Made for the Silverscreen: Samuel Larsen
Samuel Larsen rose to fame in 2012 as Joe Hart in Fox’s Glee , but this California native has forged even further on the national stage as a singer, songwriter, and actor in the years since. Born to a Mexican mother and Danish father, the 27-year-old is a born performer who credits both his creativity and tenacity to his mixed heritage. Being exposed to such a broad spectrum of culture seems only to have nurtured Larsen’s creative side.
Since his debut on Glee , Larsen has taken on supporting roles in several box office hits, including the Jennifer Anniston romantic comedy The Breakup Girl, as well as horror films like The Remains and Recovery . Most recently, he portrayed Zed Evans in the romantic drama After based on a novel by the same name. The actor plans to resume his role in the upcoming sequel.
Widely known for both his singing and acting abilities, the young star says that his artistic nature is drawn to both music and acting, and he enjoys merging the two aspects of his creativity. Larsen started playing the drums as a young child; today he is the lead vocalist in the L.A. based band NEXT CItY, which just released their first two singles, “Blue City” and “Tell Me”, this year. The rock band, which blends garage style funk with a dance beat, just reached their Kickstarter campaign goal to fund their debut album.
Larsen’s success on the big screen has earned him a global fanbase, and fans are still discovering the depths of his musical talent via NEXT CItY. We sat down with him recently to learn more about his passion for music, his latest role as Zed Evans, and what lies ahead for this multi-talented sensation.
What interest came first, acting or singing? Which one do you most identify with? Why?
Well music came first, I got my first drum kit when I was 3 years old and haven't stopped since, but acting didn't come much later I had an agent and was doing small acting projects when I was 8 years old. As a child I couldn't really grasp the rejection side of the acting world so I gravitated more towards music, I liked the control I had over it, but as an adult I would say I identify with both, both of them are a different side of me that meets in the middle and at the end of the day it's just performing whether its interpretive or creative.
With a Danish dad and a Mexican mom, how did these cultures come to shaped who you are today? Anything cool/interesting that comes to mind?
Well for starters I've been told by numerous people that I talk with a slight accent since both of my parents have their respective accents. Other than that on my Mexican side I was exposed to and love mariachis and Luis Miguel as well as spicy fruits or any of their cuisine. I'm also very proud of the whole DYI side of Mexican culture my mom was always making my halloween costumes and my toys if she couldn't buy it she made it. On my Danish side I got the mentality of vikings, early viking morality might have been a bit flawed but their tenacity is what I take the most from the culture as well as sort of comradery with fellow vikings. Also Danish food is absolutely amazing.
How supportive are your loved ones with all that you do? Anyone in particular that inspired you to pursue this intense career?
I have had all the support I could ask for from my family, even just the fact that my parents bought me a little pearl drum kit when I was 3 years old when they couldn't afford it shows how much they believed in and supported me, growing up they always got me what I needed to learn and they always got me the lessons and for that I'm forever grateful.
You have had so many different experiences in both the music and acting world, what have you learned through the process of it all? Is there any experience, in particular, that was a defining moment in your career?
Oh man, I have learned a lot since I started pursuing this career. The main thing I've learned is to be able to listen to other people's ideas and give them a solid chance but at the same time be able to stick to my guns, having a strong opinion is so important in this business, its how you have conviction.
There have been a couple of defining moments in my time doing this, but a big one for me was realizing no matter how big the company is or how big the show is, don't be afraid to do what is right for you and your career, surround yourself with people who really care about what you're putting out there not just people who are attached to a big name it can be very blinding.
Do you miss the Joe Hart character and/or Glee as a whole? Any memorable moment that comes to mind?
I mean absolutely it was a great time of life but who doesn't miss being 20/21? Glee was such a fun show to work on and a job I seeked out and hunted down for a while because I knew I wanted to start in a place that had both singing and acting so that I could do both forever. I do get nostalgic at times and sometimes I wish I would have let go and appreciated certain days on set more, but all in all it was a dream come true.
What did you enjoy the most about Zed Evans?
Zed was fun because I brought the most of myself to that part, it's the most myself I have ever felt on set. The most enjoyable part was how good of friends we all became, we were always hanging out on and off set, both cast and crew and it just made everything such a joy and made the time fly right by.
From all your After cast members, who did you connect with the most?
Very much everyone, I felt a special connection to every actor in that movie, I think we were all just so thankful and stoked to be a part of a project with so much attention on it, I also made great friends with everyone else producers, writers, especially Anna Todd the mastermind of the books, everyone. We were excited and free which just led to a lot of great times.
Are there any guilty pleasures that arise when playing roles like Zed’s and/or other similar roles?
Not at all, I love playing roles like Zed, I can't wait to explore him more.
With After being out and with all that has happened since it’s release, what has been crazy about this whole process?
THE FANS! the fans are on another level, one of the craziest things has to be when I went to Paris for my first time to meet with Anna (Todd) at a romance book convention and just seeing all the fans screaming for her and for me, before they even saw the movie, just from the anticipation, here I am never been to Paris and this is my welcome, that was amazing.
Is Zed Evans making an appearance in After we Collided? If so, what are you most excited about?
Of course he is! I'm most excited to just continue to tell this story that people love and dive deeper in to my character, also I cant wait to be able to hang out with everyone again.
Any upcoming news on your music career? What’s next for Samuel?
Other than After We Collided my band NEXT CItY (not a typo) just released our first 2 singles and music videos, and are currently in the process of recording more songs for an EP as well as planning our first tour. You can go to nextcityband.com to see/hear or for any news on that. Honestly I am just so excited to film more, play more shows and just be able to perform every chance I get because it's what makes me the most happy.