Grant Gustin Round-Up
Grant Gustin is doing some major press for tonight’s Michael Jackson tribute episode. Check out a few articles recently posted to find out more about tonight’s big show and Grant’s amazing-ness! Check back later for Grant’s interview on Good Day LA this morning.
Grant Gustin: Sebastian’s More Than A Douchebag
Glee fans are a passionate bunch. A fact Grant Gustin learned the hard way when his character, wicked Warbler Sebastian, tried to pry Blaine from Kurt’s porcelain fingers earlier this season.
And while he wasn’t able to get the guy, Grant did snag something better: a long-term gig on Glee! While Fox hasn’t officially confirmed that Sebastian is poised to become a major part of the show (as in, series regular), it’s a done deal behind-the-scenes.
So when I caught up with Grant to talk all about tonight’s hotly anticipated Michael Jackson tribute episode, I also found out what he’d like to learn about Sebastian as the season continues!
Insider.com: Fans of the show had some very strong reactions to Sebastian.
Grant Gustin: Oh yea, people hate me!
Insider: Were you prepared for that?
Grant: Somewhat. I was warned on my first day by Darren [Criss] & [Chris] Colfer that it was probably coming, so I was mildly ready. But I wasn’t ready for what I initially received. But it’s getting a little bit nicer.
Insider: Yea, I’m sure they’re changing their tune even more after seeing that amazing Smooth Criminal performance!
Grant: Oh man, that was so much fun to film. I think it’s probably the best day I’ve had filming the show so far.
Insider: But from what I’ve heard, you’re continued role on the show has less to do with trying to steal Blaine from Kurt, right?
Grant: Yea. I’m sort of separating myself from the Klaine storyline tonight and I’m excited that Sebastian isn’t necessarily pursing Blaine anymore. Not that I don’t like Darren, but I’m glad to see that Sebastian can be his own man – a full character – outside of that. He’s more mean and less flirtatious.
Insider: Do you think Sebastian is less interested in Blaine because he gets drunk off one beer?
Grant: [laughs] Oh man, I know! Let’s talk about that [laughs]. I think it’s totally possible that’s why Sebastian is taking a step back [laughs].
Insider: What are you excited for fans to see tonight besides the music?
Grant: It’s funny because when they told me I wasn’t going to be as much a part of the Klaine storyline I thought they were writing me out. So that makes it even greater to see Sebastian doing his own thing. He’s definitely cut from more of the Santana or Sue cloth – he gets mean tonight. And I mean, mean. I’m looking forward to everyone seeing that.
Insider: You’ll be on the show for the foreseeable future — what are you hoping to learn about your character in these upcoming episodes?
Grant: I’d like to find out what makes Sebastian tick. They haven’t told me much, but I have ideas in my head when it comes to what he’s all about. Right now, he’s this douchebag who lived in Paris at one point. I’d like to make him more than that. I’d like to find out why he acts the way he does.
Insider: You step away from The Warblers tonight with that Santana duet — which co-star that you haven’t sung with yet would you like to?
Grant: Darren! I think we need a Sebastian/Blaine duet! That would be great.
Michael Jackson episode preview: Grant Gustin on honoring the King of Pop and breaking up Klaine
The actor plays new HWIC (head Warbler in charge) Sebastian, the star of Dalton’s glee club currently doing his best to drive a wedge between our favorite “Glee” couple, Kurt and Blaine (or Klaine, if you will). Gustin says that Sebastian’s scheming will certainly continue in tonight’s (Jan. 31) big Michael Jackson tribute episode.
“He is up to his nose in scheming, for sure,” the actor tells Zap2it. “The whole charming flirtatious thing is still there, but there’s a different energy with it. It’s less flirtatious and more — for lack of a better word, he’s more of a douchebag in this episode.”
From the songs and videos FOX has leaked of the hourlong episode, we know that Sebastian will come head to head with New Directions’ HCIC (head Cheerio in charge) Santana, and words will be had. “Santana is upset at Sebastian for, like I said, something douchey he did, and she comes to give him a piece of her mind,” Gustin explains. “That’s when ‘Smooth Criminal’ takes place.”
The episode is filled with fun performance moments for Gustin, who takes the lead on the Jackson 5 number “I Want You Back.”
“It was a dream,” he says. “It was amazing. It’s one of my favorite songs from when I was a kid. My mom freaked out when I told her I was doing that. The fact that I got to do that just blew my mind. I couldn’t believe I was so lucky to get to do that song, and then I got to do ‘Smooth Criminal’ with Naya [Rivera, who plays Santana]. That was probably my favorite day of filming thus far. Me and Naya had a blast doing that.”
