"Lots of kids in situations like mine are," he says finally. "You bend yourself from a young age, you're a chameleon. Whatever environment I was in, I adapted. When I first moved to L.A., I didn't like it. But now I think it's a pretty cool place. I blend right in here. I like it. It's a city of chameleons. Whatever I need to be, I am, and it's me, and it's not me.
"You know what's funny about being a chameleon?" he goes on. "If you speak convincingly with some razzle-dazzle, a large portion of the population will believe you, even if what you say is complete and utter nonsense."
But here's the thing. Among the cast and crew, Monteith has a nickname, Frankenteen, given to him by Murphy. "It's because I'm huge and awkward," he says, "and I'm not a teen, but I'm playing a teen. I'm like the assembled teen." And you know how in the beginning, at the Guitar Center, Monteith so quickly offered up his driver's license as collateral for the drumsticks? It seemed then like the gesture had something to do with purity and honesty. Now it seems like it's what he expected would be asked of him and he wanted to beat the guy to the punch. So he was wrong. He's not perfect. Franken-anythings never are. It's OK, though. It's even OK when, right before dropping us off, he says, "I've always been a chameleon, but I stopped and now I can just be myself." What a great big load of complete and utter Glee-worthy nonsense. He's a Frankenteen, a soul assembled, and always will be. We watch him turn his hot-rod Honda around, then glide it down the hill, not going fast this time. He's had a tough life. He seems to mean well. Finally, he turns a corner and is out of sight.
A while later, we set off to meet Dianna Agron — Quinn on Glee, the pregnant cheerleader-turned-club-member and former head of the school's celibacy society — on the roof of a hotel overlooking the city with all its majestic, gaudy, twinkling lights. Soon she is stepping out of an elevator. Her lips are bright red. Her dress is right out of the Happy Days Fifties. Her age is 23. Her drink of choice tonight is a Bloody Mary — but only one. Her father was a general manager for Hyatt hotels, two of which she lived in, Eloise-like. Her high school experience, in the San Francisco suburb of Burlingame, was distinguished by a complete lack of dope smoking, drinking, stealing car stereos, speaking in tongues or anything like that. She was an honors student. Her acting career started when she moved to Hollywood at age 18 and got parts in shows like Heroes, after which she says she was offered "horror film, nudity, horror film, nudity," and turned them all down. Her acting career nearly got derailed by a writing career: In her spare time she wrote a screenplay about a guy who can't say "I love you," and sold it right off the bat. Then came Glee. "When we cast Dianna as Quinn, she ruined the part for me," Murphy says. "She was supposed to be the Cybill Shepherd, Last Picture Show cunt, so to speak, but she humanized it. She can cry at the drop of a hat. So now her character has a conscience, a soul and great vulnerability."
Some people might find this seemingly easy ride stupendously irritating. But it's not as if Agron hasn't suffered in life. Her high school boyfriend cheated on her relentlessly, until one day she wised up and said to him, "Nice driving in that Mustang of yours. Find someone else to take around town." Also, she was the last one cast for Glee, so the other kids had already bonded by the time she arrived, which made it all the more terrible on the set one day when Monteith, smelling fart, loudly blamed her. "I wanted to murder him!" says Agron. "And that's why we've never dated. Maybe. I don't know. Not that I was alluding to that. We never dated. He's like my brother!"
Murphy calls her "a breezy free spirit," but right now she seems pretty uptight. And for good reason. She knows all about our halls-of-high-school line of questioning and has come ready to parry our every puerile feint and dodge.
From the start, it's not looking good. "I don't swear," she says. "I don't party a lot. I've smoked cigarettes, but I'm not a smoker. I don't go running around being brash and brazen. I'm a good girl. Look at this $12 vintage pink dress I have on. This is how I dress every day. Have I ever made out with a girl? In my life? Oh, my goodness. I don't know. Maybe?"
How Tiger Beat can you get? In fact, how Tiger Beat can all of the Glee kids get? OK, so maybe it wouldn't be wise for them to flap their lips in the manner of, say, someone like Tara Reid, who at a similar age, under similar circumstances, once told us, regarding sexual congress, "I love it. And then I'll want it every day. And it'll literally be like where I want to call someone and say, 'Hey, what's up, it's Tara. I just ate a cheeseburger, and so can I come over and be fucked?'" But would it hurt them to be just a little more open? Or has Fox told them they'd better keep it clean, or else?
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