A Grant af­fair

Will Grant Gustin – whose fi­ancee is of half-Kadazan de­scent – hold his wed­ding in Malaysia? He opens up to Star2

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Front Page - en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my Philip Berk

ALTHOUGH Grant Gustin’s child­hood idol was Gene Kelly, it’s Fred As­taire he re­minds me of.

None of the Kelly brash­ness about him, but rather the gen­tle, suave so­phis­ti­ca­tion we as­so­ciate with the screen’s great­est dancer.

In per­son Gustin, 27, is self ef­fac­ing, cour­te­ous, and thor­oughly cap­ti­vat­ing.

But if you want see an an­i­mated Gustin, check out his dance rou­tine on Face­book.

No flash in the pan this Flash! Come to think, isn’t it ironic that of all the young tal­ents that emerged from Glee, it’s Gustin who’s made the big­gest im­pact?

His TV se­ries The Flash is a huge hit and his fan­dom fol­low­ing at Comic-Con held in San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia last month at­tested to that.

And the ac­tor has a Malaysian con­nec­tion, sort of. He is en­gaged to An­drea Thoma, who is of half-Kadazan de­scent.

Have you vis­ited Malaysia, and what do you know about its cul­ture?

I will start with the food. Try­ing new food usu­ally scares me, but when it comes to the taste of Malaysian foods that I have had, I am into it. We are ac­tu­ally vis­it­ing Malaysia in De­cem­ber; go­ing to meet a lot of the fam­ily over there.

How long have you and An­drea been to­gether?

We have been to­gether for a year-and-a-half. We fell in love pretty quickly, and we’ve been en­gaged since April.

So will there be a Malaysian wed­ding some­time soon?

We want to def­i­nitely do some­thing in Malaysia, a cer­e­mony of sorts there. But it will be be­fore our wed­ding so it won’t be the (real) wed­ding.

I have heard from other peo­ple that have been there and got en­gaged, that when you get en­gaged, it’s al­most like get­ting mar­ried. And it feels that way, men­tally for me at least.

We have al­ready started our life to­gether; we have bought a home to­gether, and we have fallen into the groove of things.

I have al­ways been an old soul kind of dude and I al­ways knew that I wanted to set­tle down although I was a lit­tle sur­prised that it just hap­pened so sud­denly. But I guess, at 27, it’s who I am. Was there any­thing about the Malaysian cul­ture that sur­prised you?

I haven’t been ex­posed to too much of it yet, but from what I have seen so far, they are very pas­sion­ate about pop cul­ture. I’ll have more to say come De­cem­ber.

So, your fame ba­si­cally started when you ap­peared on Glee?

Yeah that was my first on cam­era ex­pe­ri­ence. Up un­til then I had done only the­atre. But be­cause

I was re­ally com­fort­able do­ing that for

15 years – singing and danc­ing – it made my tran­si­tion to cam­era act­ing a lot eas­ier, and the cast them­selves were so nice and wel­com­ing.

Were you sur­prised when you were cast in a su­per­hero se­ries?

Sur­prised, but ex­cited. I’ve been a life­long su­per­hero fan. I’m a big Su­per­man fan.

Be­tween the ages of four and five, I had Su­per­man py­ja­mas that I don’t think left my body very of­ten.

So, just to have the op­por­tu­nity to au­di­tion for this role was re­ally ex­cit­ing to me. I didn’t re­ally think I had a chance be­cause I’m not your stereo­typ­i­cal su­per­hero per se.

Did you have to bulk up for the role?

A lit­tle, be­fore we did the pi­lot. But it’s re­ally hard for me to keep weight on, es­pe­cially with the sched­ule that we’re on. And the creators seem OK with that.

They ac­tu­ally em­brace my body type and the lean­ness of me in the role. So, I’m not re­ally chang­ing my body too much.

I don’t have to do what Stephen Amell does on Ar­row ,with his in­sane work­outs and nu­tri­tion and reg­i­men. I do stay ac­tive, but it’s my busy film sched­ule that keeps me in shape.

