| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Jan 9 Chris Colfer, best known for
portraying the openly gay Kurt Hummel on the hit musical
television series "Glee," will make his feature-film acting and
writing debut in dark indie comedy "Struck by Lightning" on
Colfer, 22, plays a high-school student who blackmails the
popular kids into contributing to his literary magazine. The
film also stars comedienne Rebel Wilson and "Modern Family's"
Colfer sat down with Reuters to talk about the film, and
his day job on "Glee," which is now in its fourth season on U.S.
Q: You play a high-school student on television. What made
you want to stick to the high-school genre for your debut film?
A: "I really wanted to tell a story of a genre of
high-school students that often doesn't get told - the
under-appreciated over-achieving student, like I was in high
Q: Was it hard to get financiers to see you as a credible
writer because you are known primarily as an actor?
A: "Anytime an actor associated with something larger than
life like 'Glee,' I think there is automatic suspicion and doubt
that the script would be good. Once people got the script, it
wasn't hard to convince them to read it, but it was difficult
getting it made. Had I sold it to a studio, I bet you anything
it would have been turned into a movie with me not in it and
about a kid losing his virginity or doing drugs. Because that's
what happens and that's not what I wanted."
Q: Why did you choose to make this movie as your debut? Were
you not getting other offers?
A: "I have been getting offers but for the most part they
were Kurt Hummel 2.0-type roles. Which I don't mind because I
see typecasting differently. My attitude is as long as I'm
employed, I really don't mind. But this character that I wrote
just happened not to be a Kurt Hummel-type. I really wanted to
play this character and tell his story."
Q: You shot this while on hiatus from "Glee." Was that
A: "With 'Glee,' every time we go on hiatus, we go on a
tour. As soon as we were done with that tour, I had 2 1/2 weeks
off before shooting season three. I was the only cast member who
decided to do a movie during that time, so the odds were
definitely against me. We shot the film in 16 days. We shot
digitally, which helped a lot because there wasn't quite as much
lighting to set up or time needed to reload the camera and get
film. So that helped. And the locations were all very close to
Q: This latest season of "Glee" sees a split in storylines
as the show follows both a new generation of students at William
McKinley High and graduates - like Kurt Hummel - at their new
school in New York. What do you think of this change?
A: "I love it. I think we all love it because it means not
all of us are working eight days a week, 25 hours a day like we
used to. We all get a few days off every week, which is really
nice. It's been fun to leave the choir room and experience what
else is out there for Kurt. That's been great."
Q: You published a children's fiction novel, "The Land of
Stories," last year, which topped the New York Times bestseller
list, and you have a sequel due out this year. Is writing
important to you?
A: "Unless you fit the standard Hollywood template
perfectly, to survive in this business you have to generate your
own stuff. But for me, it's more the drive of wanting to tell
stories. I've always been a storyteller ever since I was a kid."
A: "One of my biggest blessings ever was being born knowing
exactly what I wanted to do. I have a very long bucket list of
films and stories - mostly stories - that I want to tell. I love
creating characters and I love creating worlds that represent
something that's not so on the nose."
Q: Because Kurt Hummel is openly gay, do you feel
responsibility to represent the gay community in real life?
A: "Everyone automatically associates me with being the
poster boy for gay youth. But I feel like Kurt put me in a
position to be the poster boy for anyone who is at all uniquely
different. I feel anyone who has that one secretive element that
makes them different from the rest is my demographic. And with
all the writing I've done and with this movie, I feel like I've
added another straw to my cap in representing all the ambitious
kids out there, which is a dream for me."
(Reporting by Zorianna Kit; Editing by Eric Kelsey, Piya
Sinha-Roy and Peter Cooney)