Everybody knows that the course of true love never runs smooth. But the path is particularly bumpy when you’re a gay teen living in — of all places — Ohio and your boyfriend is as hot as he is talented. If all of that drama happens to unfolding at McKinley High School, home of the most romantically schizophrenic teens since a certain gossipy girl began charting every move made by her Upper East Side pals, you are clearly a character on the hit Fox series GLEE. And if your name is Kurt and you’ve spent the past few weeks snuggling up to a sexy singer named Blaine, it also means that it’s time for what we in the biz call a spoiler. Enter beautiful bad boy Sebastian, played by Grant Gustin, who is about to throw a major monkey wrench into Kurt’s romantic life. Want to know more about the guy you’ll soon be loving to hate? Read on, after the jump.
Just how surreal has the past 24 hours been for you following last night’s episode of GLEE?
Grant Gustin: Yesterday was a very very weird day, to the point that I was kind of shaking in anticipation all day long. To be honest, I was very nervous as the hour was approaching and I’m relieved that its come and gone.
Did you do anything special for the episode? A viewing party perhaps?
I had planned on it. I surprised my family this past weekend and flew home because I hadn’t seen my family in 8 months just because I had been on tour (with West Side Story) and then moved out here immediately to start filming so I flew home and surprised my family for like a short day and a half visit but then had to fly back to LA for filming onMonday for episode 8. And since I don’t’ have any family out here and don’t’ know anybody, I sat down with my Manager and watched the episode, which was nice.
Would it be safe to assume you were a fan of the show before joining?
I was a fan of the show but I was not a regular watcher because of the lifestyle I had been living for the past year. Being on tour, it’s impossible to watch new television because I always had a show at 8PM. Of course, when I was in the audition process I watched every single episode from the beginning to the very end on Netflix and iTunes. I had seen episodes here and there, but it was impossible for me to be an avid watcher.
What was the most surprising thing about joining a show that has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon?
I think the most surprising thing for me was to see how quickly I developed a fan base before my episode even aired. Just with the way the internet works, it leaked that there was this new character Sebastian Smyth played by this newcomer Grant Gustin and all of sudden I had a thousand Twitter followers which I was not expecting. I was a nobody before last night, I mean the episode aired 12 hours ago and now I have something like 24000 followers on Twitter. That is crazy to me. This show is insane, everybody knows about it on such a grand scale that everybody knows who you are before you’re even on the show and I was really surprised by that.
Another aspect that surprised me was how cool and down to earth the whole cast was. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I mean these kids have become overnight superstars and I wasn’t sure what to expect when meeting them and they were just the coolest most down to earth welcoming group of people.
Last year at this time, Darren Criss was in somewhat of a similar situation. Did he have any words of wisdom for you when it comes to handling your newly found fame?
Honestly, Darren told me the very first day that there is nothing I can tell you in terms of preparing you for what’s to come. And it’s true. I mean I didn’t go looking for this, I wasn’t expecting this, I was hoping to audition and be on Broadway this upcoming year. Obviously, I’m not angry about it, but nothing can prepare somebody for something like this. Getting 20,000 followers in an amount of weeks on Twitter, it’s crazy to see people tweeting me that they’re huge fans. I mean I can’t believe I have fans at all! It’s all very weird to me right now and kind of hasn’t set it which maybe is kind of for the best.
Getting to the heart of what GLEE fans really care about, just how nervous should Kurt and Blaine shippers, or in the parlance of the fandom “Klaine” fans be about Sebastian, who has been described as the male version of Santana?
To be honest, I’m not sure. I will tell you to be nervous about how forward Sebastian is and it doesn’t seem he’ll give up until he gets what he wants. So in that sense “Klaine” fans should be very nervous! But at the same time, I don’t know how successful Sebastian is going to be. At this point, I’m waiting to see where his storyline will go just like everybody else is, it’s exciting and scary for me too. I understand the “Klaine” fan’s fear and hatred of Sebastian because if I wasn’t playing him I would probably feel the same way. But I can honestly tell you I have no idea where the storyline is headed right now.
Does Sebasitan serve any purpose aside from coming between Kurt and Blaine? Will we get to learn more about his backstory and why he is the way he is?
I hope so, I don’t know yet. But obviously he’s very different than any other character that’s been introduced. It will come out that he lived in Paris, comes from money, and he’s very snooty and forward so it would be very interesting to find out why he is the way he is. I hope we get to find out more of a backstory but like I said I honestly have only been given what is seen in the first episode. At this point, his only priorities are splitting up Kurt and Blaine and taking Blaine’s spot at the top of the Warblers to become the star that Blaine Anderson was.
How many episodes are you signed on for?
There is no set character arc yet, no set number of episodes which is good because i have no end date on my journey. But at the same time it means I could do a handful and that would be it. I don’t know. Aside from last night’s episode, all I’ve filmed thus far is one scene for episode 8 and in that scene there’s an exciting return set up for Sebastian, which I will not give away!
Is it safe to assume that the exciting return might be musical in nature?
[Long pause] Maybe!
Understanding fully that you don’t want to give away too much, we’ll move on from that particular line of questioning by asking if Sebastian interacts with anyone outside of Kurt and Blaine? New Directions perhaps?
Not Yet. The scene we just shot is a private interaction with Kurt which was a very fun scene to film. Sebastian and Kurt really express to one another how they genuinely feel about each other. It’s a very tense scene. But other than that I have yet to interact with any of the gang from New Directions.
And lastly, having put your Broadway aspirations on hold for GLEE, we have to ask what your dream Broadway role might be?
There’s actually a handful but my dream role would probably be to originate something. That said, as cheesy and mainstream as it sounds, I’ve always loved Wicked which would be loads of fun, or But Frump [in How to Succeed] opposite Darren Criss, perhaps!
New episodes of GLEE oar Tuesday at 8PM FOX (Global TV in Canada) and stars Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr. and Darren Criss. Catch up with past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv