New kid on the (Glee) block
It’s season four and we’ve returned to a very different Glee.
Rachel Berry is in New York being tormented by New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts dance instructor Cassandra July (played by Kate Hudson). Finn Hudson, Quinn Fabray and Mercedes Jones are nowhere to be found. And the usually incredibly confident Kurt Hummel is floating, seemingly lost.
There are new faces, including an evil cheerleader. (By the time you read this, Sarah Jessica’s first episode as Isabelle Klempt will have aired too.) And then there’s Brody Weston, the NYADA junior who takes a liking to Rachel.
We hear him before we see him, singing Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” while in the co-ed shower, reminding us of the scene in the pilot when Mr. Schuester first discovered Finn. But in this scenario, Rachel doesn’t find a jock that might be a good addition to the glee club, she meets a towel-clad guy who might just come between her and Finn.
This did not sit well with hardcore Finn-Rachel fans, some even ended up running a Finchel vs. Brochel poll on Twitter.
But Dean Geyer, the actor who plays Brody, isn’t worried about the backlash. In a phone interview with Inquirer Super, he said, “I think it’s natural that the fans are gonna take sides, there’s so much passion for each of the characters on the show. I know that as an actor, you’re never going to please everyone in every role that you play because sometimes you’re going to be playing the bad guy—not that Brody is a bad guy. I’m actually a fan of Finchel, myself. I think their characters fit really well together but at the same time I’m torn because I’m playing the guy who could potentially break them up!”
Dean got the role after auditioning in front of Glee creator Ryan Murphy. One of the songs he sang was Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River.” “I was auditioning against big Broadway singers. It was definitely nerve-wracking auditioning for Ryan. The guy is a genius—he’s got three shows on the air right now and he’s juggling his time between the three shows. I don’t know how anyone can do that, especially with one of the shows being Glee.”
Dean is not new to television. The South African-born Australian singer-songwriter-actor came in third in Australian Idol’s fourth season and became a series regular on Australian soap opera Neighbours. “I did 12 months of work on that show and that really was a great learning curve for me. I never really had an acting coach before that and I think being on set is probably the best learning process an actor can get. You can go to classes and private lessons and that’s great too, but I feel like you learn the most when you’re on set.”
He says being on Glee is a different experience. “The productions here are huge. The set value is a whole lot bigger.”
And joining such a successful show increased the pressure for Dean. “Glee is such a huge phenomenon. It’s probably the hardest working show on TV—we have dance rehearsals, studio time and 12 hours of filming during the day. It has been hard. If you look at all the talent on the show, everyone can do everything, so you really have to lift your game even if you do have a background in singing. You have to be extra good at dancing because everyone around the world is going to be watching you.”
Dean says he’s still getting to know his character. “I’ve read up to episode six right now. I really only know so much about him, he’s from Montana, I know that he wasn’t necessarily the most popular guy in school and he moved to New York to pursue his Broadway musical career. I feel like every day I review scripts, I get to know a little more about him.”
As early as now, Dean says he can relate to Brody. “I grew up loving music and I also relate to the fact that he’s attracted to Rachel and her talent. Every girlfriend that I’ve ever had has impressed me with their talent in some way or another.”
So far his scenes have mostly been with actress Lea Michele. “She’s amazing to work with. I’m only working with her but her personality fills up that space. The thing I love about Lea is that she’s so passionate about her work. She’s really supportive. She’s very down to earth and easy to talk to.”
He’s also done a couple of scenes with Kate Hudson. “The time that I have spent with Kate on set has been priceless. Working with someone with such a huge resume and so much experience, I just have to watch what she’s doing on the screen behind the actual set and I can learn. She’s so great. You know always hear a lot of stories about big actors having big heads and not being very down earth but she’s the total opposite. Hopefully, fingers crossed, I get to work with her a lot more.”
Because of his career, Dean had to leave Australia and move to Los Angeles where he’s lived for over two years now. He says he’s been missing his family. “We moved from South Africa when I was 15 years old. My whole extended family moved over and we’re very, very close. I’m a huge family boy. A lot of my best friends are back there. Also, Melbourne is really a getaway for me. I really like the outdoors. I really miss my hobbies and all the other stuff I used to do out there.”
In LA, when he has days off from Glee, Dean likes spending time with his friends and girlfriend. “I try to catch up with as many friends as I can over here. It brings you back down to the real world. Sometimes it just feels like I’m just in a bubble when I’m working. I also spend a lot of time with my girlfriend. We go down to the beach and she loves to go shopping so I tag along. I tend to go to the gym a lot too. I’m a fairly normal guy.”
But is he ready to be the guy who could end the Finchel romance? ”I have experienced a couple of hate comments on Twitter but at the same time there are people who are backing me up so I’m really up for anything. I’m not one of those guys who gets caught up in the fact that people don’t like what I’m doing on the show—it’s really a job for me. I’m enjoying playing Brody at the moment.”
Glee Season 4 airs every Friday via satellite at 4 p.m. with a prime time replay at 8 p.m. on ETC and Jack TV.