In her short time on the Fox musical, the new Cheerio has clashed with Brittany (Heather Morris), Marley (Melissa Benoist) and lost a boyfriend in Jake (Jacob Artist), while only seemingly making friends with Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). But there's always more to every mean girl and Tobin hopes that joining New Directions will help not only transform the new queen of mean as she explores her artistic side via McKinley's production of Grease.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Tobin to talk love triangles, Kitty's efforts to win Jake over again, how Blake Jenner's arrival as Ryder complicates the mix and how she feels about sharing a similar story line to Dianna Agron's Quinn.
The Hollywood Reporter: Looks like Kitty's enlisting in New Directions! What brings her into the mix?
Becca Tobin: She is! She gets involved with the school musical and figures out her passion for singing and dancing and it's a no-brainer for her to try and get in with the glee club. She likes to keep her eyes on Jake and Marley and she likes to have control at school and sees a lot of action is happening in the glee club and wants to keep an eye on things.
Sounds very similar to how Quinn ended up in New Directions. Do you feel like you're the new Quinn?
Yes! That's how Quinn ended up on glee club to keep an eye on boyfriend. There are some similarities there for sure. At first I was worried that it would be such a close comparison but as I'm getting to know Kitty, she's actually very different. Quinn was more mysterious about her motives and Kitty is has no filter and what ever she thinks she says out loud and she doesn't make it too secretive what her motives are.
Is she just exploring her passion for performing or is she trying to win Jake back over?
Kitty does enjoy singing and dancing and I'm hoping that as we go on with the season that maybe the glee club will help her with this cutthroat ambition she has right now. Her biggest motivation right now is to keep an eye on Jake and Marley. These first few episodes back, we'll see that competitive nature with Marley because she's a very pretty girl who's talented and sweet and cute boys are liking her and that's a big threat to Kitty.
Seems like McKinley football star Ryder (Blake Jenner) is the latest guy to take an interest in Marley. How will that sit with Kitty?
Among all of us new kids, there's some great love triangles and everyone figuring out who they want to be with, if they can be with that person. I don't know much about Ryder, but he's in the glee club and he's very cute boy so I'm sure at some point one of us will have some sort of fling, if I could make a prediction (laughs).
How will Marley and Kitty faceoff over playing Sandy in McKinley's "Grease"?
We audition for the play and you'll see each of us doing our chosen number and episode five is the first time you'll see Kitty singing. I'm really excited about that. There's a bunch of competition for the role of Sandy and the next episode after that, "Glease," is where we actually have the production of Grease. They've used the music and I get to sing a fun song and Kitty has a sleepover party with the girls for the musical. We almost sing every song from the original move and Kitty gets to sing "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee."
How is Kitty handling her breakup with Jake?
Kitty does not like to hear no and whatever it takes to change that no into yes, she'll do it. You're going to see that she continues to try to change his mind and steal him back from Marley.
What motivates her to be the mean girl?
I try to give Kitty more layers because I don't think any mean girl is mean for no reason. As the scripts start coming in, I'm seeing that there are other layers to Kitty. I don't know if there's an event that turned her into this mean girl. The way I look at it is she's very ambitious and hasn't learned her lesson yet that you cant' step on people to get what you want. That's where she is right now: She doesn't care who she takes down as long as she gets what she wants. I think she's pretty used to getting what she wants and Marley comes in and that's been happening in high schools for ages where anybody that's a threat is scary to the typical mean girl.
Will Kitty and Brittany continue to clash?
I think we will see glimpses of that coming up but Kitty has really zeroed in on Marley because she took something that she had: Jake. For now, Brittany isn't really in her way and her focus on the Cheerios has simmered a little because of her newfound role in glee club and her finding her place within the glee club is more important, which is why she feels the need to take down Marley.
Quinn is coming back to McKinley for Thanksgiving. How will Kitty and Quinn connect and what's their relationship like?
In the Thanksgiving episode, the graduates are back visiting for the holidays and Kitty and Quinn get an opportunity to meet each other. Kitty really looks up to Quinn because she's the original mean girl and original head Cheerio queen-bee type. Quinn sees a lot of herself in Kitty. There's a soft spot for her and hopefully that relationship will continue; I'd love if they wrote more in for Quinn to help Kitty along the way an maybe it'll take an edge off Kitty since Quinn went through a transformation throughout glee club that was for the best. Hopefully that's what's in store for Kitty.
Is that something you'd like for Kitty, to transition from being the mean girl?
I've had fun playing the mean girl, it's a nice change from everyday life where you get to play this character who says everything she's thinking and doesn't care about people's feelings. At the same time, I also would love to see Kitty go through that big transformation because I'd hate for high school students to look up to Kitty and think that's OK.
Might we learn more about Kitty's home life?
I hope so. We haven't touched much on it yet. We see in "Glease" that Kitty has a sleepover and all girls are in her bedroom and you see Kitty's bedroom and you can tell so much from a character by being in their bedroom. It's going to be fun to see Kitty's playpen. I walked in and saw a girl who is very privileged: She has a lot of medals and trophies. It's very obvious that Kitty is used to winning and her parents see her as No. 1 and that perpetuates this sense of entitlement that we've seen so far.
How will Kitty joining New Directions affect her place with Sue and the Cheerios?
We haven't had much interaction with Sue and Kitty since the beginning. I think that'd be a funny scene where Sue realizes that her new "head bitch" has turned to the dark side.
What's her relationship like with Sue? Does she know who the baby daddy is?
No actually. As a viewer, I really hope they start talking about Sue's baby daddy. I have no doubt it will be something hilarious and extremely creative. I'm just waiting to open a script one day and find out myself!
BECCA TOBIN FROM GLEE JOINS BULLYVILLE.COM TO HELP PUT AN END TO BULLYING!
My experience with bullying growing up:
I transferred schools halfway through my senior year, and dealt with a lot of bullying from a specific group of girls at the new school. I transferred from a performing arts high school, so the girls really enjoyed talking about what a “theatre nerd” or a “freak” I was. The only girlfriend I had at the new school started ignoring me, because the other girls threatened to kick her out of their clique if she didn't. I started skipping pep-rallies on Fridays because I would sit alone and receive dirty looks and mean comments from the other girls. Being the new kid is difficult enough, but being bullied on top of it made it pretty miserable. I am very excited about being the female spokesperson for BullyVille and helping others realize that it does get better and they are not alone!
Please click here if you'd like to hear Becca discuss BullyVille with Extra.
THR // bullyville