Harry Shum, Jr. might be one of the lesser known supporting players on “Glee,” but he’s hoping that will change.
The actor who plays New Directions member Mike Chang opens up to Zap2it about working on the hit FOX show and then shares a few choice tidbits about himself that his fans might not know.
“You’ll see a little more of [Mike],” Shum says. “They’re starting to build our characters a little more. There’s more room to now that the regulars are more established.”
He also has hopes of showing off more of his dance skills on the series. Shum was at the Oscars Sunday night (March 7) to watch his handiwork in action. He had helped choreograph the routine for the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (LXD), highlighting the nominated film scrores.
“They’re trying to work it in [‘Glee,’]” he explains. “They’re definitely really open to that, trying to use everyone’s talents and utilizing them the correct way. There will be some numbers with a little more dancing and other numbers where it’s scaled back.”
As for romance, Shum is amused when he hears that “Glee” fans want Mike Chang and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) to get together.
“Some Asian love? I don’t know,” he says with a laugh. “There’s some possibilities of a couple love interests but that’s up to [creator Ryan] Murphy.”
5 Things you don’t know about Harry Shum, Jr.
1) He has a connection to Joss Whedon, who’s directing an episode of “Glee.”
“I know him from one of my friends. She’s a writer with him — Maurissa Tancharoen — so we have that connection there. He’s really cool, a really funny guy, down to earth and seems to be fun. He introduced himself and had some funny things to say. His personality is pretty wicked. I look forward to working with him.”
2) He’s an adventurous eater and has eaten crickets
“Yeah, someone sent a package of crickets from Hawaii. I’ve eaten them before, so they were like ‘Film it! Film it!’ I don’t know if I want the world to see me as a cricket eater yet. I love Asian food. I love food in general, but I love to explore the Asian culture and food, even Korean food, Japanese, Thai, Singaporean.”
3) He did musicals as a kid
“Our school was a little too cheap to get big name ones. I’d do like “‘Tumbleweeds’ and I did ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ and ‘This Is Not a Test.’ I think a lot of them are revised ones — like there was a fake ‘Grease’ — it was basically ‘Grease,’ but they didn’t want to pay the royalties. I think it was called ‘Dirt’ or something. They weren’t from the big leagues, but they were still fun and I learned a lot from the process as well.”
4) He speaks English, Cantonese and Spanish and dreams in two of the languages.
“I think [I dream in] English for the most part but I definitely have some dreams where it’s probably in Chinese. Cantonese. I actually recently reinstalled my Rosetta Stone on my computer for Mandarin because I’m trying to brush up on that. It’s really difficult. Whoever says it’s easy should shoot themselves. I don’t use Spanish as much as I used to anymore. I’ll use it more if someone’s talking crap about me, then I can retaliate because they don’t know I speak it.”
5) The person he’d most like to dance with is the late Gene Kelly.
“I just love the fusion, his sense of style and his stage presence was just impeccable. I would love to do something on a different scale as far as hip-hop and just get that fusion together. I think it’s getting there. I think LXD given that platform to allow that creativity to be seen on such a mainstream level. Obviously I liked ‘Singing in the Rain,’ I’ve seen it a million times, but I love ‘Summer Stock’ and ‘American in Paris’ is great, but the other movie [‘Cover Girl’], I’ve never seen the whole movie, but it’s the one where he’s dancing with himself in the mirror.”
“Glee” returns to finish up its first season on Tuesday, April 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Be sure to read Part 1 of Zap2it’s interview with Harry Shum.