A few months ago, Noah Guthrie was on tour in support of his burgeoning music career when he received a phone call he never would have expected.
Guthrie, a Greer native who gained national attention after a YouTube video of him performing an acoustic version of LMFAO's pop music hit “Sexy and I Know It” went viral, was asked to audition for the television series “Glee.”
Despite having no previous acting experience, Guthrie got the gig and will appear in the sixth and final season of the show, starting with the two-hour season premiere episode that airs at 8 p.m. Friday Jan. 9 on the Fox network (local Channel 21).
“They were trying to cast the new season, and I guess they had seen some of my videos and heard my music, and they needed somebody who was kind of husky but also had a bluesy tone to their voice,” Guthrie said.
Guthrie was cast as a character named Roderick, a new McKinley High School student who joins the glee club.
“Roderick is described as kind of the chubby underdog,” Guthrie said. “He is a senior who doesn't really have any friends. He's very into music and is a good singer, and he basically pours himself into it. He always has headphones on, and (music) is pretty much like his only friend.
“He finds himself in the glee club and he kind of opens up.”
Guthrie, who attended Greer High School, said that he can relate to the “Glee” character he plays.
“I was never really bulled in school or anything like that, but I definitely get being the big kid in high school,” he said. “Honestly, when they offered me the job, I told them that I'd never had any acting experience but that the character they described was basically (representative of) my high school existence.
“I was like, 'Everything got easier for me in high school when I opened my mouth and sang something.'”
Although Guthrie has appeared on television programs such as ABC's “Dancing with the Stars” and NBC's “Today,” those experiences were strictly for his singing. Becoming an actor was the furthest thing from his mind until he was approached by a casting agent for “Glee.”
Of his audition, which was done in front of “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy and others, Guthrie said, “They were all very nice, and they all seemed to like me, but when you try out for a big show like that, you never really think you're going to get (the part). So, yeah, it was a complete surprise, but I'm very glad they chose me.”
Guthrie said that shooting for 10 of the final season's 13 episodes has already been completed and that he appears in all but two of them. He added that he's become increasingly comfortable on the set.
“I still get nervous a little bit, but I think the real confidence just came from doing it,” he said. “Once I signed on and we started shooting, I got used to it and it became more of a laidback thing.”
Guthrie, however, isn't expecting an Emmy Award for his acting.
“Music is still the number one thing for me,” he said. “Anything I can do to help get my name out there and get my music out there is great. But if another acting opportunity comes along, I'd love to pursue it.”
Working with such “Glee” cast members as top-billed Lea Michele (who plays Rachel Berry) has been a wonderful experience for Guthrie.
“Everyone on the show is so great,” he said. “It's like a big family. They've all been working together for six years, so everybody knows each other very well.
“And once you kind of find where you fit in the family, then you're set. I really like everybody.”
Guthrie said that he'd been a fan of “Glee” during its first season but had stopped watching it after his music career began cutting into his free time.
“When I got (the part), I watched all the seasons on Netflix and got caught up (on the storylines),” he said. “But, yeah, when the show first came on, I thought it was awesome. The cast was electrifying and all the song choices were really good.”
Guthrie returned to Los Angeles earlier this week after spending the holidays in Greer. He said that shooting for the final three episodes of “Glee” will conclude in February, at which point he'll again focus most of his attention on his own music.
“I've been working on some new stuff,” said Guthrie, whose debut album, “Among the Wildest Things,” was released nationally in 2013. “Any chance I get away from the show is when I'm writing. I would love to record some new music and release it sometime this year. That's kind of my plan.”