I have a dance back­ground, and I’ve al­ways stayed phys­i­cally ac­tive ever since I stopped danc­ing, which was four years ago so I haven’t had to change my life­style as far as work­ing out.

Speak­ing of Stephen, any dirt you can dish on him?

I don’t have any dirt on Stephen, and even if I did, I would keep it to my­self, be­cause he would kick my a**.

But you get along?

Ab­so­lutely, but Stephen and I are re­ally dif­fer­ent guys. And I think it pays off when you see us to­gether in char­ac­ter just be­cause of the jux­ta­po­si­tion­ing.

But we have fun to­gether and we con­nect on sports and his wife and my fi­ancée get along so we have a good time to­gether.

You were a good ath­lete in high school. Did those track skills give you an edge in au­di­tion­ing for The Flash?

Kind of yeah. I was fast in school. But I was re­ally fast in el­e­men­tary school; they ac­tu­ally called me Thun­der Foot be­cause I could run so fast. And that’s no lie.

But as far as the run­ning on the show, it’s a com­bi­na­tion of things. They’ll put me on a tread­mill in front of a green screen, hooked up to a har­ness, and I’ll run and they’ll blow wind on me and make it look like I’m go­ing real fast. So, there’s that.

Then, they take some­thing like 16,000 pictures of my face and body so they could cre­ate a dig­i­tal dou­ble of my body. So, it will be me run­ning, but then it tran­si­tions to the digi-dou­ble.

And then we do ba­sic tricks that are just re­ally old school. Like, they’ll put vinyl on the bot­tom of my boots and I’ll be run­ning and then slide into frame. They morph all that to­gether to make it look like I’m the fastest man alive.

So, when did you get the act­ing bug?

I started tap danc­ing when I was eight years old be­cause of

Singing In The Rain. I’m a huge Gene Kelly and Don­ald O’Con­nor fan, be­cause of that movie. And I watched it hun­dreds of times. And I would re-en­act movies with my sib­lings (Gustin has an older brother and a younger sis­ter).

I would put Grease on, and I would make my sis­ter be Sandy and make my brother be Kenickie. As kids, we played make be­lieve, but even­tu­ally I started do­ing the­atre.

Then I went to The Gover­nor’s School for the Arts in Nor­folk Vir­ginia, for mu­si­cal the­atre.

My brother went to the tech de­part­ment; he de­signed sets and cos­tumes. We were all re­ally sup­port­ive of each other, but I was the only one that just never stopped do­ing it.

I didn’t see my­self do­ing any­thing else. I was the one who got re­ally se­ri­ous about the­atre, while they chose to be nor­mal peo­ple

(laughs).

Do you still dress up for Hal­loween?

Yeah. I pretty much al­ways go as movie char­ac­ters. This year, though, I want to get a cheap, like US$30 Flash cos­tume. I’ll wear it and then keep it for what­ever other rea­sons I might need it.

Who were some of your past movie char­ac­ters?

Last year I was Marty McFly. The year be­fore that, I was Fer­ris Bueller.

With all the me­dia at­ten­tion how do you stay grounded?

I’ve al­ways been re­ally, re­ally close to my fam­ily and my friends, and they keep me grounded.

I’ve al­ways been a home­body. I’m work­ing from 10 to 15 hours a day ev­ery sin­gle day. So, when I’m not work­ing I want to sleep or work on my scripts or do ab­so­lutely noth­ing at all, which makes it pretty easy to stay grounded.

And you’ve avoided the temp­ta­tions?

I don’t re­ally worry about that too much. I don’t re­ally think about that be­cause I’m pretty se­cure with my­self. I don’t feel the urge to give into temp­ta­tions. Even if I found my­self sur­rounded by it, it’s just not who I am.

Photo: Warner TV

Photo: Warner TV

Gustin and Thoma got en­gaged in April. — In­sta­gram

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