One of the best parts of “Glee” is of course the performances, which wouldn’t be anything without the exceedingly talented cast. A cast member responsible for this is Harry Shum Jr., who has consistently impressed fans and critics alike thanks to his superior dancing abilities and charming persona he brings to his character Mike Chang. A professional dancer who has toured with Beyoncé, Shum has also starred in Stomp the Yard, You Got Served and numerous Step Up movies. With season 4 premiering tonight at 9:00 PM on FOX, we sat down with Shum to chat about his character’s evolution, his style, Gwyneth Paltrow and more.
StyleCaster: What would you say is the best part of being on “Glee”? What is the most exciting part about going to work?
Harry Shum Jr.: I’ve been on many sets throughout my career and in many types of shows, but I think what’s the most exciting is just the energy behind the whole crew and the cast. Everyone is just so happy to be there. It doesn’t even feel like work at the end of the day. And that’s what’s really special. And we have so much respect for the crew. Usually, people don’t talk about the crew, but for me, that’s the best part — getting to hang out with really cool people everyday.
What’s your proudest moment from “Glee”?
I’ve been proud of every single number I’ve been a part of, but there’s a few that sound out for me. One is on the Michael Jackson episode, where I performed “Scream” with my costar Kevin McHale. Both of us look up to Michael, so it was a very special moment.
What can we expect from Mike in the upcoming season?
I’m not quite sure yet. I think there’s going to be some cool turns that are unexpected, especially with how things have gone since the first season, second season and third season with my character. I drastically progress and evolve and I expect Mike to evolve even further. There will be really cool performances and he will come out of his shell.
Who was the most fun guest star you’ve ever worked with on “Glee”?
I think people would say Gwyneth Paltrow, and I’d say that as well. She’s so cool. While there have a ton of guest stars in the past, we spent the most time with Gwyneth. The whole crew got to work with her and she is generous and helpful. A lot of things with her were totally unexpected. She is a great actress, good singer and can dance. It was really cool to see someone of her stature by so down-to-earth. She would bring her kids around. She didn’t feel like some Hollywood actress.
Are you similar to your character Mike? What about your style?
I think we’re similar in the sense that we are very honorable and loyal to people. I think that he’s always been moral and that he always stood up for other people. He stood up for Kurt, stood up for the boys, and those are the qualities that I’m proud of. Style wise, there have been moments where I end up liking a lot of Mike’s clothes and going out and buying them! I try to refrain from dressing like him, but he has some really cool stuff. With the kicks though, I like to go a little bit more casual. Sometimes he wears colors that are a bit much for my taste. But he’s happy! He’s basically always happy.
Aside from “Glee,” you’ve done a lot of dancing. Who was your favorite artist to work with?
I can never express my love for Beyoncé enough. I had the greatest time on tour with her. It was special because it was her first time going solo, so it was a major experience for her. And it was my first tour, so it was a new experience for me. Jay-Z came on for five or six nights and Usher came. There were a ton of celebrity guests. It was a whole new world for me, just one of the best experiences.