elcome to Dianna Agron Heaven, an exclusive and in-depth fansite for the talented actress Dianna Agron. Known from projects such as "Glee", "The Family", "I am Number Four" and more recently "Novitiate" and "Hollow in The Land", Dianna has through her career captured both film and television audiences alike with her strong performances and incredible charm. Our goal is to provide fans with an extensive resource on Dianna, with high quality photos, all the latest news, career information, fan pages and graphics. I hope you will enjoy the site, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns. - Sara, DA.ORG
Sara   /   October 18, 2010

 Source: GQ Magazine |  Written By: Alex Pappademas |  Published On: 18 October 2010 |  Type: Article |  Filed Under: GQ Photoshoot, Glee

(Published in GQ Magazine October 2010) How the hell did a show about high school theater geeks come to be the biggest TV show in America? Well, T&A helps. (That’s talent and ambition, you pervs.) But so does a generous helping of pot-laced brownies, girl-on-girl subtext, and choreographed dry-humping. Gleeksters Lea Michele, Dianna Agron, and Cory Monteith pull Alex Pappademas into the vortex

The Kids Are All Right
Thursday afternoon in the auditorium at Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School in Long Beach, California, and if the twelve relatably attractive young people who play the irrepressible William McKinley High School show choir on TV’s Glee are tired—if the pressure of following up a debut season that spawned hit soundtrack albums, a sold-out concert tour, and a crazy-passionate fan base of self-professed “Gleeks” is getting to them, if they feel like they’re singing and dancing as fast as they can—it doesn’t show.

They’re onstage making serious faces while mouthing along to a Glee’d-up rendition of Joan Osborne’s God-rides-public-transit hit, “One of Us,” which means this is probably the end of an episode in which everybody learns a Very Important Lesson.

But whenever the director calls “cut,” a slumber party erupts. Kevin McHale (Artie) and Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Naya ­Rivera (Santana) break into dueling Michael Jackson impressions. Everybody takes turns pushing each other in Artie’s wheelchair. At one point, the sound guy pipes in Cali Swag District’s novelty-rap jam “Teach Me How to Dougie,” and the whole cast does the limb-flapping “Teach Me How to Dougie” dance.

The whole cast, that is, except for Lea Michele. On Glee, she plays the hyperdriven Rachel Berry, a Tracy Flick with pipes, forever scolding her choirmates for their lack of commitment; when everyone starts to Dougie, she whips around and glares at them. “We’re singing for God today, you guys.” For a second, it seems like she’s serious. I write down Possible diva moment? Investigate further. Then the giggling resumes.

Baby, I’m a Star

Metaphorically, Glee is about to graduate from Cabrillo. They’ve been shooting here for two years, but after this week they won’t be back. A replica of Cabrillo’s auditorium has been built on the Paramount lot, in what Cory Monteith, who plays the dim-sweet jock Finn Hudson, describes as “a testament to the juggernaut that Glee has become.”

It’s not the only one. There’s also the tour, a four-city victory lap for the show, and those soundtracks—to date, the cast has lodged more singles on the Billboard Hot 100 than any other group except the Beatles—and the Emmy Ryan Murphy won for the Glee pilot. The show’s also won a Golden Globe, a SAG award, a Peabody, a GLAAD award, and a Worst TV Show of the Week condemnation from the Parents Television Council, which cited “[a] veiled reference to fellatio, a speech denouncing abstinence, simulated sex during a musical dance number, and premature ejaculation.” Apparently they missed the episode in which Puck (Mark Salling) laces the bake-sale cupcakes with medical marijuana (and gets away with it).

“I didn’t want to do a family show,” says Murphy. “I wanted to do my version of a family show. But we try to be as responsible as we can, because we know some young people watch. Some of the humor goes over their head, hopefully.”

Meanwhile, on the Internet, where the teenage dream life of the culture really unfolds, _Glee_k ardor runs hot. Wild and wishful blog-speculation about on- and offscreen couplings. The YouTube tribute videos starring kids in their bedrooms, British hairstylists, and Ben 10 action figures. The self-explanatory Tumblr shrines like Fuck Yeah Cory Monteith. And—inevitably—the reams of NSFW slash fiction in which everybody gets it on with everyone else.