Unfortunately, the “I Want You Back” performance didn’t make the episode’s final cut (it’s hard to squeeze 10 MJ hits into just 44 minutes of screentime!), but you’ll still get to see Gustin bust a move in the episode anyway.
“In ‘Bad,’ in the parking garage, we definitely do some Warbler dancing. It’s not necessarily Michael Jackson choreography. It’s not like the Britney Spears episode where it’s like ‘Oh my god, they’re recreating the music videos.’ Zach [Woodlee], our choreographer, kind of did his own thing with it. It’s really fun and exciting, but it’s not stolen Michael Jackson moves.”
Gustin is no stranger to Michael Jackson moves, though — as a kid he would watch the DVD of Michael Jackson’s number one videos and do his best MJ. “I watched that thing religiously when I was younger. I definitely have had my fair share of trying to dance like Michael,” he says.
Sebastian has taken over Blaine’s position as star Warbler, and also set his sights on dating his hottie of a predecessor. But in the MJ episode, Gustin says Sebastian is more invested in the Warblers’ performance at Regionals than in breaking up Klaine.
“Sebastian’s main concern in this episode is more Regionals over Blaine,” Gustin says. “I think it’s so far been what he’s cared about more anyway. I think he cares more about being the leader of the Warblers, and the Warblers winning Regionals, and him being respected the way Blaine was respected at Dalton. There’s less Sebastian-Blaine interaction in this episode for sure.”
The future, though — that’s another story. Though Gustin says he’s unsure about Sebastian’s role as a romantic threat to Klaine, he’ll be sticking around. “I know that Sebastian is coming back and it is in a pretty big way, but I don’t really know what is going to happen romantically. I don’t know where any of that is going. Just like everybody else, I am waiting on the edge of my seat to find out.”
When he does come back, though, Gustin says he hopes we’ll see another, kinder side of Sebastian. “I’m sure there has to be a soft side to him, it’s just a matter of when it’s going to come out, I guess,” says Gustin, who is rumored to be signing a contract to come back as a series regular in Season 4. “I don’t doubt that it will eventually come out — if the character sticks around that is.”
More ‘Glee’ Time for Norfolk Actor Grant Gustin
Grant Gustin hardly ever knows what his day will be like.
Since the Norfolk actor started appearing on the popular Fox TV hit “Glee,” his schedule has been filled with dancing and singing. A day on the set can stretch up to 14 hours, as Gustin performs one or two moves over and over again for different camera angles.
Sometimes, he sits for hours in his trailer, trying to stay focused, while the crew prepares production numbers.
“It’s fun and scary all at the same time,” said Gustin, 22, in a phone interview from Los Angeles. “I’m still not used to it, but I’m adjusting.”
On tonight’s episode, featuring the music of Michael Jackson, Gustin receives more camera time.
As Sebastian Smythe, a gay member of the rival Dalton Academy Warblers glee club, he will perform in three numbers: “Smooth Criminal,” a duet with Santana, a cheerleader played by Naya Rivera; “Bad,” an ensemble production; and “I Want You Back,” with the Warblers.
It will be the most air time yet for Gustin, who has appeared in two episodes as a member of the Warblers, the all-male glee club that competes against the show’s main characters, who sing at the fictional McKinley High.
Gustin’s first episode, which aired Nov. 8, introduced his shady character, who sets out to come between couple Kurt and Blaine.
Tonight’s show was filmed about two months ago. The process was taxing.
“While filming ‘Smooth Criminal,’ in between takes, I’d run to another room to rehearse ‘I Want You Back,’” Gustin said.
“The next day, we shot ‘I Want You Back,’ and that was a 14-hour day. That’s typical. By the end of the day, my knees and ankles are killing me.”
Also around that time, Gustin shot an episode of the CBS high-tech crime show, “CSI: Miami,” which aired Sunday. He played twins, one of whom was suspected of murdering their father.
His role on “Glee” may develop after tonight’s show.
“In this episode, Sebastian isn’t pursuing Blaine anymore as a potential boyfriend,” Gustin said. “Sebastian is separating himself from the love triangle, which is a step toward the character developing on his own instead of being an appendage of Blaine and Kurt.”
Despite online reports, Gustin says he still isn’t a permanent member of the cast.
“Nothing has been signed,” Gustin said. “It’s a wait-and-see sort of thing.”
