJ: It's always great when you have great directors and I think us on Glee we have the best directors and the most caring and most nurturing and everything. So they definitely the scene with the whole molesting thing, all that stuff. It was Paris Barclay, who was our director for that one. He was just so nurturing. I’ve always studied acting and you always want to do a great job, but as long as you have the right direction, which we've always had, and the right guidance I feel like it's always comforting.
TVF: I love the scene you had with Kitty because it really showed a different side of her that we didn't know. Can we expect Ryder to look at her a little differently moving forward?
BJ: Well, first that scene great to shoot. I had a few lines in that scene but Becca [Tobin] definitely carried that whole scene and she did an amazing job. I remember shooting that scene and it really got to me. I mean, tears were flowing. I was getting teary-eyed with her because she was just great and just hearing that story, how could she not feel it, whether it was someone acting or whether it was someone actually telling you, just hearing those words, because you feel for the person…it’s always great to work with amazing people and that’s what she is.
As far as Kitty and Ryder go, I guess you can expect to see some regrets [and] you can definitely see some things happening and Ryder still trying to track down who Catfish is so that kind of gets in the way. So he's not really thinking about Kitty too much but when the whole Catfish thing is revealed, which it does in the last episode, you can see something boiling for sure and something is happening.
TVF: Do you think in a way that the whole catfish thing has actually helped Ryder open up? Maybe it hasn’t been that bad of a thing.
BJ: It’s helped him because I think Ryder, at the beginning, he was a person that didn't want to seem weak. Like with the whole dyslexia thing at the beginning, it killed him to admit that he needed help. I don't think he ever wanted help. He never wanted to seem weak and he’s always wanted to just work things out for himself, which is a lot like me. When I was in high school, I was working and just trying to work things out for myself and trying to look after myself and trying to be independent. So I think that’s what Ryder is striving to be.
There are some things obviously with the shooting and what to do and all that stuff…there’s going to be a lot of loose ends wrapped up. we're going to pick right back up where we left off in season five...so there’s going to be some things that are resolved in the finale, but then, there’s going to be some things that are going to carry on and are going to make you want to tune in next season because you're going to want to know how everything is resolved. So there’s going to be a few cliffhangers with New York and Rachel, with Sue and everyone. It's just cliffhanger galore.
TVF: I like that. Well, I know it's too early to really talk about what's going to happen in season five, but if you kind of had a wish who you’d love to have more scenes with that maybe you didn't get to past season, who might you want to have more story with next year?
BJ: I'd love to have more story with Cory Monteith. I love working with Cory. I think he’s an amazing actor. So it's definitely him, definitely Melissa Benoist. She's an amazing actress. Maybe Mr. Schue? Matt [Morrison]. Because Ryder has only maybe a couple scenes with him. So I would really love for Ryder to confide with Mr. Schue on his issues and maybe open up to him. Maybe have some breakthroughs with this teacher and mentor.
TVF: Any plans for your hiatus or are you just going to be resting and relaxing?
BJ: Most probably resting and relaxing, but I'm working on some fashion projects myself and I finished a script that I was writing for like two years. But, yeah just resting and relaxing and gearing up for the next season.
TVF: So we can call you a triple threat because you're writing, you're doing fashion stuff. You're doing a lot of different things.
BJ: I mean, I've always loved acting and writing since I was a kid, so it's all exciting and I love it. I love it for sure.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.