‘Glee’ Stars Tell Oprah How The Show Has Changed Their Lives

'To be a part of a project that celebrates your differences ... has been very therapeutic,' Chris Colfer says.

The Gleeks invaded “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Wednesday (April 7). Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch and the rest of the cast of Fox’s hit high school musical drama performed a rendition of fan favorite “Somebody to Love,” took “Oprah” on a tour of their set and spoke with the host about how “Glee” has changed their lives.

“I was known as the musical-theater girl and nobody looked at that as being cool,” Michele said. “It was odd to them. They didn’t understand it. They didn’t understand people who did the plays or who sang. It was cool if you played sports. It was very typical. I love that our show shows we can be cool too.”

Lynch, a comedy vet with a string of film roles alongside the likes of Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, has also seen her public perception change vastly since “Glee” hit the airwaves last year — albeit in a slightly different manner. “My demo is 16-year-old boys,” she laughed. “They never noticed me when I was 16, you know? I wasn’t in the hip crowd. But now all of a sudden there’s these cool people in coffee shops going, ’Hey!’ I go back to my 14-year-old self.”

It’s just that idea of being accepted by those around you, series co-creator Ryan Murphy explained, that the show is trying to get across. “To me, the show is about celebrating the difference in you,” he said. “I think when you’re that age, you think the difference in you is the worst thing, and I think the older you get, you find out that it’s the best thing. So that’s what the show is about.”

Of course, it’s also about the music-filled drama of William McKinley High School, and the cast welcomed “Oprah” onto the Paramount set for a day in the life of “Glee.” Work started at 7 a.m. as the cast shuffled onto the lot and got started with a dance rehearsal set to Parliament’s “Give Up the Funk.” From there, it was on to hair and makeup and then to wardrobe. Guest star Neil Patrick Harris was on hand to play what he described as a villainous character. The episode is set to air May 18.

Back at “Oprah,” the cast kept coming back to the idea about how working on “Glee” had helped them come to terms with their true selves. “When I was in high school, I was kind of daily reminded of my imperfections by other students and sometimes the teachers,” co-star Chris Colfer said. “To be a part of a project that kind of celebrates your differences and makes your disadvantages your advantages has been very therapeutic.”

“Glee” returns next Tuesday after “American Idol.”

Did you see the “Glee” stars on “Oprah”? Are you excited for the show’s return? Let us know in the comments below!