A Mother's Glee: Nancy Falchuk Talks about Her Son, Glee Co-Creator Brad Falchuk

Moment, September-October 2010 | Go to article overview

A Mother's Glee: Nancy Falchuk Talks about Her Son, Glee Co-Creator Brad Falchuk


Glee, the high school comedy-musical-bildungsroman that debuted on Fox last year, is that rare TV show that is both a critical and commercial success. Michelle Obama is a fan. So is Lady Gaga. With its Barbra Streisand-loving prima donna Rachel Berry and guitar-rocking jock Noah "Puck" Puckerman, whose annual Simchat Torah ritual consists of" eating sweet and sour pork while watching Schindler's List, the show is never short of notable Jewish moments. Its co-creator, Brad Falchuk, 39, a nice Jewish boy from Newton, Massachusetts, made his name in Hollywood as a writer and producer for Nip/Tuck, the salacious FX cable show about plastic surgeons. For the inside scoop on Falchuk, Moment went straight to the source: his mother, Nancy Falchuk, the national president of Hadassah. Falchuk spills the beans to Moment associate editor Sarah Breger about "Bradley's" early years and what the family actually does on Simchat Torah.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Were there early signs that Brad was headed for Hollywood?

Bradley wanted to be a doctor like his father, but after getting a D in anatomy, he decided that medicine was not for him. Then he found writing, which he enjoyed even though he was dyslexic--something-no one knew at the time. He actually came back and gave the commencement speech at his high school this summer. And he recalled how an English teacher who gave him a C-told him, "You're never going to amount to anything; your writing is no good." He held up that report card and called out to the teacher, "Mrs. So-and-So, kiss my ass!" and got a standing ovation.

Did you want him to go into "show biz"?

I wanted him to find something that made him happy. He struggled for a while. His wife was the creator of the Jim Belushi show, According to Flim, and when they first moved out to California, he worked as a personal trainer to make ends meet.

What did you think of Nip/Tuck?

Nip/Tuck was a cult kind of a show. Bradley would tell me that all the stars would call wanting to be on it. Joan Rivers called and said, "Look, no one has had more plastic surgeries than me; I have got to be on the show." We got a kick out of it. My parents, his grandparents, couldn't figure out where he got all the ideas for the show. But my husband, who's a professor of medicine at Harvard, would get calls from Bradley in the middle of the night, asking questions like, "What kind of antibiotic do you give for breast implants?" I would be listening to these conversations and say to my husband, "What? Do you get royalties for this?"

What did you think when Brad first told you about the concept for Glee?

He said high school is the toughest time of your life even though everyone says it's wonderful. He told me that he and his colleagues would address this in a way that would allow the audience to see themselves. I knew they would touch people.

What was it like to see your son's name in the credits for the first time?

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