PopWrap: Santana really had an amazing season — full of emotional upheaval. Did you ever expect this seemingly minor character would become, to me, the show’s bright spot? Naya Rivera: From day one, my goal was just to do good work – and stick around [laughs]. I never thought this would happen, but I’m just so happy that it did. It’s so shocking to me, and very, very flattering that people love me because they love Santana. I feel so blessed.
PW: You’ve also become quite the lesbian du jour. I’d imagine that’s changed your fan interactions. Naya: [laughs] I got proposed to by women twice today at a Meet & Greet. And at the last tour stop, I got two bouquets of roses. It’s so sweet. Getting hit on by both genders is such a champagne problem.
PW: For my money, Santana got the best songs and storylines this season. Was there ever a pre-“Glee” point where you had to think: “ok, singing or acting?” Naya: Totally. All my life I’ve had anxiety about focusing on acting or focusing on singing – how am I going to juggle it. So to be blessed with a show like this where I can do both is icing on the cake. It’s another champagne problem.
PW: Any particular favorite moments from season two? Naya: I loved what the fans having lovingly dubbed “The Hurt Locker” – when Santana confessed her love for Brittany. It was the first time, as an actor, I saw the fruits of my labor. I was so prepared for that scene and in my heart, I was happy with the work I did. And to be so proud of something you did is the best feeling, no matter the profession.
PW: I know the writers are still breaking season three, so what would you like to see for Santana next year? Naya: I’d like to see her explore her sexuality more – maybe with people aside from Brittany. I know everyone wants them together, but I think [show writer] Brad Falchuk put it best when he said that this is about Santana’s journey and not so much about her with Brittany. I’d love to see her get a girlfriend and maybe soften up a bit as a result.