Joss Whedon is roaming the high school halls again—but he's not in Sunnydale anymore.The beloved creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is also the man behind next Tuesday's episode of Glee, "Dream On," which features guest-stars Neil Patrick Harris, Idina Menzel, and Molly Shannon. We sat in on a conference call with His Jossness as he discussed his stint on TV's most musical show.
On being a guest director:
"I've done it once before with The Office... It helps if the show is wonderful! You have to make sure that you're fulfilling their needs, but you don't have to be the guy who sees the big picture."
On whether he'd guest-direct another episode of Glee:
"Totally! If I had the window, and they would take me, then yes, in a heartbeat."
On his experience directing musical episodes:
"Doing Buffy and Dr. Horrible were both great prep for something like this. Knowing... the difference between a musical number and a regular scene is very useful. It's something I'd like to spend a lot more time doing."
On working with Neil Patrick Harris:
"I am so tired of that guy. Why do they always make me direct that guy? My only complaint was that I wanted to shoot even more of the kids than I was able to. That and craft services issues, not having caviar. No, [Neil] is one of those people who expresses what I wish I could express myself. He's like a muse. He's also friends with Matt [Morrison], so the rivalry-friendship kind of informs itself. He's always cooperative, always imaginative."
On the plot of "Dream On":
"It was, 'Let's take the things that are at the core of what people are.' With Will (Matthew Morrison), it's his desire to perform and what people have to give up. With Rachel (Lea Michele), it's who her mother is. And Artie (Kevin McHale) thinks about if he'll ever get out of the chair. These are hard personal things that they don't necessarily talk about with other people. There was a real thematic coherence that brought them all together. It's important to understand why these three storylines were in the same show."
On other shows he'd like to guest-direct:
"I don't want to direct the shows that I'm a fan of anymore. It's like a giant slough of spoilers! But after Glee, Friday Night Lights is probably the show that blows me away the most.
On being involved with lots of shows that are set in high school:
"I don't feel like I've been pigeonholed. I like high school shows! They tap into something very primal."
On Glee's lasting legacy:
"It's groundbreaking because [it gets to] people who don't normally embrace song and dance... It sneaks up on you while you're having a great time."
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom