5 Things to Know About 'Glee' Newbie Damian McGinty

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gleeks, say hello to McKinley High's latest heartthrob: Rory Flanagan, played by 'The Glee Project' winner Damian McGinty.

Fans of the Oxygen reality competition show swooned over the 18-year-old former Celtic Thunder singer, partly because of his dreamy Irish accent, but mostly because of his adorably clumsy footwork and his velvety smooth voice.

Next week's 'Glee' (Tues., Nov. 1, 8PM ET on Fox) marks the much-anticipated arrival of McGinty as McKinley High's new Irish foreign exchange student, but he's not exactly receiving the warmest welcome.
"Rory is very sweet and really innocent, and it's kind of sad because he wants to fit in and he always has a smile of his face, but he's just getting continually bullied," McGinty told us. "He's getting thrown off lockers and pushed into lockers. It's quite sad. He just wants friends and for people to like him." See? Adorable.
But it's not all bad news for Rory. As we already know, he does get to spend the semester living with Brittany -- and trying to get to her "pot o' gold." We have a feeling that Rory's puppy love is going to bring out Santana's highly aggressive side. We also already know that Kurt's not going to be Rory's biggest fan either, especially after hearing his falsetto, but rest assured 'Glee' fans -- that's not going to last for long.

"In the song 'Take Care of Yourself,' I use a very high part of my voice, and Kurt is originally like, 'hey, that's my thing,'" said McGinty. "But he eventually realizes that the glee club needs new members, and maybe this kid Rory could be a little useful."

And fans of 'The Glee Project' will love this: McGinty also hinted that he might be returning for Season 2 of show that made him a household name, acting as a guest judge. "There have been talks," he said. "I think that I could offer some really great advice, having been through the whole thing already."

Before McGinty makes his big debut on 'Glee,' we wanted to give you a few fun facts about the Irishman and his character Rory.

1. Lea Michele doesn't understand him!
"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."

2. He's BFFs with Heather Morris -- but he's actually afraid of Naya Rivera
"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. 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."

3. His character Rory Flanagan is an old soul, much like himself
"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."

4. Rory idolizes Finn, and Damian idolizes Cory Monteith
"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 over-looking 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, so it's kind of perfect."

5. He has some interesting song choices for Rory
"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."

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