The fourth season of Glee has taken its original characters in New Directions, both literally and figuratively. The veteran actors have felt the effects of the show's creative changes both on and off camera, according to Naya Rivera, who plays feisty ex-cheerleader Santana Lopez.
"It does feel like a different show and sometimes I get really sad about it. We shoot on the same soundstage, but there's this big door that separates the two worlds, so on my lunch breaks I'll go over there and see [Kevin McHale] and [Jenna Ushkowitz] and everybody I haven't seen, like, 'I miss you guys! What are you doing?' I have no idea what they're doing! I have no idea about the gossip and drama with the new kids," the 26-year-old actress tells Vulture. "I feel like I've really grown up because we used to have all that stuff and now we don't."
Rivera's character recently moved to New York City and now lives with former high school classmates Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) and Rachel Berry (Lea Michele). "Lea and I have been getting insanely jealous of the new New Directions because at the end of every episode they get to do a fun number where they just, like, run around," she said of Becca Tobin, Jacob Artist and Melissa Benoist, who joined the show in its fourth season. "Like, free-form rock-out! We never got to do that!"
Several characters, like the ones played by Cory Monteith and McHale, stayed behind in Ohio while their peers pursued their dreams elsewhere. "Just when I think, 'Of course they'll move Cory to New York,' I'll go, 'Oh. Wait. Maybe he is the new Schue!'" Rivera says of Monteith's character, Finn Hudson, who is running the glee club in Will Schuester's (Matthew Morrison) temporary absence. "I have no idea."
Though Michele has said she'll be back for a fifth season, Rivera's fate remains uncertain. "You never really know what they plan on doing. I think we've been on the show a really long time; I wasn't really sure what they were going to do with Santana but I think that her story line is evolving and there is more to tell. So yeah, I'd absolutely be down to be around for some portion of that," she tells Vulture. "But there is the album stuff that I desperately want to get done. It's just a matter of finding a balance. We won't get into it until after we wrap at the end of April. We're getting the longest hiatus we've ever had this year, so I'm super excited about that."
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.