Damian McGinty Dishes on ‘Glee’ Role, Hopes to Return to ‘The Glee Project’

'Glee' Portraits
Class photos from season 3
After finding out the winners of The Glee Project back in August, fans of the popular series have been anxiously waiting for the Glee debut of its two winners. There’s been much talk these last couple of months about when they’ll be showing up on our television screens and what type of characters we’ll see them play, but for one of the winners, the time has finally come.

Damian McGinty, 19, is set to debut on Glee on tomorrow night’s episode appropriately titled “Pot O Gold”. McGinty took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with Celebuzz about his upcoming Glee role, his dream song to sing in the future, and his hopes to return to The Glee Project.

You are finally starting your seven episode guest arc on Glee. Tell us a little bit about who you’re playing and what your storyline is.

My character is Rory Flannagan and he is an Irish exchange student. Rory comes to McKinley High and is having a tough time fitting in. He is very young – he’s 15. He’s very cute and innocent and just wants friends and wants to be welcomed but it’s not happening. He’s getting bullied and trying to find himself a girlfriend in the shape of Brittany (Heather Morris).

In the “Pot O Gold” preview it looks like Finn (Cory Monteith) is the one who introduces you to New Directions and has you audition.

Yeah, he does. It’s interesting because in the whole episode there’s lots of interaction between Finn and Rory. Finn sees much of the bullying that happens and feels sorry for Rory and wants to help him. It’s cute because it’s kind of like a big brother and little brother relationship. Finn has taken Rory under his wing and wants to help him.

It also seems like Rory has a little crush on Brittany, but her storyline has her and Santana (Naya Rivera) gravitating towards each other.

It’s bigger than a little crush. Rory has a huge teenage crush on Brittany and Brittany has affection for Rory, but not in the same way. She thinks Rory is her own personal leprechaun and no one else can see him. Brittany likes Rory but not how he likes her. Santana is still there in the picture.

What was your first day on set like? Which cast members do you get along with the most?

I won’t lie and say I walked in as a confident teenager. I was scared out of my mind. You have to remember that they all have known each other for two years already so I was nervous, but they were all incredible. I had my first scene with Heather Morris and I had to sing right after that. After the first take they were all there and gave me a standing ovation. They were all just wonderful and made me feel so welcomed. Everyone’s always around each other. Cory Monteith is great and Kevin McHale is hilarious. They’re all different but great and the girls are the sweetest.

With all the graduation talk and which cast members are staying or leaving, a lot people are hoping you and Samuel Larsen (the other Glee Project winner) stick around for more than seven episodes as the future of Glee. How does that make you feel?

That’s pretty crazy. Darren Criss and I talked about what it’s like joining this cast. Darren joined in season two. We both saw Glee catapult and now we’re a part of it. It’s crazy. There’s also a like a bubble you’re in, but I feel like I was born to be here. I’ve learned to expect nothing and just work hard.

The track list for this year’s Glee Christmas album was released this week and you have a solo!

Yes, I sing “Blue Christmas”. I was recording songs for the show in September when they told me I had a song on the Christmas album. I thought it was great and loved it. It was also great that they were looking ahead — maybe it’s a good sign.

What’s the one song you absolutely have to sing or are hoping to sing to complete your Glee experience?

Oh, that’s a good question. I hope I get to sing something by Michael Buble. That’s not my only genre of music, but I think that’s what I can sell well. I would love to sing maybe “Home” by Michael Buble. I think it would be great.

The next season of The Glee Project will be coming up soon. Will we be seeing you make a guest appearance – maybe as a mentor since you’ve been there and can identify with them?

It has been mentioned. I would love to even just talk to them and tell them things like being in the bottom three isn’t the end. I’d tell them to just work really hard for it.

You’re really young and you’ve worked hard to get to this point. What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve gotten that you’d like to share with someone who is looking to do the same thing you’re doing?

I would tell them three things. For one, never let anyone tell you you’re not good enough. The second thing is to put in the work. It won’t happen overnight and there is always room for improvement. If something bad happens, get back up again. Third, believe. Show that you want it, but mainly work really hard.

Will you be watching Damian McGinty’s Glee debut? It airs on Tuesday on FOX at 8 PM.