In the wake of last season’s episodes devoted to Lady Gaga and Madonna (the first Material Girl–related cultural event in a decade that didn’t feel like an extended dungeon session with Madge’s titanic ego wielding the whip), rock icons with catalogs to exploit are lining up for the Glee treatment. Paul ­McCartney sent Murphy a mixtape full of tracks he thought would work well on a Sir Paul episode, which means there’s a possibility that at some point in the future, Glee will turn a generation of tweens on to “Temporary Secretary” and “Uncle ­Albert/Admiral Halsey.”

In short, Glee’s got a choke hold on the Zeitgeist, from kids too young to sext to senior citizens who used to play in Wings, which is impressive for a show that’s technically in the same genre as Cop Rock. (None of the cast members I talked to had seen Cop Rock. The young: always so ignorant of history’s greatest atrocities.) But maybe it’s not that surprising—Glee reaches multitudes because it contains them.

Much like Britney Spears—who’s getting an episode devoted to her catalog this season—Glee is somehow both baby-deer naive and not-that-innocent. It portrays Christians as hypocrites while subtly pushing values that are pretty Christian, when you get down to it—tolerance, self-sacrifice, giving your baby mama your pool-cleaning money, respecting the songwriting genius of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. It’s as anachronistically sweet as Bye, Bye Birdie but gayer than Hedwig. It’s a show where Agron, as the conniving cheerleader Quinn, convinces her boyfriend that she’s pregnant with his child (it’s someone else’s), but it’s also a show in which Monteith sings a soaring soft-rock rendition of the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” to a sonogram of that baby.

Look at it this way. For about a decade, TV’s most popular singing-and-dancing show was Glee’s Tuesday-night Fox lead-in, American Idol, in which young people lined up to have their dreams flayed by Simon Cowell, an English millionaire with an $8 haircut and a bottomless reserve of spittle-flecked disdain for weakness and eccentricity. Cowell clearly despised this country, and he felt the same way about the Idol contenders’ hopeful little hearts as Jack Bauer did about terrorists’ kneecaps, but we put up with him and his show’s ruthless winner-take-all competitive-sport pop music paradigm for ten long seasons.

At first, Glee—another show about kids channeling a yearning for specialness into full-throated renditions of pop schlock—looked like a fictionalized Idol, the way Lost was a scripted Survivor (with polar bears). Really, though, Glee refutes Idol’s whole ethos. Asked what the difference between the two shows was, Lea Michele tactfully replied that they were too different to compare. “One is about being judged, and one is not,” she said—which is actually a pretty elegant comparison and gets at the sea change the Idol-Glee transition seems to represent. Maybe the success of a show like this—gay-positive, anti-gender-stereotyping, as anti-looksist as a show full of good-looking TV actors can be—suggests that America is becoming less judgmental. Or maybe a show that loves losers this much is the perfect American Idol successor for the Obama era because we’re all finding out, as a country, how it feels to be the underdog.

Glee is not exactly at its best when it’s being deliberately “progressive.” It’s as unafraid of teachable-moment overkill as it is of having somebody really go for it on the corniest trucker-gearshift crescendo of a Journey song. There’s a rst-season episode called “Wheels” in which Mr. Schuester decides that the kids need to learn how hard it is to be poor paraplegic Artie and sentences them all to spend three hours a day in a wheelchair and Sue Sylvester turning out to have a sister who has Down syndrome and a subplot about the fabulously gay Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer, who has brought subtlety and grace to what began as a pretty stock bitchy-comic-relief role). The wheelchair stuff is funny, then cringey; Colfer’s plot is something else. He’s competing with Rachel for a solo on “Defying Gravity,” from Wicked; at one point, we see Kurt struggling to hit one of the song’s impossibly high F notes while his grease-monkey dad (who’s portrayed as being totally accepting of his son’s being “queer as a $3 bill”) slowly walks to answer a ringing phone. The person on the other end says, “Your son’s a fag,” and hangs up.

