After seven years of trying to make it as a musician in L.A., Mark Salling was about to pack up and move back to Texas until he had had a stroke of luck and landed a role on one of the hottest shows on television. As member of the cast of Glee, Mark gave us some insight on what it takes for a show to rise out of the shadow of High School Musical, and what it’s like to be a 27-year-old high school student.
Campus Talk: Tell me a little bit about glee and how your character fits into the story.
Mark Salling: Glee is about a high school glee club that’s become kind of a joke and an optimistic teacher who thinks he can restore it to its former glory. It’s a musical but definitely not like High School Musical. It’s more like someone put roofies in High School Musical or spiked the punch at their prom. It’s got a lot of adult humor.
Puck is a jock that has a lot of aspirations of stardom and cant wait to get out of the little town he lives in. In the beginning he’s pretty much a douche bag, but as the show progresses he’s confronted with some very adult situations that force him to grow up pretty fast.
CT: How did you land the role as Puck?
MS: I’ve been a musician for several years trying to make it here in Los Angeles and I finally decided to get an agent to try to land some roles as an actor to pay the bills. I was out of money and was about to pack it up and go back to Texas when my agent called and told me I was going to read for Glee. It was pretty surreal and all happened pretty fast.
CT: What’s it like shooting with such a young cast?
MS: We have a lot of fun on set but everyone is still very professional. We’re all really close and even with all the different personalities everyone is very civil and fun to be around. A lot of us hang out after shooting. We go get sushi together, go to the movies and just have a lot of fun.
CT: Was there any issue with you being 27-years-old playing the role of a high school student?
MS: I don’t know if you should put this in the article, but I lied at the audition and said I was 19.
CT: So do the producers know now?
MS: Oh yeah, they definitely know now.
CT: How far in advance do you guys get the script for an episode?
MS: We usually get a script about a week before we start shooting an episode. They’re constantly writing and are about one to two scripts ahead when we’re shooting. We’ve actually already shot all 13 episodes for this season, so we all already know what’s going to happen next.
CT: What’s a typical shooting day like?
MS: It’s quite a workload to be honest. Some days we might have to get up early for dance rehearsals and then go shoot some scenes and then later head to the studio to do pre records for the singing scenes. It’s pretty grueling.
CT: What other projects are you working on?
MS: Everything is so tenuous with the show that I can’t really schedule anything. I’d love to get back into the studio to record another album for my band Jericoh, but we have tons of stuff to do for the show like press tours and stuff. Hopefully Glee will get picked up for another season.