Heather Morris Didn't Even Have To Audition To Get Her Iconic Glee Role

Heather Morris Didn't Even Have To Audition To Get Her Iconic Glee Role
Image credit: 20th Century FOX

From the dancer swaying in the background to the role model for many.


  • Glee was a Fox television series that aired from 2009 to 2015, focusing primarily on a high school glee club.
  • The show became a cultural phenomenon due to its musical covers and forward portrayal of queer teenagers, including Brittany Pierce and Santana Lopez, who were played by Heather Morris and Naya Rivera.
  • As the actress revealed on the Vulnerable podcast with Christy Carlson Romano, she did not go through the traditional audition process to get the role.

As tiresome as that phrase may be in the context of the show or in your fandom experience, Glee has truly taught us all to never stop believing. Whether it is in yourself or in the miraculous help of others, there should always be a door of hope open.

As dark as the fates of some Glee cast members may have been, others still look back on the experience with gratitude and warmth. It may not have been a perfect experience for everyone on the set, considering all the reports of toxicity that surfaced years after the show ended, but it definitely launched many careers.

From Chris Colfer, who portrayed Kurt Hummel on the show but found his passion in writing later in life, to Kevin McHale, who portrayed Artie Abrams and went on to explore opportunities in music, many talents continue to shine to this day.

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Talents like Heather Morris, who became beloved as Brittany Pierce in a duo with Naya Rivera's Santana Lopez. Two women who portrayed a heartfelt young love on the show became great friends in real life, and now that Naya Rivera has tragically passed away, Morris continues to receive gratitude from fans on her behalf.

However, not many fans know that Brittany Pierce could have been completely different, as Heather Morris didn't even have to audition for Glee. She joined the cast by pure chance.

Heather Morris’ Glee Audition

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Back when Glee had its audition process, Heather Morris was a professional dancer who was also pursuing an acting career. As we all know, the more skills you have in the industry, the more likely you are to get cast. However, the process is never that easy: usually, young artists have to go through rounds of auditions before they get their break.

Heather Morris wasn't just lucky, her chances were helped by the fact that she was working as Zach Woodlee's assistant at the time. Woodlee, who also joined the Glee crew as the show's choreographer. The rest was decided in a matter of minutes after a simple question.

This is how Morris recalled the story on the Vulnerable podcast with Christy Carlson Romano:

“My boss was going to Ryan Murphy, cause he was a choreographer on Glee, and he was like ‘Hey, I have this assistant, she wants to be an actress, maybe consider her for the show’. And then I didn’t even go into read, he just saw me, and he saw me dance, and he was like ‘Great, we need someone to sway in the background, let’s hire her’”.

What Is Heather Morris Doing Now?

While this success story is very impressive, it didn't help the actress' career in the best way. After Glee ended, she had a handful of skills and a lot of experience working on a big set, but she didn't know anything about auditions and how they work in real life. It was a setback she had to work through at the time.

The actress recalled the fear and anxiety that came with every audition she had after Glee. But the moment she felt more confident and comfortable was followed by COVID-19 and the global pandemic, which forced the industry to digitize auditions and normalize self-taping.

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It was during the pandemic, however, that Morris found another passion. She became an executive producer and one of the stars of the radio drama The Bystanders. She also continues to dance and has appeared on two television shows showcasing her skills: Dancing with the Stars in 2017 and The Masked Dancer in 2022.

If you want to see what Heather Morris has been up to lately, you can check out The Bystanders exclusively on Apple Podcasts. And if you're feeling a little nostalgic and want to relive the magic of Glee, the show is available to stream on Hulu.