It’s been a rough few weeks for us Gleeks, so I thought I’d lighten the mood with a celebration of our favorite cast as they’ve ventured into movieland. From Jane Lynch in the 40 Year Old Virgin to Darren Criss in the brand-new Kristen Wiig comedy Girl Most Likely, the Gleeks are conquering the big screen.
Peep this cheat sheet to your favorite Glee stars on film!
For the new Girl Most Likely, his first major film role, Criss plays the very hetero Lee: a Yale grad who speaks French and yet finds himself part of a Backstreet Boys cover band in Atlantic City. Lee’s the manic pixie dream boy that helps Kristin Wiig’s Imogene learn to be happy with her life. He’s also shirtless, wearing eyeliner and gyrating a lot. The movie might be a little lackluster overall, but Criss clearly shines.
Mays’ has a cartoonish face (we say that with love) so it’s only fitting she’s part of the The Smurfs franchise as Grace Winslow, half of the couple who takes in the blue critters when they arrive in New York. Mays took another comedic turn as Paul Blart’s love interest, Amy, in 2009’s Paul Blart Mall Cop.
Michele’s big screen break saw her join the ensemble realm with New Year’s Eve. Like Valentine’s Day before it, the film focuses on various vignettes focused on holiday romances. Michele plays backup singer Elise, on her way to an important gig when she’s trapped in a faulty elevator with Aston Kutcher. (Not a terrible predicament). And while New Year’s Eve earned five Razzies, it also grossed $143 million worldwide.
Not content to simply act in a feature film, Colfer wrote and produced this dark comedy that sees him playing Carson, a sarcastic high schooler who’s totally over small-town life. The film took an independent route—playing film fests before its simultaneous VOD and theatrical release—and boasted major co-stars like Allison Janney, Rebel Wilson and Christina Hendricks.
Lynch is probably the biggest movie star of the Glee crew—capturing our hearts (and funny bones) in Christopher Guests projects like Best In Show and A Mighty Wind , and as hypersexual manager Paula in The 40 Year Old Virgin. But Lynch played it serious—and stands her own against Meryl Streep—in Julie & Julia.
Glee’s blonde beauty has had a variety of film roles, from a small part in Burlesque to starring roles in thrillers like The Hunters and I Am Number Four. Her next turn will be in Malavita, where she’ll play the daughter of Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer as part of a witness-protection family that can’t help but return to their mob way.
Harry Shum Jr.
Before he was the other Asian dance kid on Glee, Shum made his name dancing across the big screen in, like, every dance film from the mid 2000s: Stomp The Yard, Step Up 2: The Streets, Center Stage and Step Up 3D. He’s also tried his hand drama-comedies at with the well-received gay indie White Frog.
Before his sudden death, Monteith had several film credits to his name, including a small role in the Selena Gomez vehicle Monte Carlo (He played Owen, the boyfriend who propoped marriage right before the girls left town.) Montheith’s next major project, All The Wrong Reasons, will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival and sees him a big-box store manager whose wife is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. And in McCanick, his final film, Monteith plays arecently released young criminal named Simon. It’s a testament to the talent that could have blossomed in the years to come.