Attention all Gleeks! Melissa Benoist, who plays Marley Rose on the Fox musical comedy, has a very important announcement.
“Some people tweeted me that they thought she was dead, but she is not dead,” Benoist tells TVGuide.com. “She is alive.”
Phew! But just because the glee club newbie survived a fainting spell brought on by her eating disorder during Sectionals, her battle is far from over. Not only will Marley have to start taking better care of herself — physically and emotionally — but she’ll also have to work to win New Directions over after jeopardizing their shot at Regionals. Benoist talked to TVGuide.com about Marley’s road to recovery, her research for the “daunting” storyline and the possibility of another Glee tour.
New Directions newbie Marley Rose shed her previous “Wall Flower” persona and became “Woman Fierce” during last week’s “Dynamic Duets” hour in which she stole a page — and a guy! — from frenemy Kitty. But will Marley’s newfound self-assuredness last considering Kitty’s claws come out every time Jake’s involved?
As McKinley heads to Sectionals, will Marley’s Kitty-induced skewed self-image bring the Wall Flower back or will her fierce alter-ego show up? Or worse: Might Kitty (Becca Tobin) strike back and cost New Directions its comeback on the biggest stage of the new group’s young season? The Hollywood Reporterturned to Melissa Benoist to preview what’s ahead for one of the glee club’s biggest new voices as she navigates a love quadrangle, anorexia and the pressure of performing for Quinn, Santana and the current National Champions.
The Hollywood Reporter: Last week, Marley shifted from being a “Wall Flower” to what Kitty dubbed “Woman Fierce.” How long can we expect that attitude to last?
Melissa Benoist: From this point on, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Marley no matter what. We’ll see glimpses of that strength that she’s found through “Woman Fierce,” but she’s not finished battling her inner demons.
THR: Will her anorexia intensify?
Benoist: I don’t think she’s very healthy and it will intensify. It’s not something that was just a thing she was trying out. Kitty really got into her head and she’s definitely going to keep battling a lot.
THR: Ryder (Blake Jenner) and Jake (Jacob Artist) have both told Marley that she has a skewed vision of herself. What’s it going to take for Marley to start listening to these people who are telling her how beautiful she is?
Benoist: At this point, she’s so far gone — she has such a different view of herself than everyone else does. You could say she is a pretty and smart girl but she will never see that. At this point I think it’s going to take something very drastic to happen for her to realize — and it’s going to be no one but herself — that something is terribly wrong and she needs help.
THR: Kitty has really gotten into her head. How is Marley not suspect of Kitty’s motives?
Benoist: Perhaps it’s because of all the male attention Marley’s gotten from Ryder and Jake and the friendship she found in Jake from the start — they really see eye to eye on a lot of things because they come from the same background. With Kitty, Marley is excited to have a female friend and someone who is popular and someone who does fit in — or seems like they fit in well and easily. Marley is in such an insecure state that it gives her a sense of belonging — in the wrong way.
The Warblers return, New Directions finally takes shape and unlikely friendships emerge during the episode scheduled to air on Thanksgiving.
Glee brings duets back into the spotlight during Thursday’s episode, which features New Directions channeling their inner-superheroes during an hour that sees Finn (Cory Monteith) tested as the new head of the musical club.
During Thursday’s episode, which features nods to Thanksgiving, the Dalton Academy Warblers return as McKinley’s Superhero Club pushes nearly everyone to find and embrace their inner hero.
Here are five teasers from “Dynamic Duets.”
1. Blaine’s (Darren Criss) mystery guy surfaces (sort of). As evident in the “Grease” auditions and last week’s performance, Blaine is still beating himself up over Kurt (Chris Colfer) and the student body president gets some unexpected help from his vice president. Expect a flashback.
2. Brittany’s (Heather Morris) nickname for Blaine comes back to threaten his allegiance to New Directions, prompting McKinley’s Superhero Club to go into overdrive. Not to be outdone, the hero-themed episode spills into Dalton Academy as one specific member makes a very Dr. Evil-style entrance.
3. For those who have been waiting patiently for the new New Directions to take hold, “Dynamic Duets” does just that as the Finn-led club finally rounds out its ranks to 12 members and takes the stage for one of the strongest group performances in recent memory. The person behind it will make Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) proud.
4. As the episode’s title implies, expect to see some unexpected pairings that help push two very unlikely alliances forward. One will remind you of Finn and Puck (Mark Salling), the other of Rachel (Lea Michele) and Quinn (Dianna Agron) and both will warm your heart like deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving and bring a smile to your face like pecan pie with vanilla ice cream on top. How they get there, however, won’t be pretty.
5. The back story for one of McKinley’s best and brightest new faces will be explained — and it will take a toll on one emerging relationship, sending another into overdrive.
What are you looking forward to seeing? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox. Check out a promo, below.