In the meantime, he’s adjusting to a new life in Los Angeles, where he lives with two roommates. The transition hasn’t been easy.
“Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, you’re out in California. It must be amazing,’ ” Gustin said. “The weather’s beautiful, and I’m a working actor in Los Angeles, so it’s a dream come true. But I am so far away from family, and it gets kind of difficult sometimes. All of this cool stuff is happening to me, and my family and friends are halfway across the country.”
He speaks with his mother, Tina Haney, almost every day.
“We were shocked that he got the role as quickly as he did,” said Haney, a pediatric nurse who also teaches at ECPI University in Virginia Beach. “He was in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. My prayer was always, ‘I just hope the kid will work.’ ”
Haney said she spotted Gustin’s artistic talent early on.
“I tell my students all the time, ‘Just watch your children and see what they are good at and encourage them,’ ” said Haney, 49.
Haney suggested dance classes when Gustin was about 9, and he was resistant.
“He thought tap dancing was for girls. I told him, ‘If you don’t like it, I won’t mention it again.’ He loved it.”
Gustin, a Granby High graduate, studied musical theater at The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk and appeared in local productions with The Hurrah Players. He aspired to be the consummate performer who could dance and act.
But “he couldn’t sing,” Haney said. “He came out of the womb dancing, but when he was growing up, he worked his pants off on his voice with vocal coaches. So for me, watching him on television singing, and knowing how hard he worked on his voice, really amazes me.”
Haney said her other children – Tyler, 23, a senior at Old Dominion University; and Grace, 17, a senior at Maury High School in Norfolk – have been supportive of Gustin, who was home during the holidays. She doesn’t worry about him too much in the City of Angels.
“He’s responsible. He was a fun kid to raise,” Haney said. “His father and I always told him to be sure to take care of himself. I know that he’s sleeping and eating well. I know he sounds like he’s this perfect kid. He’s not a perfect kid. But he’s made good choices growing up.”
While working on “Glee,” especially during the long stretches between numbers, Gustin has befriended a few cast members. He said he immediately bonded with Kevin McHale, who plays Artie Abrams on the show. Gustin said he’s looking at other projects but wouldn’t divulge details. He has filmed another episode of “Glee,” and the work has been rewarding, despite the erratic schedule.
“On a big show like ‘Glee,’ producers don’t know how much filming is going to get done in a day,” Gustin said. “So you’re sitting around for a long time sometimes. But you don’t take it personally. You just go with the flow. I’m new to this, so I’m always watching and always learning as much as I can.”
‘Glee’ Michael Jackson Episode: Grant Gustin Talks ‘Michael,’ Slushies And Darren Criss
Sebastian Smythe may be up to no good on “Glee,” but the actor behind the snark and perfectly coiffed “CW hair” — Grant Gustin — is just having a good time playing the guy that every Gleek loves to hate.
In the highly anticipated Michael Jackson tribute episode (airing Tues., Jan. 31 on 8 p.m. EST on Fox), Sebastian may take things a little too far on his quest steal Blaine (Darren Criss) away from Kurt (Chris Colfer), and his actions could lead to total alienation, even from the Warblers.
But Klaine fans can breathe a sigh of relief because Gustin tells HuffPost TV that by the end of “Michael,” Sebastian’s priorities will change. “[He] is more concerned with winning Regionals than he is with stealing Blaine away from Kurt,” says Gustin.
Find out more from Gustin about the upcoming “Michael” episode, what we can expect from Sebastian and why Darren Criss is stalking the Warblers below.
I’m a really big Klaine fan…
Oh, no! This is not going to go well, is it?
Yes, I’m just going to start by saying that I hate you. No, not at all! I’m one of those weird Klaine fans that really loves Sebastian.
Good. I was worried for a minute.
Kurt and Blaine’s relationship needs to be tested, right?
For sure! Every other relationship on the show has had some type of bump in the road, so it’s only realistic and appropriate for Klaine to have one as well.
Exactly! But unfortunately for you, the majority of Klaine fans hate your guts. You’ve probably experienced a lot of Twitter backlash.
Yeah. It’s quite scary sometimes, but I just have to let it roll off my shoulders.
Did Darren and Chris offer you any advice?
To be honest, one day, Colfer said to me, “Be scared. Be very scared.” You just don’t take it seriously. It’s just like when someone tells me that they’re in love with me and that they want to marry me. It’s like, “That’s sweet,” but you don’t take it seriously. The fans are intense in the best way possible.
