“Glee” is once again exploring uncharted gay complexities by introducing a third wheel to the Kurt and Blaine romance.
Fil-Irish Darren Criss finds his character Blaine Anderson in a triangle in this current season of “Glee” as Grant Gustin, 21, debuts as the “gay villain” set to roll the schemes against Blaine and Kurt’s affair, according to Billboard.com.
“I kind of feel guilty that this is what’s happening,” confessed Gustin in a Billboard phoner.
He went on to detail his character Sebastian “[who] is new to Dalton (University, Blaine’s former school), [and] a new student.”
Gustin added, “He’s bringing the Warblers back, which I think people are excited about. He’s a gay character, obviously, but he’s kind of a new type of gay character. He’s someone you wouldn’t necessarily know is gay unless you asked him, but he’d be the first person to tell you. He’s very confident and comfortable with who he is and what he wants. Darren was that new confident strong gay character, and Sebastian is taking that a step further. He’s a guys-guy, just a dude who happens to be gay, he’s a lacrosse player, he’s popular. He’s after Blaine, obviously, and he’s also trying to take the place that Blaine had as the leader of the Warblers.”
Addressing the antagonist part, the actor said: “He’s been referred to as a villain, which I guess is true in the sense that he’s going to get what he wants and he doesn’t care who he steps on along the way, but he does so with a smile on his face. There’s a charm you wouldn’t really expect, I guess. I think that’s really interesting and fun to play. I think it’s an important character, It’s showing a dude who happens to be gay and comfortable with it which we haven’t really seen on the show.”
Separating Sebastian from Blaine, Gustin explained, “Darren’s character is a gay guy, and you can see that, and I don’t think you can see it as much with Sebastian. I think it’s also important because it’s introducing a love triangle for Blaine and Kurt. It’s going to show these two aren’t together because they’re the only two gay characters. We don’t really know yet if I’m going to split them up yet, but this is ending their honeymoon phase and making them more like the rest of the couples on the show. I think it’s important to show, because it’s not like there’s couples and gay couples. Introducing some similar drama that everyone has seen before.”
Gustin is not oblivious to the scrutiny gay plotlines in “Glee” have been getting the past two seasons. “[I’m] a little bit [concerned about the gay criticisms], but at the same time, I mean, Darren handled it so so well. I feel lucky to be following in his footsteps, to kind of refer to and to help me figure out how to handle all this. It’s kind of weird though, on places like Twitter, to get hate from people who don’t even know me yet. The idea of splitting up Klaine (Kurt and Blaine), if you well, is not sitting well with people. It’s weird stepping into that and people not liking you off the bat. But at the same time I’m getting so much support and love from people I don’t know, it’s great as an actor to have people backing you up no matter what.”
Criss has always been open about discussing the difficulties he faces while playing a gay character on a show as mainstream as “Glee” when he is straight in real life. In previous interviews, the actor born to a Cebuana mother, said he was able to adjust well in playing Blaine because he knew he was part of an eye-opening and liberating interplay among gay characters.
Gustin told Billboard how Criss made him feel welcome on set. “Darren was actually very cool, he would walk me through things as they were happening, helping me figure out what everyone’s job was and the lingo of a set, what type of shot was happening. I had no idea how wide a shot was or how tight a shot was, what the guy next to me was doing touching my costume between takes. Darren was really cool helping me figure out the ropes, and he wanted to be really clear he wasn’t demeaning me and I as like ‘no, bro, I need it!’ Everyone was really cool and nice to me, and they didn’t need to do that! They’re TV stars and I’m nobody!”
Criss, who went on to become season 2’s biggest discovery, related to the “Glee” newbie how the show turns one’s life upside down. “He told me nothing is going to prepare me for what’s going to happen. He said, ‘I wish he could give you advice, but your life is going to drastically change.’ That’s the part I haven’t really wrapped my mind around yet I guess. My episode hasn’t aired, no one knows who I am, no one recognizes me, I’m just me. I don’t know what to expect yet I guess. Darren’s great, from what I’ve heard from people who’ve known him before this all happened, that he’s remained the same, and very cool. I can only hope the same for myself if I’m so lucky to blow up the way that he has.”