You Must Know: New 'Glee' Star Dean Geyer
At this point, the instant-stardom that comes from snagging a role on Glee can only be compared to making it into American Idol's Top 12. Your talent is not only given a national stage, but everyone suddenly knows (and in many cases, screams) your name. Needless to say, Dean Geyer has been overwhelmed by the reaction to his casting as Brody Weston -- and his first episode hasn't even aired yet!
Moments after the press release went out on July 25, his Twitter account was uncovered, videos from his time on Australian Idol were emailed around and fans were desperate for details about his character (described as a handsome upperclassman at NYADA, who shows an interest in Rachel Berry).
To help Gleeks learn more about Dean, and Brody, I caught up with the South African actor to talk about his journey to Glee, have him shed some light on season four and tease the musical moments fans can look forward to starting September 13!
TheInsider.com: Congrats on landing the role, Dean. What was the audition process like?
Dean Geyer: Usually you know what you're going in to audition for, but here, the names weren't the same and I used a Jesse St. James scene. So initially, I had no idea who this character was. When I got the call to test for the studio, that's when I learned his name was Brody and got actual scenes. It was a long process. Audition, callbacks, then a week later the studio test, then a screentest with Lea [Michele] where we did a scene from season four. Then I did a network test and waited a few more days to hear back. I finally heard [I booked the role] the same morning the press release went out.
Insider.com: What was your reaction to booking the role?
Dean: I don't think it's hit me yet. I don't think I know what I've gotten myself into. All I know is I've picked up thousands of new Twitter fans [laughs]. For me, booking a role like this is something I never, ever would have thought I'd be doing. Acting is never a career choice you think of when you grow up in South Africa – it's a very sports-orientated place – so just to be recognized by the producers of a show like this would have been enough to be satisfied for life. So to book it is something else. I'm going to take it one step at a time.
Insider.com: Coming in, how familiar were you with Glee?
Dean: I had watched a couple of episodes, but I've never been a massive TV person. A few years back, at The Sundance Film Festival, I went to a Glee-themed karaoke night and I was given the first two seasons in a gift bag. I really enjoyed them! I haven't seen season three, but I am a big fan of the show. I think anyone with a musical background respects everything these actors and the shows do. The dancing, the singing and the acting – it requires you to be the complete [package]. And not a lot of people have that.
Insider.com: How do you describe Brody Weston?
Dean: I see him as a very artsy guy. He has a musical background (dancing, singing, acting) – I guess he’s a lot like me. The move to New York has given him a massive makeover. He's a lot more confident. He might border on coming across as a little arrogant, but he's got good intentions ... and the talent to back it up.
Insider.com: Will you be using your natural accent or an American accent?
Dean: I'll have an American accent. It's funny, for me, it feels weird not to use an American accent when I'm working because I've been doing pilot season for the past 4 years and must have done hundreds of auditions with accents,. I think I've got it down for now. I mean, you can be the judge of that, but it feels 98 percent real. Oh man, I shouldn't say that in case anyone watches the show and wonders why this guy from South Africa is in New York City [laughs].
Insider.com: The press release says Brody takes an interest in Rachel -- is he attracted to her talent or to her?
Dean: From the get-go he's intrigued in both aspects. Brody's definitely attracted to Rachel physically, but also to the fact she's coming into the school almost green to the industry -- this is a whole new world and he's attracted to the fact she hasn't been jaded by it yet. There's definitely a potential love story that's about to be revealed. I don't know exactly what's going to happen, but there's potential in the first 3 episodes.
Insider.com: Rachel & Finn are like Adam & Eve to Glee fans ... are you ready to potentially get some blowback for daring to woo Rachel Berry?
Dean: I'm going to have to develop very thick skin because I've already received a bunch of angry Tweets saying, "If you come between Rachel and Finn, I'm going to hurt you!" [laughs] For me, it's a job that I already love so I'm not going to pay attention to what people are saying about the relationship. At the same time, I feel like the show needs to be shaken up. What is a show without a shot of drama? I don't want to be the bad guy, but I want to be the guy who shakes things up!
Insider.com: Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker are also guest-starring on the show, have you gotten to work with Kate (who will be mentoring Rachel)?
Dean: I've only worked with [Kate] once in a very short scene, but I assume I'll be working with her more because she's playing a dance teacher at [NYADA] – fingers crossed I get to do one scene where I get to sing with her. I'm not sure about Sarah Jessica Parker – I don't know who her character is, but my girlfriend made me sit through the first two seasons of Sex and the City before I even booked the Glee role and now I'm a huge fan! I would love to meet her and tell her how fabulous she is [laughs].
Insider.com: Will you be coming to NYC any time soon for exterior shots?
Dean: Yes! I'm actually heading up there this weekend to do all the exteriors and I know we're going to be doing some singing and dancing in some pretty famous places. I've never been to NYC, so it'll be an adventure – but Cory [Monteith] and Lea said they'd be my tour guides.
Insider.com: Did you come into the show with any songs you are hoping to sing?
Dean: Oh man, there are so many. I think a lot of them have already been performed on the show, but right now I'm a massive fan of Ed Sheeran. I'd love to sing one of his songs – Lego House is all over the radio right now, so I'd love to do that or The A Team.
Insider.com: How are the songs you've gotten so far?
Dean: I like the song they gave us – it's an artist I never thought I would have ever covered, but the arrangement they've created is so great. It's a really fun duet so it'll be us running around in New York singing. I sing another song in the first episode, but I think that'll just be a snippet of me singing live. Honestly, right now, I am just looking forward to everything – it's all so exciting.
Glee premieres September 13 at 9 p.m. on Fox.