Becca Tobin is shaking her pompoms this season on Fox’s hit television show Glee. Starring as Kitty Wilde she is showing how to be a mean girl with a high kick after replacing several characters graduating from McKinley. Using this break out role to speak to teens about bullying through a company called Bullyville she has begun to change people’s minds and take a stance against this injustice.
We went behind the Cheerio to explore the story of the thespian that was bullied in school.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Becca. I know you are currently filming Glee out in LA but you are originally from Georgia. Was that a small town?
Becca Tobin: -ish. It was the suburbs outside of Atlanta.
JN: I read you were a theater kid.
BT: Yes, I grew up loving musical theater, singing, dancing, and acting. I continued on with it after high school and attended a conservatory. I started auditioning when I finished school. I did a lot of theater jobs after.
JN: How did you get on Glee?
BT: My agent in New York submitted me. The casting director in LA uses a casting director in New York when they are looking for specific things. They just put me on tape and sent it to LA. They flew me out for my final screen test and to meet with Ryan Murphy and the rest of the creative team. A week later I was moving my life to LA to start working on the show.
JN: Sounds like it happened fast.
BT: It happened so fast and I am so glad it did. I didn’t have time to think. I had to pack up all of my stuff and had to pinch myself every ten minutes.
JN: You were brought on as a replacement for the character Quinn, right?
BT: I think in the beginning there were similarities with the characters but I think as the new crop of kids we are trying to create our own characters so that people don’t get so angry. I think people got angry when they heard Quinn 2.0. There are some pretty loyal fans. At this point halfway through the new season people have now seen that Kitty is worse than Quinn. She brings her own stuff to the scene I guess.
JN: I felt that Quinn became a watered down character when she started being nice. It doesn’t bother me that your character is a mean girl.
BT: I think in the beginning I was worried that they were going to make Kitty turn a corner too quickly and become nice. I am actually happy that she still has a little venom in her because it is fun to play.
JN: Do people mix you up with that character now and think you are like that in real life?
BT: In the beginning definitely. People hated Becca because I was associated with Kitty. Since then I have done a few interviews and I have teamed up with Bullyville so they can see I am nothing like my character. I’m getting very supportive tweets these days as opposed to what happened in the beginning.
JN: I voted for you on Bullyville.com.
BT: Thank you so much! It is an amazing cause.
JN: Tell our readers about the website.
BT: It is an online venue where people can go and read about celebrities’ personal accounts with bullying. You can also tell your own story. There is professional advice from therapists. It is a pretty incredible site. It’s an outlet for people who might not be able to deal with it on their own or might be too embarrassed to talk face to face with someone about what they are going through. It is an amazing way for them to do that.
JN: There is a lot of cyber bullying going on now so it is a different world than when I grew up.
BT: Me too actually. I didn’t really grow up with Twitter and all the crazy things that are happening to kids in high school right now. People can be humongous bullies without showing their faces now so it is scary.
JN: How did you get involved with Bullyville?
BT: They approached me shortly after I started Glee and they thought I would be a good fit because I play a bully on the show. After talking to me and hearing about my personal experiences such as being bullied in high school it was a really good fit. I needed to counteract what I am doing on TV. I feel like the world only sees one side of me.
JN: The good thing about Ryan Murphy is that he uses his actors on other shows so you never know if you might be cast on The New Normal or American Horror Story.
BT: Exactly. He’s fiercely loyal. It’s amazing!
JN: He’s a good one to have in your pocket.
BT: He sure is. He’s a genius.
JN: I interviewed Alex Newell right after The Glee Project. How is it working with him and Jane Lynch on Glee?
BT: First of all Alex I love so, so much. I think he is a freakishly talented human being. Jane is everything you hoped Jane Lynch would be like and then some. She’s just a really gracious person and an amazing actor to work with. They are both great people.
I have to say the cast is not only all so talented but fun people to be around as well.
JN: What is your favorite part of being on the show?
BT: Going to work everyday and working on a project that I love so much. I’m getting to do these things that I have always loved to do since I was a little girl. It seems very surreal that I am paid to play everyday with my friends.
JN: You were a cheerleader in high school, weren’t you?
BT: I was a cheerleader in middle school. It wasn’t for me. I think that my parents were very happy when I decided to give it up.
JN: When are you coming to Chicago to visit?
BT: I hope sometime soon. I haven’t even been back to New York since I was cast in this show so I am missing the East Coast a lot! I love Chicago. When I was on tour with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra we played Chicago. It is a great city with good people.
Watch for a Wilde ride Thursdays on Fox. For more information about joining the cause visit www.bullyville.com.