Harry Shum Jr. in Bello Magazine
Costa Rica born, Harry Shum Jr., launched his career as the only male dancer on BET’s Comic View in 2002 and has continued his dancing career to grow at a fast pace from there. He danced as lead dancer with stars such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson, then landed the role of Mike Chang on the FOX musical television phenomenon, ‘Glee’.
Beginning the series as a recurring character, Shum’s popularity and talent landed him a permanent spot as a series regular. We ask him about his experiences in the lime light and what we can expect next from this handsome wonder.
We finally got to hear you sing this season on ‘Glee'” Did Ryan Murphy give you some lessons, or were you just a closeted singer?
I’d like to call it a natural progression. I guess you always have it in you, but it takes the right situations and the push to be able to harness the capabilities of ones self. I took vocal lessons after I found out I was becoming a series regular and didn’t want my character to be one dimensional and only dance. Thankfully, Ryanand the writers took a chance and trusted me to take on singing when the character was previously pinned as the one that “Can’t Sing.” Mike Chang is a natural progression and shows the growth that can happen even when a person is so shy and afraid to just try.
Finally, we’re dying over that winter finale cliffhanger. What happens to Quinn? And Rachel and Finn’s wedding? You gotta give us something. Anything …
Let me look at the next script, and I’ll get back to you on that one… Be right back.
When did you realize you wanted to dance?
When I found myself dancing at a rehearsal for 8 hours straight and that feeling of being able to still dance for 8 hours more … That’s when I knew it was, and always will be, a part of me whether I choose to do it as a career or not.
Any music videos that inspired you as a young kid?
Too many! I grew up when music videos were a big deal and would sit in front of my TV to wait for certain one to come on. I remember watching Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna” over and over again trying to mimic the music video in my bedroom. Of course any Michael Jackson video and the ones he inspired like Ginuwine, Missy Elliot, and Janet Jackson. I’m not justifying this question by the limited amount of people I’m listening as inspirations from music videos. I’ll say that the videos from TRL on MTV are on that list.
One of our favorite ‘Glee’ episodes was “Asian F”. Do you and Mike Chang share any similar family backgrounds?
My parents were supportive of me in whatever I wanted to do. If course they had their ideas of what I “should” be doing but they never forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do. They would suggest, with constant reminders, of career choices that they foresee me being successful in, but I ultimately chose something that they could be equaly proud of. I was born in Costa Rica, so my upbringing is a bit different from Mike Chang’s family. They do share a common good of only wanting the best for their son. Oh geez, am I getting sappy and corny now? (A tear rolls down my cheek that could be mistaken for sweat) OK, next question!
How did you come to be a part of the upcoming indie drama ‘White Frog’?
Ellie Wen, the write of the film, sent it to my manager and said there was a role written for me and it sounded like an interesting project. I read it and thought it was a very touching story. There aren’t too many films about Aspergers and the subject matter was more than just that, but about a family torn apart by the disconnect with each other and the misunderstandings that go into it all. The cast is great, and I had the best time filming.
What’s in the story for you? When and Where are we going to get more Harry?
You are going to see a lot more of me. Working diligently on a couple new projects. Just wrapped a cool action short film, produced a cool music/dance project with Jon M. Chu which will be out soon, and on the constant search of a cool suoer hero suit that could ultimately win me best costume this coming Halloween. If anyone has ideas on a good costume, I’m open to suggestions. Hit me up on Twitter @iharryshum.
Source: Bello Magazine [Scans]