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“Glee” star on his career ambitions: “I want to be the next Gene Kelly … Or the first Matt Morrison.”

Matthew Morrison, the Broadway star who now plays the faculty mentor on the hit TV show Glee, is profiled in today’s Parade and talked about his own high school years in Orange County which he says were charmed.

“All the kids in the cast tell me they hated high school, but I had the best time,” he sheepishly admits. “I guess I was one of the popular kids. I played soccer, I was class president—I even dated the homecoming queen.”

But still, deep inside, he’s always been something of a loner: “My mom was an RN and my dad was a midwife, and they were working all the time. I had this wild imagination, and I’d come home after school and stage these whole scenes with my toy knights. I was really lucky when I stumbled into theater. It felt great living in someone else’s skin.”

Morrison is single and splits his time between L.A. and New York, where he keeps a one-bedroom apartment in the theater district. “I’m still kind of a loner. Even the sports I’m into—running and cycling—are the kind I do myself. I like to throw my bike in the back of my truck, drive out to Malibu, and then bicycle along the Pacific Coast Highway. It gives me a chance to be alone with my thoughts.”

His career was already thriving but Glee has catapulted the 31-year-old actor to an entirely different level. He plans to record a solo album and movie offers are coming in. “I’d like to think of my career as a chess game, not a checkers game. I want to be thinking a couple of moves ahead. … I hope to be one of those guys who has a strong presence in every genre of the entertainment world. I’ve kind of established myself on Broadway and on TV with Glee, and I’d eventually like to do some film work. I want to do it all.

“I want to be the next Gene Kelly,” he sums up, with a hopeful smile. “Or the first Matt Morrison.”

Related posts: My chat with “Glee” leading man Matthew Morrison

*** Matthew Morrison chats with AfterElton and Parade

*** Happy Birthday to “Glee” star Matthew Morrison

FILE UNDER: Television

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