At his tryout, Kurt deliberately blows the high note, and his chance at a star turn, to save his dad from further harassment but tells him, “I’m proud of who I am.” Then there’s a performance of “Proud Mary” in which everyone’s in wheelchairs. But that scene with the piano and the phone call is what this show’s really about. The drama on Glee happens in the gap between the people these kids can be when they’re singing, in the bursts of orchestrated, choreographed fantasy that bust out of the narrative of the show, and the people they have to be the rest of the time. It’s about how a pop song has the power to bowl over the contradictions and indignities of the real world, offering a glimpse of freedom and transcendence, and about what it’s like to go back to being yourself when the music stops. If that thesis tips over into cheese on occasion, so be it—sometimes our yearnings are super-uncool. As Rachel Berry put it: “There is nothing ironic about show choir.”

You Must Love Me

A month or so earlier, over kale and organic red wine at a restaurant in the East Village, Lea Michele—who is tiny in person, and tornado-energetic, and seems so determined to have you like her that it’s basically impossible not to—pondered the Lea/Rachel dichotomy in detail.

Michele (whose most high-prole pre-Glee credit was onstage in Spring Awakening) auditioned for Glee twice. The audition you hear about more often is the second one, because she showed up with glass in her hair after getting into a car accident on the way over. But the story of the rst one may say more about how much Rachel there is in Lea, or vice versa.

The accompanist in the audition room made a mistake, and everybody laughed, except Michele.

“I was like, ‘I’ll go slap him in the face,’ ” Michele says. She did. “I thought, ‘What did I just do?’ But they loved it.”

There’s video of the audition on the Internet; Michele seems utterly serious and utterly Rachel already.

“I didn’t know how much I was Rachel until I saw the video,” she says. “I love Rachel. She’s awesome.”

Born in the Bronx, Michele grew up in Tenay, New Jersey. She loved Natalie Wood and Gilda Radner—”like, Roseanne Roseannadanna,” she says, “because that was the only character I felt was spastic or gawky or funny like me”—and decided to devote her life to theater after seeing Funny Girl, starring Barbra Streisand. (There is talk of Michele playing the Streisand part in Funny Girl on-screen someday, but she doesn’t mention it tonight.)

“Barbra’s character is a funny-looking girl with a ridiculous voice who becomes a famous Ziegfeld girl. But she can never do anything serious. She’s like, ‘I can’t sing about how beautiful I am, because I’m not beautiful. So I’ll make it funny.’ I was like, That’s me. I look like her. I understand her.”

When she started acting, people told her she needed a nose job.

“I was one of the only girls in my high school that didn’t get one,” Michele says. “And if anybody needed it, I probably did. But my mom always told me, growing up, ‘Barbra Streisand didn’t get a nose job. You’re not getting a nose job.’ And I didn’t. Fuck those people.

“That’s why I’m proud,” she says, “to be on a positive show and to be a voice for girls and say, ‘You don’t need to look like everybody else. Love who you are.’ ”

We’ve established a no-judgment rule here at this table, Michele and I; we’re going to eat kale and pick our teeth in front of each other, and it’s going to be okay. Emboldened by this climate of openness, I decide to sh for gossip. Is it true, I ask Michele, that Ryan Murphy made all of you promise not to have sex in your trailers between scenes? (I’d read this on the Internet, which is full of truth.)

“He’s never said that to me,” Michele says. “Because he knows I’m not hooking up with anybody in my trailer.”

Cool. So who had the most groupies on the Glee tour?

“That’s tough,” Michele says. “Kevin was in a boy band, so he had a lot of fans. Mark and Cory, for sure—I mean, every night, after the show, they would go say hi to all the fans.”

Either she’d misunderstood what we meant by “groupies” or she’d misunderstood it deliberately or this wasn’t working. I ask her what it was like to perform at the White House Easter-egg hunt.

“Rolling down the hills on the lawn, looking up at the snipers on the rooftops. Feeling like, at any moment, you could get shot. It was amazing. Using the bathroom was weird. The toilet paper had, like, the White House seal on it. I mean, we watched Amber sing the national anthem in front of Obama. We were crying.”

Is there a lot of crying on the set?

“Oh yeah,” Michele says. “A lot. And if anything’s going on in our lives, we have each other. One time, I was having a bad day, and I called Chris Colfer. He came over with a pint of ice cream and Madea Goes to Jail, and it was, like, the best night of my life.”

