Grant Gustin is an American actor, singer, and dancer best known for his role as Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash on The CW hit series 'The Flash'. He started his journey on television with the series 'Glee', and later was cast as a recurring character in the series '90210' and 'Arrow'. Since he was a child, he always dreamed to be a Broadway actor, eventually working in television and movies. He says it got flipped as he already got his break on TV, and still wants to act in Broadway plays. However, he is glad for what he has achieved so far. According to him, the opportunity to work on 'Glee' somewhat fell into his lap as he was not actively looking for it. A prolific tap dancer, he had originally auditioned for a role as a tap dancer in 'Glee'. While he failed to get that part, he did make a mark on Ryan Murphy, the show's co-creator, who remembered him for the recurring role of Sebastian Smythe. Apart from playing the lead role in 'The Flash', Gustin has reprised his role in cross-over episodes of four other television series based on the same fictional universe: 'Arrow', 'Vixen', 'Supergirl' and 'Legends of Tomorrow'.
Childhood & Early Life
Thomas Grant Gustin was born on January 14, 1990, in Norfolk, Virginia. His mother, Tina Haney, is a pediatric nurse and his father, Thomas Gustin, is a College Professor. He has an older brother named Tyler and a younger sister named Gracie.
He started tap dancing at the age of eight, after being influenced by the 1952 American musical comedy film 'Singin' in the Rain'. As a child, he used to act out movie scenes with his siblings. He eventually started participating in community theatre and worked in over 30 musicals.
He attended the 'Governor's School for the Arts' program in Norfolk for Musical Theater when he was still in high school. He also performed regularly with Hurrah Players Incorporated, a theater organization in Virginia, for nearly a decade.
He graduated from Granby High School in 2008. It was during his sophomore year in high school when he started going to New York to watch plays and realized that acting is a viable career choice for him. He later attended the BFA Music Theater Program at Elon University in North Carolina.
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While at Elon University, Grant Gustin auditioned for a Broadway Revival Tour production of 'West Side Story' and got selected for the role of Baby John. He left school in 2010 and performed in the play for a year.
During this time, he met his manager who got him a role in 'Glee', the popular Fox TV musical comedy. He soon moved to Los Angeles to shoot for the television series. He portrayed the role of Sebastian Smythe, an openly gay member of the Dalton Academy Warblers, and appeared on TV for the first time on November 8, 2011.
Gustin, who has been interested in musical theatre as a child, performed the duet 'Smooth Criminal' along with 'Glee' co-star Naya Rivera in January 2012. The song was part of the episode 'Michael' in the show's third season, and featured on-screen musical guests 2Cellos.
In May 2012, he worked on the television film for the Lifetime network, 'A Mother’s Nightmare', which was shot in Canada. The same year, he bagged a major role in the indie film 'Affluenza'.
Between 'Glee' and 'The Flash', he made a guest appearance in the television show 'CSI: Miami' in 2012 and got a recurring role in the 2013 series '90210'. In 2012, he also auditioned for the role of Finnick Odair in 'The Hunger Games' film series, but lost the role to Sam Claflin.
He landed his iconic character of Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash, in September 2013. However, he initially got only a guest role in the other DC superhero series 'Arrow'. He eventually got his own pilot, 'The Flash', which premiered in October 2014.
He has landed a major role in the upcoming 2017 indie movie 'Krystal'. He is slated to act alongside Academy Award winner Kathy Bates.
'The Flash', which is currently considered one of the best television shows, made Grant Gustin a household name instantaneously. Originally intended to be a 13-episode series, the show's success made the producers increase the episode count of the first season to 23. Its pilot show became the second-most watched premiere in the history of The CW. The show has been praised unanimously by critics and is currently running its third season.
Awards & Achievements
Grant Gustin has won two Teen Choice Awards for his role as Barry Allen in the TV series 'The Flash'. In 2015, he won the 'Choice TV: Breakout Star' award, while in 2016, he received the award for 'Choice TV Actor Fantasy/Sci-Fi'.
He won the 'Breakthrough Performance Award' in the Saturn Awards 2015 for 'The Flash'. He also got nominations for 'Best Actor on Television' twice in 2015 and 2016.
His cover version of the song 'Smooth Criminal' from 'Glee' peaked at number 26 at 'Billboard' Hot 100. It also ranked 10th at 'Billboard' Digital Songs chart and 28th at 'Billboard' Canadian Hot 100 chart.
Personal Life & Legacy
Grant Gustin is in a relationship with dancer and model Hannah Douglass. It is not known when they began dating, but both of them were part of 'Glee' at some point in the past. Douglass has shown her support to Gustin on social media a number of times. In an interview in 2014, he said that they have been together for a few years.
He is very close to his mother and considers himself a "Mama's boy". He is very fond of her cooking and says it is probably the most Virginian thing about him.
Grant Gustin, who played an openly gay character in the Fox television series Glee, has actually been 'gay-bashed' in school, even though he is straight. He was more interested in theatre and tap dancing, and didn't hang out with other students who were into sports. That made him the target of other students in his school and made his childhood awful.
In October 2011, he posted his phone number on his 'grantgust' Twitter account by mistake and received over 20 calls from his fans within 10 minutes. He changed his phone number within 5 minutes by contacting network provider AT&T.
Famous for his superhero character, Flash, who moves at a superhuman speed, Gustin was called 'thunder foot' in school because he could run fast and kick the ball very far. However, he admits that his onscreen stunts are a mix of green-screen effects and computer graphics.
He has been a fan of another DC superhero, Superman. Gustin, who has a number of tattoos all over his body, has a tattoo on his left forearm which reads, "Superman ... I love him" in his mother's handwriting.