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Matthew Morrison on How 'Glee' Cast Is Honoring Naya Rivera

Matthew Morrison is remembering his late friend and fellow Glee co-star, Naya Rivera.

While speaking with ET via Zoom this week, the 42-year old actor opened up about how the cast plans to pay tribute to Rivera for the holidays, following her tragic death in July. She was 33.

“It was a really challenging year to lose yet another member of our cast, but we’ve just bonded together so much through this experience,” Morrison told ET’s Lauren Zima. “Naya used to do this thing called Snixxmas, because that was one of her little nicknames, Snixx. It’s something that the Glee cast — we’re talking about kind of like reviving it this year. Doing some kind of thing for charity, or something to kind of honor her.”

As of Friday, the Snixxmas charity drive launched by the cast of Glee has raised over $32,000.

“If you were lucky enough to know Naya, you know she threw some epic parties,” a message on the GoFundMe page reads. “The best of them all was her annual Christmas party, which she dubbed Snixxmas. Snixxmas was like Naya herself… sparkling, fabulous and one hell of a good time!”

“But it wasn’t only glitz, glamour and gay apparel,” the statement continues. “Every holiday season, Naya found ways to give back. Recently, Naya began working with a local non-profit in Los Angeles called Alexandria House. She not only raised and contributed funds for them, but also volunteered her time and effort to the organization.”

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In addition to helping out with the Snixxmas charity drive, Morrison will also be spreading holiday cheer in Dr. Seuss’The Grinch Musical. The actor will take on the iconic role of the Grinch for the special, which was filmed on stage at  the Troubadour Theatre in London.

“This is the first time we’re really seeing the Grinch in a musical, and I think it’s fun because one of the big reasons I wanted to do this project was to bring theater to people that have been deprived of it for nine months now,” Morrison said. “There’s such a huge theater community out there — and also the people that are on stage and not being able to do what they love to do — so I really wanted to bring that to people who are kind of just missing out on it this year.”

“But my Grinch is kind of unlike any other Grinch I’ve seen,” he added. “I think they’re all so different, which is beautiful, because this is one of those characters that I don’t know if I’ll get to play again. It’s kind of ‘anything goes,’ you know. It’s free to just be imaginative and to really just kind of let out your demons a little bit. I don’t really live in that space very often so it was kind of fun to go there.”

Morrison also opened up about how the Grinch’s story is sort of relevant to what we’re all going through right now, learning how to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s about someone who is in isolation and kind of just going through this experience of loneliness,” he explained. “I think so many people are going through that right now, so I feel like this story is going to be so relevant to so many people in this time.”

“But I think at the end of the day, spoiler alert, he finds love and community,” he continued. “I think we need community. I think once we’re out of the woods with all of this, I think, hopefully, people are gonna get out of their Ginchiness and their isolation and connect with people. Because that is what is so special about human beings … I think what makes us thrive is that connectivity.”

Dr. Seuss’The Grinch Musical airs Dec. 9 on NBC. 

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