Let’s talk about the “Michael” episode because Sebastian is up to a lot of scheming, right?
Sebastian finds himself is some kind of a mess. By the end of the episode, pretty much everybody has turned on him. It’s like everyone vs. Sebastian, including the Warblers. He’s a major douche. Whatever Sebastian gets at the end of this episode, he deserves.
You have that great scene with Naya (Rivera) coming up where you two sing “Smooth Criminal.”
That was probably my favorite scene to film, by far. She is just super fun to work with, and the cello arrangement was amazing. I’m really proud of that scene. Santana also has the best one-liners, and she and Sebastian definitely get into it in this scene … The dialogue between those two characters is just hilarious. They’re both so snarky.
I have to say that my favorite line this season was directed toward Sebastian. It was when Kurt called out his “CW hair.”
Santana has another jab at my hair in this “Michael” episode. It’s pretty hysterical. They are not letting it go. Now, when I’m not filming, I’m wearing a hat.
There’s a lot of dancing going on in this episode, too. What can we expect from the Warblers?
In this “Michael” episode, the Warblers are dancing more than they’ve ever danced, and it’s really exciting … especially in the “Bad” number. And the Warbler number that we do at Dalton, “I Want You Back,” was another one that was super different than anything that they’ve done thus far … People are going to be excited to see some real dance routines going on with the Warblers.
Did Kevin [McHale] help you nail down the choreography? He’s the Michael Jackson expert on set, I hear.
He is Michael Jackson. It’s such a shame that he’s in a wheelchair as Artie, because the kid can kill some Michael Jackson dance moves. What he can do is pretty unbelievable, more so than anybody else on the show. He knows how to capture Michael Jackson’s essence. We were allowed to do full-blown Michael Jackson moves, and they wanted us to freestyle and do our own thing, so on the day when we were shooting “Bad,” me, Kevin and Harry (Shum Jr.) definitely messed around in the parking lot, doing different Michael Jackson moves. I definitely stole a few moves from them.
How does it feel wearing that Warbler ensemble?
It’s the coolest thing in the world. The Warblers are pretty badass.
I bet Darren misses it.
Oh, he does! I can confirm that. Whenever he sees me in that Warbler uniform, he’s very vocal about how jealous he is. [Laughs.] When we filmed the Warbler number for “Michael,” he was there, stalking us. I think it kind of kills him to see a cool Warbler number happening when he can’t be a part of it. But it would be hard for me too! The Warbler numbers are some of the best on the show, and if it was happening and I didn’t get to be apart of it, I’d be jealous too. Granted, Blaine has some pretty cool things happening on his own in this episode.
Let’s talk about that amazing still from the episode, where Sebastian throws a slushy in Blaine’s face. It looked pretty epic.
It’s a still from “Bad,” and yes, it is very epic. I felt so cool getting to throw that slushy because that’s what “Glee” is, you know? It was also nerve-wracking, though. It was the end of a 15-hour day, and the cast was like, “You better get this in one take. If you mess this up, we have to stay for another hour.” Darren would have to go through hair and make-up again if I messed up. They were riding me, so I felt a lot of pressure. I was like, “Guys, this is, like, my third episode. Please, take mercy!” Thank god I got it in one take!
It was also your first time throwing a slushy, which I hear is pretty hard to get right.
I had slushy practice with a dummy for that one scene. At first, they gave me water to practice the momentum, and then I practiced throwing water in a dummy’s face probably a hundred times before I was allowed to throw a slushy. Apparently, it’s not always like that. Usually, it’s like, “Here’s your slushy! Good luck!” But they did not want me to mess up, especially Darren’s face [laughs].
At least you were the one throwing it.
That’s true, but I would love to receive a slushy to the face. Sebastian deserves one, and I think that it’s only fair if he was slushied.
Do you know how many more episodes you’re doing this season?
I’m not positive. I would love to be around for as long as they’ll have me. It definitely looks like Sebastian will be in-and-out for the rest of this season, but I don’t know if he’ll be in every episode.
Will he still be going after Blaine?
I don’t know. I’m not sure where that relationship is going. Right now, it’s kind of off to a slow start. Sebastian was pursuing Blaine pretty intensely right off the bat, and Blaine’s not really giving him much, and in this “Michael” episode, I think it definitely dwindles away a little. Sebastian is more concerned with winning Regionals than he is with stealing Blaine away from Kurt. I’m not sure if his want for Blaine will carry on after the “Michael” episode. It could definitely go either way.