Matthew Morrison on 10 Years Since 'Glee' Premiered: 'It Was a Hard Show with the Tragedies'

The Fox show faced hardships amongst its stars, including Cory Monteith's overdose and Mark Salling's suicide

Glee, Matthew Morrison | He's got an awesome sweater vest collection and hair to die for, but it's really his commitment to his students that has us hooked. —…
Photo: Carin Baer/Fox

It has been almost 10 years since Glee first graced our televisions, and Matthew Morrison — a.k.a. Mr. Schuester — is looking back on the Fox series that shot him to stardom.

Morrison, 40, played Glee club director Will Schuester from the series premiere in 2009 until its curtain call in 2015. While the show delivered iconic musical performances and beloved characters, it faced real-life tragedy over the course of its run and beyond.

“I have very fond memories of the show, I like looking back on [it],” the actor tells PEOPLE at TUSHY’s Funeral for a Tree in NYC on Thursday. “It was a hard show with the filming schedule and the tragedies and all that stuff.”

FOX via Getty

Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, the popular jock turned Glee club star, died in 2013 of a drug and alcohol overdose. He was 31. The cast famously paid tribute to Monteith in the season 5 episode “The Quarterback.”

Following the series wrap-up, tragedy struck another cast member when Mark Salling, who played Noah Puckerman, died by suicide in January 2018.

Salling’s death came just a month before he was to be sentenced to prison for possession of child pornography. He was arrested in December 2015 after LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit obtained a search warrant for his home in Sunland, California. Federal investigators say they found more than 25,000 images and 600 videos depicting child pornography on computers and thumb drives that belonged to Salling. The content depicted children as young as 3 years old being abused, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor in October 2017. After striking a plea deal in December, he was due to be sentenced in March and expected to serve four to seven years in prison. The case was dismissed after his death.

RELATED VIDEO: Naya Rivera Makes First Public Appearance Following Death of Glee Costar and Ex-Boyfriend Mark Salling

Despite the hardships the cast faced, Morrison says he still gets positive feedback about the show.

“Having people come up to me all the time and saying how much it affected their lives, so many real-life moments that had tangible effects on people’s lives — for me that was the biggest reward from the show,” he says.

FOX via Getty Images

That said, Morrison admits he wouldn’t rejoin the Glee world for a TV remake, but a concert could be a different story.

“I feel like it had its moment right at the right time, and now it’s on Netflix so a whole new generation is starting to watch it,” he explains. “I would totally be interested in doing a reunion concert, where we can do this awesome night for some great foundation.”

The actor — along with raising 16-month-old son Revel — is dedicated towards environmental efforts. On Thursday, he hosted Funeral For a Tree in New York City on behalf of TUSHY, the chic bidet company focused on reducing toilet paper usage to conserve the environment.

Matthew Morrison 1
Matthew Morrison. Gaby Deimeke

And while his Glee days are behind him, Morrison’s passion remains singing and dancing — and his next upcoming project will highlight just that.

“I’m working on this project called Museum of Dance, and it’s this immersive theater experience where we do different decades of dance history,” he says. “You actually learn the history of dance while dancing through history. We are launching in D.C. this October, and it will be here in the spring of 2020.”

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