This is how everybody involved with the show talks about Glee—it’s been an incredible ride, the cast is like family. I gently suggest that this camaraderie can’t possibly last—that they’ll be at one another’s throats, Grey’s Anatomy–style, by season three.

“Someone from [another] television show came up to us at an event and said that,” Michele says, “and I got offended. Our show won’t still be running in season three if we’re not feeling that way, because then we won’t be real, and people will see it. So let’s hope that everything stays that way. Because I need this. I need this family!”

What’s the Rachel quote? “I’m like Tinker Bell—I need applause to live!”

“That is the best quote ever,” Michele says. “I understood that line.”

The Cheerleader

On Glee, Dianna Agron plays Quinn Fabray, who joins show choir after getting pregnant and losing her place as McKinley High’s queen-bee cheerleader and Celibacy Club president. Rachel’s the one who quotes Tinker Bell; Quinn, who gets some of the best mean-girl lines this side of Heathers, calls Rachel names like “treasure trail.” They’re Glee’s Alexis and Krystle Carrington, which makes Agron and Michele its Joan Collins and Linda Evans, which means everyone wants to believe one of two things about them—that they’re bitter rivals, perpetually on the verge of a catght, or (because this is Glee) that they’re lovers in real life.

When we talk to Michele, she talks about how much she misses living with Agron, whom she roomed with for six months after Glee was picked up, and when we meet with Agron at the Little Next Door restaurant, she’s equally effusive about Michele.

She’s heard what people say about them. It doesn’t bother her—she thinks it’s funny, although sometimes she worries. She says that during the photo shoot for this article, “when it was just Lea and me, I was like, ‘We’re in skimpy clothes, we’re up against each other. This is feeding those rumors.’ I’ve never been shot in so little clothing.”

This is as close as we get to a scandalous line of inquiry; Agron is blonde, pretty, and polite, in a way that sort of inspires reciprocal politeness. We do not speak of trailer sex.

She tries to order lamb couscous without the lamb, because she’s a vegetarian. She settles for salmon. We talk about the Glee tour, the screaming fans chasing their tour bus away from every venue, the mothers shoving their children through the crowd so they could touch the hem of Agron’s garment. We talk about what it’s like to clink SAG trophies at an awards-show afterparty with Meryl Streep and Quentin Tarantino. And we talk about what it’s like to fall off a four-story building, something Agron does in her new movie, the Steven Spielberg–produced sci- thriller I Am Number Four, based on a young-adult novel written pseudonymously by tough-guy fabulist James Frey.

“I selshly wanted to be higher, because by the time your body registers that you’re falling, you’re already slowing down.”

Agron grew up in Burlingame, California, just outside San Francisco. Her dad was a general manager for Hyatt; when she was 8 years old, they visited Los Angeles, staying in the Hyatt overlooking the Fox lot. Her parents couldn’t tear her away from the window; she looked down, thinking to herself, “One day I’m going to be down there.”

At her Glee audition, she sang “Fly Me to the Moon,” because she’d sung it a year earlier, on her twenty-rst birthday, when her friends prodded her to get onstage at the Dresden in Los Feliz. When she landed the role, it was her second time being cast as a cheerleader—she’d played Hayden Panettiere’s rival on a few episodes of Heroes. But it quickly turned into a very different assignment.

“I remember Ryan saying, ‘You’re about to get pregnant,’ ” she says. “And I thought, ‘Bring it on.’ When they put the pregnancy pad under my cheerleading outt, I was walking around the set, and people were like, ‘Only on Glee!’ ”

Agron’s own tastes are remarkably uncheerleaderish; she might be Glee’s in-house hipster. Most days she pulls up to the set blasting something like Bat for Lashes. She’s directed a video for indie rock band Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. She’s already sold a screenplay—for a romantic comedy about a guy with mother issues. She’d like to be an actress-director like Soa Coppola when she grows up, and whenever anyone asks her whom she’d like to see do a cameo on a future Glee episode, she always nominates Christopher Walken. “I don’t think people are too fond of that suggestion,” she says. “I think they just want me to say Justin Timberlake or something.”

(Read Cory and Lea’s part at the source here.)

Read more about the spread + find photos and videos at our magazine page here.

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