Damian McGinty must have the luck of the Irish on his side, because he's having the best year ever. After winning Oxygen's "The Glee Project" this summer, McGinty, a 19-year-old from Northern Ireland, received a seven-episode guest starring arc on Fox's musical comedy "Glee." His debut episode, "Pot O' Gold," premieres on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.
The Irish teenager not only has two solo performances in the episode, he's also going to be spending some quality time with our favorite gleeks as the New Directions newest addition.
McGinty also has a surprising solo on Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, vol. 2, some intimate scenes with "Glee's" lovable airhead Brittany (Heather Morris) and a budding bromance with glee club leader Finn (Cory Monteith) -- he's also been getting to hang out with the entire "Glee" cast off set. Yep, it's official. McGinty is having the best year ever.
Now, if only Lea Michele could understand a thing he says.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, McGinty dished on some possible story lines for his character Rory Flanagan, explained why Naya Rivera might be the most terrifying person ever and divulged which cast members have a hard time understanding his accent.
Last time we talked, you had just won "The Glee Project," and you didn't know anything about your character. So what can you tell us now about Rory Flanagan?
Rory Flanagan is an Irish exchange student. He's come from Ireland, and now he's attending McKinley High as a freshman. He's very young, only 15-years-old. He's very sweet and very innocent, and it's a little sad because he wants to fit in so badly, he always has a smile on his face, and he's so optimistic, but he is just getting continually bullied. He's getting thrown off lockers, pushed into lockers, and it's just quite sad. He just wants to fit in and make some friends. He's also trying to bag himself a hot girlfriend in the shape of Brittany. It's just the real journey of this Irish kid who's trying to fit in an American school.
Because your character is living with Brittany, you've been spending a lot of time with Heather Morris. What has that been like?
Heather is incredible. My very first scene that I ever did on "Glee" was with Heather, and she was just so welcoming. I feel like Heather is the smart version of Brittany. She just has some incredible one-liners. She's one of the funniest girls I've ever met. And of course, she's gorgeous, so that always helps.
Heather is also an incredible dancer, and I know that you're not a very good dancer. So has she given you any tips?
She hasn't yet! But now that you've mentioned it to me, I might go onto set tomorrow and ask her for a tip. There hasn't been a Rory and Brittany scene where she teaches him how to dance. I don't think that there will be a happy ending to that story. Trust me, I got over the fact a very long time ago that I can't dance, and I never will be able to dance. I just blame it on Rory now. I say, "Listen guys, Rory can't dance, so I really can't show off my true dancing skills."
You've also had a few scary scenes with Naya Rivera, who plays Santana.
Now, Naya, she's amazing, but she really scares me sometimes. I've done a lot of scenes with Naya, and every last one of them is terrifying.
Has anyone in the cast had trouble understanding your accent?
It's been a pretty smooth ride with my accent, but there is one person who doesn't quite understand me. I don't know if she does this on purpose, but it's pretty funny. Lea literally, after everything I say, will look at me like I have three heads. She just does not understand anything I say. It's very funny. I think I have to repeat everything twice to Lea. Other than that, it's been pretty smooth, which I totally didn't expect.
Let's talk about Rory's look. It's very retro, right?
The hair is definitely different! Ryan [Murphy] really wanted Rory to be this old soul, but at the same time, he's a 15-year-old kid, so it's very conflicting. When I was on "The Glee Project," I think Ian [Brennan] called me a little old man, and I definitely am a bit of an old soul myself. I love Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra, and I would love to bring some of their music to "Glee." Personally, I love the hair they gave Rory. Sometimes it's good to be different. But there are going to be a few kids at school who are going to tease him about his hair and the way he dresses, so maybe that will get fixed. We'll have to see.
He's also wearing a lot of green.
You know, Rory knows he's not a leprechaun, but he's willing to do whatever it takes to get Brittany's "pot o' gold," so if that means dressing like a leprechaun, then he's willing to do it. Maybe it will last and maybe it won't.
Rory is also going to be very close to Finn this season. Are you also close with Cory [Monteith] off set?
Cory is one of the nicest guys I think I've ever met in my life. I'm not even kidding. He's just so genuine, and Rory and Finn have this big brother/little brother relationship where Rory really looks up to Finn. Finn is Rory's god. He can do no wrong. It's interesting because Finn has been overlooking Rory's arrival, and he's been watching him get bullied and has seen him getting left out. No one is really talking to Rory, and Finn really feels for him because he's such a good guy. So Finn tries to help Rory out. It's a really nice relationship. It's just kind of cute. Rory really looks up to Finn, and to be honest, I really look up to Cory on set. He's a great guy to learn from. I'm working really hard to get more than seven episodes, you know? I want to stay and be a series regular, so I'm trying to learn all I can from the cast, and Cory's been a tremendous help.
What songs would you love to have Rory sing this season?
I love swing and big band music. It's not particularly the direction where I want my career to go, but it's music that I love to sing. I would love to get a chance to sing it on "Glee." I would love to bring Michael Buble to "Glee." It's never been done before. I think the song "Home" would be a perfect fit for Rory. I would also love to sing "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People. Rory's been singing a lot of older songs, so that would be a nice change. I'd get to use more of my falsetto, which I'm really comfortable with, so I'm all for that.
Are you planning to guest judge on Season 2 of "The Glee Project?"
Yeah, there have definitely been talks about it. I would really love to get involved with Season 2 because I feel like I could offer a lot of advice. Out of everybody on the show, I was in the bottom three the most, so I was really brought down and had to raise myself. I think I could give them really helpful advice. I would love too. I think all 12 of us owe a lot to the show. It's gave each one of us opportunities that we never dreamed of.
Last we talked, you told me that you really wanted to be best friends with Darren Criss, so are you guys BFFs yet?
He's such a good guy. We even hang out outside of set, so it's getting there!
"Glee" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Check out a sneak peek of Damian's debut episode, 'Pot O' Gold,' below.
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