PCA Spotlight: Heather Morris

"Did you know dolphins are just gay sharks?” Although singer, dancer and actress Heather Morris has become the most quotable of the "Glee" cast, she continues to remain a supporting character

People creating the past, present and future of the pop culture journey!

The Glee kids are everywhere these days.  From showing up on American Idol to visiting with Oprah Winfrey to singing The Star Spangled Banner at a World Series Baseball game, we just can’t seem to escape Mr. Shuster’s gang of musical misfits.  However, amongst all the press and appearances, one of the brightest players on the program seems to be getting the shaft.  Heather Morris, who plays air head Cheerio Brittany, has been left out of most of the publicity, despite the fact that she has quickly gone from playing a back ground character into becoming one of the most popular characters on the hit show.   With a growing fan base surrounding her character, she has become beloved amongst fans by becoming the most quotable cast member of Glee.  With lines such as “Did you know dolphins are just gay sharks,” “I think my cat reads my diary” and “When I pulled my hamstring, I went to a “misogynist,”’ Heather Morris has become a virtual Ralph Wiggum as one of television’s most quotable characters.  Yet, while her popularity is growing, she remains to be left out of promotional material and public appearances and is still considered a supporting player.  Yet, if history repeats itself, Heather Morris won’t be staying in the background for long.

Heather Morris first break on the pop culture radar was as Beyonce's "token white girl" during live performances of "Single Ladies"

Raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Heather’s earliest success was making the top forty contestants in the second season of the reality program So You Think You Can Dance, but she was quickly cut, failing to make the final twenty.  However, with the taste of show business still in her system, Heather left college after her first year and headed to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a dancer.  The risk paid off and Heather was hired by Beyonce as a back up dancer for her 2007 world tour.  Once the tour completed, Heather continued to work with Beyonce and would find herself in the spotlight in 2008 when she was what Beyonce called “the token white girl” that performed the now famous Single Ladies dance in a series of high profile promotional appearances, including Saturday Night Live, Ellen, The Today Show and the 2008 Grammy Awards.  Both the song and the dance would become pop culture phenomena, which lead Beyonce to ask Heather to return with her for another world tour.  However, Morris turned Beyonce’s offer down to pursue acting.

Although originally bit characters, Heather Morris and her co-hort Naya Rivera have gained their own cult following as "Glee's" "mean girls" Brittany and Santana

Heather’s involvement in the Single Ladies phenomena would pay off when Morris was contacted by director/producer/writer Ryan Murphy to teach members of the cast to his new musical “dramady” Glee the Single Ladies dance.  Required to teach a group of guys playing the McKinley High School football team the Single Ladies routine, Heather quickly proved popular with the cast and crew of Glee and eventually found herself in a Cheerios outfit and amongst Sue Sylvester’s elite cheerleading squad.  As the show developed, Heather’s character, aptly named Brittany, was paired up with Naya Rivera’s Santana and became the “mean girls” henchmen to Quinn Fabray, played by Dianna Agron.  As Quinn’s storyline became a major focus during the first half of the first season, Brittany and Santana slowly developed their unique personalities and their own voices, and soon what were nothing more then bit characters gained their own unique fan following.  For Heather Morris, her job on Glee had quickly become more then just a chirography gig, and she quickly found herself as a supporting part of pop culture’s newest phenomena.

Although there is a sweetness in Heather Morris' portrayal of Brittany, she reamins to be Sue Sylvester's "mole"

Although playing Sue Sylvester’s “mole” in the McKinley High School’s glee club, there is certain sweetness in Heather Morris’ portrayal of Brittany.  A study in denseness, Brittany is the quintessential dumb blonde stereotype.  Yet, she doesn’t seem to be evil as much as the ultimate follower.  Easily manipulated, she will always run over to the winning side.  Yet while her co-hort Satanna seems to be primarily the cunning, devious and shellfish member of the duo, Brittany is just to dumb to know any other way to exist.  Hopefully, as her character and popularity progresses, the Glee writers will develop Brittany even further and take her from a two dimensional stereotype into a three dimensional character all her own.  Just who is Brittany?  What is her back-story?  Is there more to her then just clever lines and those cute bangs?  Just what is up with her and Satanna?  Does Brittany even have a last name…or has she forgotten that too?

As for Heather Morris, her career has already been full of triumphs far greater then most young women ever experience.  Recently completely her first short film titled The Elevator; Heather Morris has stretched out beyond dancing, singing and acting and has tried her hand out at writing, directing and producing.  It’s just a matter of time before Heather Morris is no longer a supporting character but emerges as the star that she deserves to be.

  1. Cyn’s avatar

    I just read that she’s actually going to be a “regular” next year, rather than a recurring character.

  2. Sam Tweedle’s avatar

    Brilliant! She deserves the move. Hopefully that’ll make the writers create Brittany into a more three demensional character. :)

  3. Mark Guab’s avatar

    There was this one episode in Glee where Sue Sylvester had to conduct try-outs for the vacant cheerio post, and the Glee members had to sell cupcakes for Artie.

    In that episode, we saw Brittany with a special child who, as it became obvious later on, was her friend. She even treated her to the cupcakes and then asked the Glee members how much they got so far. It seems to me that besides showing her as rather dumb, it also showed her caring and sympathetic side – devoid of the usual “I have to be here/do this because someone else told me to”.:)

  4. Sam Tweedle’s avatar

    I remember that well, and it was in that moment that I both fell in love with Britney and got the feeling (hope?) that there is more to the character then any of us realize.

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