The Drama-fication of Harry Shum Jr.
Harry Shum Jr is all about the love.
The love of dance, the love of performing, the love of getting to live out his dream on an hourly basis. So it's rather fitting that his latest project, a short film called The Last from Wong Fu productions, is all about amour.
The Last also provides Harry the platform to flex his dramatic muscles. Glee fans first got a whiff of his serious skills in Asian F, while OutFest audiences were brought to their feet after watching his performance in White Frog. I caught up with Harry to talk about dipping his toe into dramatic waters, why he's so invested in raising the bar for online content and what you can expect from Mike's return to McKinley!
TheInsider.com: What was your first reaction to reading The Last?
Harry Shum Jr: I was just blown away by the script. It was poetic and so beautifully written about these five people this guy had loved. I just thought using your experience to find the one who captures everything you'd learned from all the loves who came before was a great way to put the relationship in perspective.
Insider.com: It's also so beautifully shot.
Harry: The visual part – seeing the girls I'm thinking about -- was so cool because that's exactly what it's like when you think about someone you loved once. You visualize the moment, you see them and how they were, not how they are.
Insider.com: What does The Last say about love that you like?
Harry: I think what people don't take away enough about their past relationships is how it can help you in the future. How it can help you advance your understanding of love. I think in most parts of people's brains, they can't really function as far as calculating what love is because it's an emotion. To put those experiences into perspective can often make you not want to waste any time not loving. Getting hurt while trying to love is something everyone should experience because it will only help you make wiser decisions down the road.
Insider.com: Paired with White Frog, you are definitely showcasing your dramatic side lately. Is that a conscious effort on your part?
Harry: When I first started wanting to be an entertainer, it wasn't about being just a dancer or just an actor. I wanted to be an entertainer. The scope of that is a wide range of things: from a comedic actor to singing and dancing, it's all the things I really love doing. When you're part of a show that magnifies certain aspects of your repertoire, you have to showcase the others in whatever way you can. I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to do these shorts.
Insider.com: The new found appreciation for online content kind of changes people's opinion of you as an actor almost before they can form it.
Harry: I really believe the web is the future of our business. It's still in the early stages, but Hollywood is noticing. They’re already trying to figure out how to get more involved. There are times where you're able to try things out because with TV, there's a lot of money and pressure. The web lets everyone try.
Insider.com: Speaking of TV, you're back at work on Glee. How has that been?
Harry: It's been great. I've been shooting for the past month and it was really nice to come back and see the crew and the cast and the new kids. It's been different but I love the new format with Rachel in New York, and us coming back as mentors, while the new kids are driving the plot forward.
Insider.com: Can you tease anything about what to expect from Mike's return?
Harry: Well, he's coming back on break and he's spewing knowledge he's learned while being away. Also, there's the relationship between Mike & Tina. They broke up and we'll see what exactly happened during that breakup and whether or not they can get back together.
Watch a behind the scenes sneak peek from Harry's first Glee episode of season four!
For more on Wong Fu, click here!