Writing Glee was one of the most rewarding experiences of Ryan Murphy’s career. The show gave many up-and-coming actors the chance to showcase their talents, while providing more seasoned performers like Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele with new opportunities and challenges. Since the series wrapped up its six-season run in 2015, fans have been yearning to find out which other stars could have ended up on Glee had the show continued or if they were available at the time. Here are ten actors who were almost on Glee!
1) Cory Monteith
Cory Monteith’s role as Finn Hudson on Glee was one of the most memorable performances of the show. But did you know that Cory almost didn’t get the part? He was not the first choice for the role, but after the producers saw his audition, they knew he was perfect for the part.
Cory had already made a name for himself in the entertainment industry before getting cast on Glee. He had appeared in TV shows such as Smallville and Supernatural and films like Monte Carlo and Whisper. Despite this success, many people initially overlooked him for the role of Finn.
The people behind Glee wanted someone who could portray a leader and an all-American jock type. Cory fit the bill, and soon became the heartthrob of millions of Glee fans around the world. His good looks and great acting ability made him one of the most beloved characters on the show, even though he almost didn’t get to play it.
2) Lea Michele
Lea Michele is one of the most iconic actors to ever grace the stage of Glee. She is best known for her portrayal of Rachel Berry, a bright and ambitious teen who dreams of making it big on Broadway.
However, before she was cast as the star of the show, several other actors were considered for the role. One of those actors was Anna Kendrick, who has since gone on to have a successful career in both films and television. Another actor who was almost cast as Rachel Berry was Amy Adams, who is now a Hollywood A-list star.
Ultimately, it was Lea Michele who won the part. Her captivating performances on the show earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series in 2010.
3) Amber Riley
Amber Riley is one of the most iconic Glee stars. However, she almost missed her chance to be a part of the show. She had originally auditioned for the role of Quinn Fabray but was turned down. She later auditioned for Mercedes Jones and got the part.
Riley had some doubts about taking the part at first, thinking that Mercedes wasn’t as important as other characters. However, as the show progressed, it became clear that her character was an integral part of the show. Mercedes was a strong female role model who wasn’t afraid to speak up and stand up for herself.
Riley’s performance earned her an Emmy nomination in 2011 and she was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s 30 Under 30 in 2010. After Glee ended, she continued to pursue her acting career and appeared in a few films and television shows. Her most recent role is playing Calisto in the Broadway production of Dreamgirls.
It’s amazing to think that Amber Riley almost didn’t get her shot on Glee, and we are thankful she did!
4) Chris Colfer
Chris Colfer is one of the most recognizable actors from Glee and a fan favorite. He played Kurt Hummel on the show for six seasons, often stealing the spotlight with his humor and musical talent.
But believe it or not, Chris Colfer almost didn’t make it onto Glee. When he first auditioned for the role of Kurt, Chris was only 17 and had limited acting experience. Thankfully, he was given a second chance and managed to make it onto the show.
Chris quickly gained a loyal fan base with his endearing performance as Kurt Hummel, who was an openly gay high school student. He made a huge impact on the show and was eventually awarded a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
Chris went on to star in several movies after Glee ended in 2015, including Struck by Lightning.
5) Kevin McHale
American Actor, Kevin McHale is best known for his portrayal of Artie Abrams on Fox’s Musical Drama series, Glee. As one of the original members of the cast, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role. But that almost happened.
McHale had auditioned for the role of Finn Hudson, played by Cory Monteith, but was passed over. Fortunately for him, he was offered a recurring role as Artie Abrams instead. Artie quickly became a fan favorite character and an integral part of Glee’s success, thanks to McHale’s incredible performance.
McHale was also featured prominently in several episodes as a singer, showcasing his vocal abilities alongside the other stars of Glee. He has since gone on to appear in films and other TV shows, further cementing his place as one of Hollywood’s most talented actors.
6) Jenna Ushkowitz
Jenna Ushkowitz is an actress, singer, and producer best known for her role as Tina Cohen-Chang on the hit television show Glee. Ushkowitz was almost not cast on the show, and it’s amazing to think of how different things could have been if she had not been chosen.
Ushkowitz auditioned for the part multiple times, but it was ultimately her determination and personality that sealed the deal. She shared with Variety that when she was first up for the part of Tina, she didn’t think she’d get it because I was going against other girls who were taller, prettier and more classically trained. I just wanted to bring something special to it. She ended up being cast as the socially awkward teenage misfit and made the role her own.
Ushkowitz has gone on to become a star in her own right and has appeared in various films and television shows since leaving Glee. She continues to inspire many with her talent, drive, and determination, proving that sometimes all it takes is a second chance.
7) Darren Criss
One of the most successful and beloved actors from the cast of Glee is Darren Criss. He originated the role of Blaine Anderson, the leader of the Dalton Academy Warblers, and was quickly embraced by fans of the show. However, he wasn’t always so lucky – it turns out that Criss almost missed out on his chance to join the cast of Glee.
Before landing his spot on the show, Criss had been rejected from the Glee audition process twice – once during the original pilot season and then again during the show’s second season. Despite these rejections, Criss persevered and eventually won a minor role in the third season as a replacement for an actor who had left the show.
Criss soon won over viewers with his charm and talent, and by the fourth season he had been promoted to a series regular.