Jim Halterman, Entertainment Reporter
Someday when we think back fondly on the television series Glee – and you know we will – we'll remember one of the bright spots of its third season was Sebastian Smythe. The conniving Dalton Academy Warbler is the guy you love to hate. He tried to break up Klaine (Chris Colfer and Darren Criss) after all, and then tried to take down the entire McKinley Glee Club via blackmail and a gravel slushee. But turns out the boy isn't all bad. Dave Karofsky's (Max Adler) attempted suicide in the last episode hit him hard. Sebastian actually suffered guilt over cruelly rebuffing the stocky (well, relatively stocky) Karofsky at a gay bar.
What’s next for the newly repentant Sebastian? When new episodes begin airing in April, will we see a kinder, gentler soul? Who else could Sebastian set his sights on to romance? And how does his portrayer, Grant Gustin, feel about playing a character that is evolving into one with many layers? AfterElton met with the hot young actor in L.A. last week to find out.
AfterElton.com: Was performing something you started doing at a young age?
Grant Gustin: When I was a kid I played sports. I started tap dancing when I was eight because I had showed interest in it, but not really knowing I was showing interest in it. I was at home putting on shows of my own, with my brother and sister, kind of making them do stuff with me like that. My mom knew that was a part of me even if I didn’t, so when I didn’t want to play soccer anymore, she was like, “All right, well, if you’re not playing soccer you have to do something else.” So she put me in tap class because she thought I would love it because I like Gene Kelly. I started doing Community Theater and then I was in a performing arts high school. So I was kind of doing community theater for fun as a kid growing up for sure. I wasn’t necessarily training and I didn’t get intense about training at all until later in high school.
AE: When did it kind of dawn on you where you thought, “I could actually make a career out of this?”
GG: I think that it actually hit me very early, earlier than it hit most people. I would say, “Oh, this is what I like doing, I’m probably going to do this forever.” But at the same time I was just kind of enjoying myself. I probably should have been more intense with getting into ballet classes and taking voice lessons, but I was a kid and I was playing sports and having a good time. I got very focused on it in high school, but I didn’t really commit a 100 percent until college.
AE: So you joined the tour of West Side Story when you were in college and you stepped away from school basically to do that for a year. Is school still part of the plan somewhere down the line?
GG: Definitely. It’s really cool that I’m working and I’m getting jobs, but I definitely want to go back to school for something. I had no plans of leaving school. I was actually kind of hesitant to do so. I wasn’t, like, going to New York and auditioning for a lot of things on a regular basis. As a young adult, West Side was the only thing I’d auditioned for in New York, just because it was my favorite show growing up, and I thought it’d be fun. And I knew that I was kind of right for it, so I went and auditioned. But it was the only thing that I went and auditioned for. I had no plans of leaving [school].
AE: How was that experience, because it sounds like it was a whole new world for you being a part of a Broadway tour.
GG: It changed me as a person, even more than being a performer, I think. I would have never been confident in anything that I do as a performer. I think a lot of performers are that way, though. It definitely made me more confident as a dancer...and just as a performer, because I did that show over 400 times. I was getting comfortable in my skin as a performer. But more than anything, I was supposed to be a junior in college and I was on the road by myself for a year. So I really kind of grew up and started to figure out who I was. I’m still on that journey, obviously.