A 2001 graduate of Loyola, Ian Brennan majored in Theatre and Spanish. Following graduation, Ian began his career acting in Chicago at the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Northlight, Marriott, and Writers’ theatres.
In 2003, he moved to New York to do new plays at MCC Theatre, the Vineyard, and Playwrights Horizons, and began to act in TV and film. In 2005, he took a crack at writing a screenplay for the first time. He is now co-creator, co-writer, and co-executive producer of the new hour-long comedy, “Glee,” Wednesdays on FOX.
What’s your favorite memory of Loyola?
I did a lot of plays in Chicago while I was still a student, and I used to break into the old auditorium in Skyscraper (Mundelein Center) in the middle of the night to rehearse auditions–no joke–just me and a ghost light.
If you could go back to school, what Loyola course would you take? Why?
I’d probably get a theology degree, which is weird, as I’m not particularly religious. But I invariably enjoyed my theology courses the most. John McCarthy taught an honors course called “Imagining the Future” about ways people throughout history have construed the concept of the future… absolutely extraordinary. And Pauline Viviano can teach a MEAN Old Testament class.
Where was your favorite place on campus?
Cuneen’s, though that’s off-campus. It was the Thursday night actor bar. I hated the Damen building–that escalator system is a disaster. Hundreds of co-eds forced down a series of, like, seven escalators. I swear, every day someone almost lost a foot.
Why did you decide to become an actor/writer?
Always knew I’d be an actor, never thought I’d be a writer. Waking up every morning is like winning the lottery.
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
I laugh really, really hard every single day.
What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
There’s no such thing as your one big break. They happen again and again.
What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it to others?
I’m visiting Barcelona right now (thank you, Loyola Spanish major), and I’m reading Paul Preston’s book, The Spanish Civil War. I’m realizing that everything anyone needs to know about politics, EVER, happened in the Spanish Civil War.
What (or who) inspires you?
If you make me laugh, I’ll follow you around forever.
If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?
It would be all of these, and it would SWEEP at the Oscars.
Describe your perfect day.
Any day with a nap in it.
Describe yourself in three words. I am…
Usually somewhat embarrassed.
What’s your favorite Chicago pizza place?
Gasp! I don’t really like Chicago pizza. A Chicago dog, however? Amazing. It’s like a hot dog married a salad and had a delicious baby. There’s even celery salt on it. Don’t know where you can find celery salt? Your parents’ cupboard. I GUARANTEE there’s celery salt in there, and it was purchased no less than 30 years ago. It’s literally a spice a person purchases ONCE.
Who would you want to be for a day?
Bo, the Obamas’ dog. I kind of want to hang out with all of the Obamas equally.
Which one best describes you in college: athlete, intellectual, artist, young professional, activist, or social butterfly?
None, probably “Prating Type-A Know-it-all.” I do have a sense of humor though, so at least people liked me.