Emilia Clarke, Richard Plepler, Peter Dinklage, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Lena Headey, Jack Gleeson and Michael Lombardo at the season 4 premiere of "Game of Thrones"
After the long journey to its 100th episode, the members of the “Glee” family can look back on five years' worth of memories. Variety asked some of the cast and crew to reflect on their experiences on the show. Here are some of their favorite behind-the-scenes moments.
Casting director Robert Ulrich vividly remembers casting Amber Riley as Mercedes Jones: “We were having a really hard time casting that role. Amber sang a simple little song, and I said, 'Can you sing, “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going” from “Dreamgirls?” ' She sang three lines, and I knew we had it. It was one of the most thrilling moments of my entire career. It was just electric.”
At the end of the pilot, coach Sue Sylvester watches the glee club perform “Don't Stop Believin'” with disgust, but actress Jane Lynch felt something completely different: “They were just wearing red T-shirts with minimal choreography. For the actors, being together for first time doing a song, and for that group of characters, without a leader and creating that for themselves, I was really moved by it.”
Guest stars can make a real impression on the cast. Kevin McHale remembers Kristin Chenoweth filming “Maybe This Time” for the show's fifth episode back in 2009: “I'm not a musical theater guy at all. I didn't really know who Kristin Chenoweth was.
I remember from the first take, every single time she did it, we all freaked out. I got goose bumps. I told her that a couple of weeks ago. I was like, 'This is embarrassing, but I didn't know what 'Maybe This Time' was. When you sang it, it was the first time I heard it, and I have never forgotten it.'”
One performance that got to Harry Shum Jr.: “We were on the first tour (in 2010). Ryan (Murphy) brought a DVD of the (season one finale) when Vocal Adrenaline did 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' It was this amazing parallel between this dance and this song, and Quinn (Dianna Agron) giving birth (in the episode). It touched me. Not that I've ever had a baby, but the beauty of how it was written and the choreography with the music....something stirred in me, and I started crying. I was watching with the whole cast, and while they were touched, they looked at me like, 'Whoa, what is wrong with Harry?' "
Brooke Lipton remembers the unique challenge of choreographing for a rotating room. In 2013, cast members Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mays performed “You're All the World to Me” from “Royal Wedding”: “(Producer) Zach Woodlee and I were like, what are we looking at? It was just the blank canvas of making that room really move and rotating the camera. When Lionel Richie did that for 'Dancing on the Ceiling,' they had weeks to practice it. We had a five-hour rehearsal and then shot it.”
Musicals are usually adapted from the stage to the bigscreen, but this little Irish movie that could ultimately became a Tony-winning Broadway hit. Shot on a miniscule $160,000 budget, the Dublin-set naturalistic drama from writer-director John Carney won the hearts of U.S. audiences with its tragic love story and beautifully somber music. Stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who comprise the Irish folk duo The Swell, won the best original song Oscar in 2008 for their haunting ballad "Falling Slowly."
The critically acclaimed biopic earned Irish director Jim Sheridan and Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson Oscar noms. Based on the true story of Gerry Conlon, the drama follows the Guildford Four's alleged leader's 15-year struggle for justice after being wrongfully convicted for the Irish Republican Army's 1974 pub bombings that left five dead and over 70 wounded.
The 1999 drama based on Frank McCourt's memoir of the same name chronicles the author's childhood following his family's forced emigration from America back to Ireland. It tells the touching tale of McCourt's struggle to earn enough money to return to “the land of opportunity.”
Director-writer Neil Jordan made a name for himself as an envelope-pushing filmmaker with this psychological thriller. The 1992 film stirred up controversy in its depiction of race, gender and sexuality. Set against the backdrop of the four-decade-long ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland, the movie focuses on an Irish Republican Army man who befriends one of his captors and falls for his girlfriend.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman play Irish immigrants trying to cash in on the American dream. The duo eventually participate in the Land Run of 1893, when over 100,000 people flooded to present-day Oklahoma to claim land during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet. One of Ron Howard's first pics, the movie featured Cruise and Kidman as the quintessential on-and-off-screen “it” couple.
The 1952 American classic follows a retired American boxer, played by John Wayne, who moves to Ireland in the 1920s to reclaim his family's farm. He embraces the land after falling in love with an Irishwoman (Maureen O'Hara). The romantic drama earned John Ford a best director Oscar.
Steve McQueen's directorial debut and first collaboration with Michael Fassbender won the Caméra d'Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. The gritty drama recreates the tense atmosphere at Northern Ireland's Maze prison leading up to the 1981 hunger strike. Fassbender plays an Irish Republican Army volunteer who goes to physical extremes to regain political status.
Directed by Jim Sheridan with a semi-autobiographical screenplay from Sheridan and his daughters, the 2002 pic documents an Irish immigrant family's struggle to start fresh in a rough New York City neighborhood. The film scored an original screenplay Oscar nom, among others.
The 1991 classic Irish dramedy adapted from Roddy Doyle's novel of the same name follows working class Dubliners who form an American-style soul band. Despite its relatively unknown cast, Alan Parker's film was met with critical acclaim and box office success. It also put actor Colm Meaney on the map.
Another Jim Sheridan visual masterpiece, “The Field” explores a farmer's love for his land. Set in Ireland's rural west, it also reflects the country's changing social and political landscape.