Glee Cast Shares Behind-the-Scenes Memories at PaleyFest LA

Michael Bulbenko for Paley Center for Media

With just a week to go until Glee makes its final bow, the cast is making the final rounds of their farewell tour. After all, if any show is going to have a glorious swan song before they go out, it’s going to be the musical-dramedy phenomenon. On Friday night at PaleyFest, cast members Lea Michele (who plays Rachel Berry), Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel), Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester), Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones), Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson), Dot-Marie Jones (Shannon Beiste), Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans), Heather Morris (Brittany S. Pierce), and Mark Salling (Noah Puckerman) all participated in the farewell panel at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. The event—which was moderated by Entertainment Weekly‘s resident Gleek Tim Stack— brought behind-the-scenes stories and personal anecdotes as the cast reflected on the past six years of the award-winning show.

Kristen Chenoweth Was the Cast’s Favorite Guest Star

Everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Jonathan Groff showed up on screen. But when the cast was asked about their favorite guest star, Amber Riley quickly answered Kristen Chenoweth, with fellow cast members nodding in agreement. “Her energy in general is just happy,” Riley said of Chenoweth— who played the brash and boozy April Rhodes—adding, “And she always brought gifts.”

Darren Criss Wrote the Final Song Lea Michele Sang on the Show

Criss had suggested writing music for the show, and Michele couldn’t decide what her last Glee song should be, so fate came together and he penned her final performance number. “This Time” was described by Criss as “a love note for the entire series” and Michele praised him for penning a song that “perfectly encapsulated the entire experience.”

Mark Salling Lied About His Age to Get on the Show

Salling, who played bad boy on the show, was actually something of a rebel in real life, too. The actor admitted he lied during his audition and said that he was 19, instead of his actual 26. As it turned out, Salling didn’t even need to lie. When the show’s creator Ryan Murphy later asked Salling how old he really was, Murphy was relieved, because he wanted someone who looked a little older anyway.

Chris Colfer Had a Series of Firsts on Glee

The youngest of the group, Colfer was straight out of high school when the show first started and experienced a lot of firsts throughout the series. The cast’s physical during the first season was the first time Colfer had gone to the doctor alone (a fun fact that elicited a lot of “Awwww!”s from the audience) and he had his first drink ever with his Glee cast mates.

The Cast Found Oprah More Intimidating to Meet Than the Obamas

During their whirlwind press tour over the show’s first season, the Glee cast had a weekend that including performing at the World Series, singing at the White House for the Obamas (well, just Amber Riley, anyway), and appearing on Oprah. Almost in unison the cast agreed that meeting Oprah was far more intimidating; for Chicago native Jane Lynch, “It was a big deal.”

Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss Stole Walls From the Set

Yes, walls. Last month on Twitter, Lea Michele famously shared the emotional keepsake she took home with her after Glee wrapped, but the cast shared some other stories about what was taken from the set. Lynch said she “went through the proper channels” to get some of Sue’s track suits, and Riley ratted out Overstreet and Criss for swiping the sound insulation from the walls to put in their own home studios. But every cast member got a piece of tile cut from the stage they all performed on over the years.

Darren Criss’s Perfectly Coiffed Hair Took Time

“I won’t miss it at all,” said Criss of the hour-long preparation and “shitload” of hair gel required to complete the Blaine look.

The Last Scene of the Series Will Feature Matthew Morrison Singing to the Original Cast Members

Michele, who freely admitted she was the most emotional of the bunch during the final day of filming, revealed that the last scene is Mr. Schuester singing to the original group of kids who started everything. “We all fell into this ball, sobbing” Michele said. In other words, if you’re a Gleek, you’ll probably want some tissues handy for the finale on March 20.