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Glee’s Chord Overstreet Talks About His Giant Mouth, and Attempts a ‘That’s What She Said’ Joke

There’s no new Glee episode on tonight (just a repeat of “Hairography”), but why not take time during this lull to get to know the newest New Direction? Chord Overstreet has only starred in two episodes thus far, but as Sam, he has already dealt with jabs about his extra-wide grin and Bieber-esque hairdo, fended off rampant rumors about being Kurt’s gay love interest, and read a slew of bad pickup lines with great lack of finesse. Next week he’ll add the donning of gold lamé shorts to that list of mild indignities, in the much-touted Rocky Horror episode. He told us about the origin of his excellent name, the necessary skills for playing a doofus, and the perils of showering onscreen.

First of all, we must address your fantastic, seemingly tailor-made-for-Glee name. Please explain where it came from.
Well, my dad’s a country-music songwriter in Nashville, I was the third one born in my family, and there are three notes in a chord, so my parents figured why not. It’s kind of weird when you meet someone, and it takes them like three or four times to get my name right. But you know, it’s tough to forget. When the casting director introduced me, he was very good about it. “Everybody, this is Chord Overstreet — yes, that’s his real name.”

Did you know anything about Sam’s character before your audition?
I really didn’t have a clue at all when I auditioned, and they hadn’t written anything for the character yet. I read the sides for the pilot as Finn. Maybe [based on] the take I had on my audition they were like, well, this will work for the character, and on top of it they knew I could sing. Or maybe they just needed a new kid who’s really awkward and makes bad jokes. Once they cast me, they kind of wrote it for me basically.

We mean this as a compliment, but you’re quite good at playing a doofus who has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth. Did that take a lot of practice?
Well, it should be easy for me since they reference my mouth being extra large numerous times. But no, it’s awesome. Everybody roots for the guy who puts his foot in his mouth. I love how goofy they wrote it; it just makes him much more lovable. It’s a lot of work any way you look at it, but the character itself comes easy to me, 'cause it’s pretty much me in a nutshell. I’m lucky the writers write clever jokes to make me seem funny.

There were rumors for a while that you were going to be a love interest for Kurt, though those were seemingly dispelled this past week …
That’s why I kept telling everybody, you’ve gotta watch season two if you want to know! I could possibly be going out with Quinn! Nothing’s set in stone because it’s TV, but I’d definitely like to see my relationship with her go a little further.

It must have been strange to suddenly become an object of adulation for the gay web community.
What can I say, I’m an attractive man, of course they’re going to plaster my face all over the Internet! [Laughs.] Nah, I’m kidding. It was really all up in the air till Ryan [Murphy] came out and said it’s not happening. They cast some other guy. There’s just so much talk about every little thing: maybe this could happen, maybe this person will guest-star. I said I’d like to do a country-music song on the show just for the heck of it, and now there’s a rumor we’re doing a country episode. It’s possible it’ll happen, but I doubt it. There was a rumor Matt was going to shave his head for the Britney episode, and Matt still has his beautiful locks, soooo …

Well, regardless, you do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in the shower on the show.
[Laughs.] I had them put that in my contract: must be topless at least once or twice, and must have a shower scene at least once or twice every four episodes. I’m a lot of man, what can I say. My hair looks awful while wet, I will say that.

I was just going to say, you must spend a lot of time wet on set …
That’s what she said.

Oooookay.
Come on, that was a good "that’s what she said" moment!

Okay, fine. Moving on: You sang “Billionaire” in the first episode, and last week you sang “Lucky.” Have you become Glee’s designated mellow-pop dude?
No! I think it was just a cute song between me and Dianna. I wouldn’t mind, but I’d like to see another kind of song for my character that can show some more of my genre: acoustic alternative. More along the lines of John Mayer. I have no clue what my next musical number will be.

Previews would indicate you’ll be playing Rocky in the Rocky Horror episode. Please tell us all about wearing shiny gold undies.
Oh, I have my shirt off again, the rumors are true. But they’re just short-shorts. It could’ve been a lot worse. I was expecting a lot shorter. And I talked to [executive producer] Brad Falchuk about it, and he felt it would be a good opportunity to put me in a gold Speedo, which I thought would be, uh, interesting, so I was blessed that they’re actually a bit longer. I think it’ll add a bit of humor to the scene. It’s part of the gig.

Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Teen Vogue