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Gleeks everywhere turned to Google early Monday after Fox announced two fresh faces would be joining the Fox musical’s upcoming fourth seasons in two potentially pivotal roles.
Newcomers Dean Geyer and Jacob Artist became the newest members of the Fox family when they landed parts as Rachel’s (Lea Michele) new love interest Brody Weston and Puck’s (Mark Salling) younger half-brother, Jake Puckerman, respectively.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the new Glee guys on Monday at Fox’s All-Star Party at Soho House following the network’s presentation at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour to chat about auditioning for the series, their hopes for the show and how much they know about what’s to come.
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The Hollywood Reporter: Congratulations on the casting, when did you find out?
Jacob Artist: I found out very late last night and I couldn’t tell anybody so I had to sleep on it. Then this morning it was a whirlwind of calling family and friends. It’s all fun and they’re all really excited.
Dean Geyer: I found out this morning, my agent woke me up and apparently I’m working on Friday. I haven’t read the script, I don’t know what I’m doing but it’s very exciting. I’ve never been on a show or a project with a budget like this, with talent like this. I’m looking forward to it because I get to sing and act, which are my two biggest passions. I get to work with really talented actors and it’s only my fifth year of acting and I’m still learning the ropes. I’m really excited.
What was the audition process like?
Artist: I think I came fairly late in the game, it was about two and a half to three weeks ago. I had a callback and then tested last week with Ryan Murphy and all the Fox executives. I was waiting to hear until last night. We had to sing and act and bring in five songs with sheet music because there was a pianist there to accompany us and I had the sides, which I didn’t get until the day before. It was a crazy experience.
Geyer: I screen tested at Paramount and I got to met Lea and she was so sweet. I met her for literally two seconds and we jumped into a scene and she was so easy to work with. It was a chemistry read so there had to be a bit of chemistry there and thankfully there was with us. I actually knew one of the ADs from another show, which was nice getting to see a familiar face.
What’d you sing?
Artist: I sang “Never Say Never” by the Fray, which I was just saying I’d love to sing on the show, it’d be so fun to be able to sing my actual audition song. I had to also bring in Elton John‘s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” which I love. I’d love to sing that, too, because it’s such a beautiful ballad and it’s so powerful.
Geyer: I sang an acoustic version of Justin Timberlake‘s “Cry Me a River” and “One Song, Glory” from the musical Rent and a Josh Groban song.
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You’re playing Puck’s younger half-brother, what’s he like?
Artist: Yes, Puck’s younger half-brother, with a little bit of an attitude, so we’ll see if that gets in the way of him succeeding with the glee club. It’ll be interesting to see how he reacts with everybody else as well to the new kind of Puckerman.
How do you feel about potentially coming between Rachel and Finn and their legions of fans?
Geyer: They’ve been together for what, three seasons now?It’s going to be tough, I know they have a lot of fans. I don’t want to be that person to break them up but at the same time, it’s fun to play someone that creates some sort of tension. I’ve gotten a lot of tweets asking if I’m going to be the dude who breaks them up (laughs). I could be a potential love interest, I could not be!
Brody comes in as a mentor to Rachel, how will he be showing her the ropes?
Geyer: He’s definitely been through the ropes. He’s a couple years older and has done Broadway before and that’s something she really looks up to and is aspiring to. There’s room in there to be a bit of a teacher and mentor rather than a love interest so it could go that way. It’s definitely going to be fun for me since I started out as a musician, I’ve never done Broadway or theater so it’s going to be a new experience for me.
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How much do you know about your character’s back story?
Artist: All I know is that he’s a bad boy with a bit of an attitude. But it’ll be fun to see where they decide to go with him.
Coming into a New Directions that’s been depleted a bit. What are you looking forward to bringing to that choir room?
Artist: I was a dancer growing up and I feel like they have so many great dancers like Harry Shum Jr. and Heather Morris, so I think it’ll be fun trying to utilize the dancing and bring that to the table to have another strong dancer with all of them would be cool.
A rival to Brittney?
Artist: Yes! I hear there’s a Britney Spears episode coming up, it’d be fun if I could dance a little with Heather.
Have you spoken with Mark Salling yet?
Artist: I haven’t met him yet. I will soon, hopefully!
Have they spoken with you about adopting Puck’s trademark Mohawk?
Artist: I don’t know yet, I have to see what’s in store with what they have for me. I’ve had the same hair for forever so I think it’d be fun to let them do what ever they want to do with it.
Advice from the cast?
Artist: Just have fun. I’m so grateful and excited to be here, this has all been a huge blessing.
Anything you’d really like to do on the show?
Geyer: I’ve always played nice guys, so I’d love to be someone that creates a bit of confrontation. I know that sounds bad but as an actor, I want to explore different things. I know it’s Glee and more on the happy, hopeful side but I’d love to be that person who creates some tension.
Glee‘s fourth season premieres in its new night and time slot on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. What do you think of the newest Glee guys? Hit the comments with your thoughts on how they’ll fit in.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit
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