Details: Did you go to a finale party to watch the final episode?
Jonathan Groff: I ended up watching it in my apartment alone on my DVR. Very glamorous. But I didn't watch it live on TV because I did the Glee tour concert at Radio City two weekends ago, and they showed us the finale—so I got to watch it with the cast and with [creator] Ryan Murphy between the matinee and the night show.
Details: Since you've had some time to reflect, what are your Top 3 favorite finale moments?
Jonathan Groff: The first thing was near the end when New Directions sings "To Sir With Love" to Mr. Schuester [Matthew Morrison]. My mom is a teacher, so I have great, great respect for them, and one of my best friends from high school was my math teacher and that song brought me to tears. If that song can break Sue Sylvester, it can break anyone.
Details: And #2?
Jonathan Groff: That moment when Emma [Jayma Mays] was really fighting with the principal because now that they had not won regionals it was clear that the Glee Club was going to get outed. And then she and Mr. S had that really intense scene in the hallway.
Details: Her character is normally so reserved.
Jonathan Groff: Totally. And then there was that kiss. Apparently, the director of that episode said to Matt before one take, "Kiss her and surprise her, and see what she does." And so that was the take that aired—that kiss surprised the actress and the character. It was a total improv moment.
Details: What was your third favorite?
Jonathan Groff: The Journey medley. We all have such an emotional attachment to them singing "Don't Stop Believin'." To see all the new members of the club singing together and how far they've all grown in the course of just one year was kind of mind-blowing to me.
Details: Which characters deserve more screen time?
Jonathan Groff: Santana [Naya Rivera]. We just started to hear her singing on the show with little solos here and there and I think that her voice is so special. Every time she opens her mouth, I'm like "Wow."
Details: Since your character is now nemesis with Rachel [Lea Michele], it makes sense you'd want more of Santana since she's so mean to her.
Jonathan Groff: Total bitch. It's awesome! [laughs]
Details: Will you be back in Season 2 to cause more misery?
Jonathan Groff: It's still up in the air. I would love to come back, but nothing is set in stone.
Details: Would you want Jesse and Rachel back together next season?
Jonathan Groff: Anything could happen, right? Although he is a senior this year, so that might get a little illegal. [laughs]
Details: Did you know before signing on for the show that you were going to turn into a bad guy?
Jonathan Groff: I sat down with Ryan in December and he told me his sort of dreams for the character that he wanted me to have an edge and be shifty and unexpected and potentially, you know, evil. So I knew what I was in for when I jumped in.
Details: Let's talk fashion: will you miss those vivid pink Vocal Adrenaline shirts?
Jonathan Groff: I never imagined that I would ever wear that color pink as a character or in real life. What's interesting is I'm from Lancaster, PA where there is lots of Amish—that outfit is incredibly Amish. They will sometimes wear a really bright blue. I don't know if they've ever worn pink in that shade, but the collared shirt with the black suspenders and pants is very Amish. So, Amish rock star, that's what I was going for.
Details: What's one of your best memories of being part of Glee?
Jonathan Groff: At the live Glee concert right before they went on stage everyone would stand in a circle and hold hands and Ryan would give everyone a pep talk. It literally as if it had been plucked from the show, like Mr. Schuester pumping everyone up before the Glee Club goes out to perform.
Details: Rayn Murphy called for a boycott of Newsweek after Ramin Setoodeh's infamous article was published.
Jonathan Groff: Yeah, it was so great—we didn't really talk about it that much. If anyone says anything hurtful about anybody in that company or anybody that's his friend, he totally has their back.
Details: Other than that controversy, how has being on Glee changed your life?
Jonathan Groff: I've never been recognized on the street before but ever since Glee that's been happening. A few weeks ago I was walking down the street in London these British girls came up to me and so nicely asked, [affects a British accent]"Are you Jesse St. James?" It shows how far reaching Glee is and it's pretty awesome.
Details: So that positive experience was before the episode you egged Rachel in the face aired?
Jonathan Groff: It was pre-egging...maybe I should get a shield or something.
Bonus Behind-the-Scenes Photos on the Set of Glee:
This is Haylee Roderick. She was one of my main dance partners. She's only 19 years old, if you can believe that. We really got off. She is a really beautiful dancer. And the two of us in this moment—this is the final moment of the song, right when it's just stopped rocking out, and we're just [singing]: "Ooooh yeah, oooh yeah. Nothing really matters, anyone can see..."
Dancers are my favorite people. They're a specific breed of person. You have to be because you don't become a dancer to become famous. You become a dancer because you love dancing. You don't get paid a lot, and there's no real gratification or celebrity or success, other than the job that you're doing. Many of these dancers will just be a flash in the final product. Maybe some of them will get close-ups here and there, but a lot of them will just sort of be in the background. And yet, they're working their asses off and just loving their jobs.
This is Mary and Roxanne. They are on the hair team. They weren't in charge of my hair specifically, but Mary and Roxanne did all of Vocal Andrenaline's hair. And between takes, they would spray people down and wipe off sweat. They sort of have the unglamorous job.
This is Kelly, one of my favorite people on-set. Kelly is the PA in charge of the actors. He has the job of dealing with everyone's specific needs, which could be the most frustrating and annoying job on the planet. But Kelly has so much fun and is always making jokes and making people laugh. He's the person that—when you're really tired—has to be like, "Alright guys, it's time to go to set!" But he always says it in a way that makes you want to get up and go right away. He's so good at his job.
The hair is looking good in this picture! So coiffed. I went on Youtube and looked up Freddie Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody, and there were all these incredible videos of him performing it live. It's so good. He's mind-blowing. I watched that over and over again. And I Wikipedia'd the song and read all the interpretations of it, so when I was at this piano singing, I was in it to win it.