- Before playing Joe Hart on “Glee,” Samuel Larsen said he was up for the role of Sam Evans.
- Chord Overstreet played Sam, which Larsen said led to “tension” on set after he was cast as Joe.
- He said eventually they got “very close” and bonded over their religious values.
Before actor Samuel Larsen won his guest role on “Glee,” he was in the running to play one of the show’s leading men.
Speaking with Insider ahead of the 10-year anniversary of “The Glee Project” ending, Larsen said he was called back for the role of football player Sam Evans, a character introduced in season two who was later played by Chord Overstreet.
He said the callback consisted of him and five other actors (including Overstreet), but Larsen noticed he “didn’t fit in” with his unbuttoned shirt, long hair, and many necklaces. He said he was “crushed” he didn’t get the part but knew he was “not a quarterback.”
According to Larsen, competing for the same “Glee” role led to “weirdness” between him and Overstreet once Larsen joined the cast as Christian student Joe Hart in season three.
“There was always this kind of weirdness of like, ‘I almost got your job, now I’m here doing my own job,'” he said. “Maybe he thought I had an ego about that, and maybe I thought he had an ego about it. I’m sure we were both wrong.”
The actor said they started “clashing” on set and that they were either “the best of friends” or “not getting along.”
But he also said they connected over navigating their shared religious values while living “a modern-day Hollywood life.” Larsen added that he was going through a breakup around the time “Glee” was being filmed and would spend days at Overstreet’s home.
“We became very close,” he told Insider. Even though Larsen said there was “a little bit of tension” because Overstreet “thought I was an asshole and I thought he was,” he added that “maybe we both were right and wrong at the same time.”
Larsen didn’t get cast as Sam, but he later won a role through ‘The Glee Project’
After the callback, Larsen said casting director Robert Ulrich and his team asked if he would audition for “The Glee Project,” an Oxygen reality-competition series to win a role on “Glee.”
The actor said he wasn’t happy about this at first.
“I remember being so mad, because it was down to me and five other guys, and then all of a sudden they wanna throw me in with hundreds of thousands of other people,” he said. “I was this close. I had met Ryan Murphy already. I had met everyone already.”
Larsen eventually co-won season one of “The Glee Project” and received a seven-episode arc on “Glee” as Joe that was later extended to 25 episodes.
Representatives for Overstreet did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.