Chris Colfer


Chris Colfer
Chris Colfer

Colfer at the Time 100 Gala, April 27, 2011
Born Christopher Paul Colfer
May 27, 1990 (1990-05-27) (age 21)
Clovis, California, United States
Occupation Actor, singer, producer and writer
Years active 2009–present

Christopher Paul "Chris" Colfer[1][2] (born May 27, 1990)[3] is an American actor and singer known for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the television series Glee, for which he won a 2011 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and was also nominated twice for an Emmy.

Colfer was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2011.[4]

Contents

Early life and education

Colfer was born in Clovis, California, the son of Karyn (née Boling) and Tim Colfer.[5] Colfer has Irish ancestry; he has stated "I’m very Irish, my family is all Irish and St. Patrick’s day in my house is crazy."[6] He was home schooled for half of 7th grade and 8th grade because he was bullied so much in school.[7]

While a student at Clovis East High School, Colfer was involved with the Speech & Debate program where he won "many speech and debate Champion titles," including placing 9th in the State Competition for Dramatic Interpretation, the drama club, the FFA, "was president of the Writer’s Club, editor of the school's literary magazine, and captain of Destination ImagiNation."[8] As a high school senior, he wrote, starred in, and directed a spoof of Sweeney Todd entitled "Shirley Todd", in which all of the roles were gender-reversed.[9] One of his real in-school experiences was later turned into a sub-plot for his character on Glee, when the high school teachers denied him the chance to sing "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked because it is traditionally sung by a woman.[10][11] His grandmother, a minister, let him sing the song in her church.[10]

Career

Colfer at the San Diego Comic-Con International, July 2010

The first show he was involved in with community theater was West Side Story.[12]

When he was younger, he also starred in a production of The Sound of Music as the character "Kurt".

At the age of eighteen, Colfer starred as Russel Fish in Russel Fish: The Sausage and Eggs Incident, a short film where an awkward teenager must pass a Presidential Physical Fitness test or fail gym class and lose his admission to Harvard University.

Glee

Colfer's first TV role came in 2009 when he was cast as Kurt Hummel on Fox's Glee. Kurt is a fashionable gay countertenor who is routinely bullied at school, not only for being gay, but also for being part of the very unpopular Glee Club. Colfer auditioned for the part of Artie Abrams, who uses a wheelchair, which eventually went to Kevin McHale. The show's creator, Ryan Murphy, was so impressed with Colfer that he created the role of Kurt specifically for him,[13] and in the process, scrapped a planned character called Rajish so they could add Hummel. In a 2010 interview with Allison Kugel, Colfer stated that "There have been a couple of times when I have gone to Ryan Murphy and told him a couple of things that have happened to me, and then he writes it into the show. Or he’ll ask me what song I would want to sing, in this situation or in that situation. I don’t think any of us directly try to give input on the character or on the storyline, but they definitely steal things from us."[11]

Ryan Murphy revealed in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that at the conclusion of Glee's third season, Colfer's character Kurt will graduate from Mckinley High along with Rachel (actress Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith). At the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, producer Brad Falchuk stated that "because they’re graduating doesn’t mean they’re leaving the show." Falchuk also stated "it was never our plan or our intention to let them go…. They are not done with the show after this season."[14]

Hummel's characterization

Colfer has explained that Hummel "puts on a very confident, 'I'm better than you' persona, but underneath it all he's the same anxious and scared teen everyone is/was at some point. In later episodes, he goes through an identity crisis, accepting and finding acceptance for who he is. [...] He's a tough guy in designer clothes."[15] The character is also gay, which is at the crux of many of his conflicts on the show. Colfer has a high vocal range, as displayed in the episode "Wheels", in which his character demonstrates the unusual ability (for a man) of singing a "high F" (actually an F5). However, his character deliberately pretends to be unable to sing the note in order to spare his father the harassment he would receive for having a gay son.[16]

At 20 years old, Colfer won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for his performance as Kurt Hummel.[17] He was twice nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category for his portrayal of Kurt.

Writing and other work

Colfer will star in the coming-of-age comedy Struck by Lightning that has been set up with David Permut (Youth in Revolt). The plot revolves around Colfer's character, who is struck and killed by a bolt of lightning, and chronicles his exploits as he blackmails his fellow senior classmates into contributing to a literary magazine he's publishing. Colfer also wrote the script for "Struck By Lightning," which was shot during the Glee hiatus in the summer of 2011.[18]

On June 8, 2011, Colfer signed a book deal to write two novels for kids, the first of which, The Land of Stories, is scheduled for release in 2012.[19]

Personal life

Colfer is openly gay[20] and shared on Access Hollywood that his parents were accepting of him but he was frequently bullied at school.[9][21][22] Colfer's sister, Hannah, suffers from severe epilepsy, and often experiences over fifty seizures in an hour.[23] Colfer has commented that when he was younger he used acting as a method of escaping the stress involved with having a family member with disabilities.[24]

Colfer appeared on the British chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on June 18, 2010, along with his fellow Glee co-stars Amber Riley and Matthew Morrison. He demonstrated his skill with a pair of sai, revealing that he bought a pair on eBay and regularly practices in his trailer. He also mentioned that he would like it if his sai swords could be worked in to an episode of Glee; they first appeared in the season 3 episode I Am Unicorn, during Colfer's character Kurt Hummel's performance of "I'm the Greatest Star", from the musical Funny Girl.[25]

Filmography

Colfer at ComicCon, July 2010
Year Title Role Notes
2009 Russel Fish: The Sausage and Eggs Incident Russel Fish Short Film
2009–present Glee Kurt Hummel Main Cast
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2011)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2010)
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2010–2011)
Nominated - Monte-Carlo TV Festival Award for Outstanding Actor - Comedy Series
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2009–2010)
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (2011)
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2011)
Nominated - Lesbian/Bi People's Choice Awards "Favorite Music Duo or Group" (shared with Glee Cast) (2011)
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actor (2012)
2010 Marmaduke Drama Dog #2
Shrooms Dog #1
Beach Dog No.4
Feature Film
(voice only)
2011 The Cleveland Show Kurt Hummel Season 2, Episode 11, "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?"
(Voice Role)
2011 Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Kurt Hummel/Himself
2011 The Little Leftover Witch Writer, Producer
2011 Saturday Night Live Himself (cameo) Appeared in the What Up With That sketch, had no lines
2012 Struck by Lightning Carson Phillips Lead role, Writer, Producer

Discography

  • Glee: The Music, Volume 1 (2009)
  • Glee: The Music, Volume 2 (2009)
  • Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna (2010)
  • Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers (2010)
  • Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals (2010)
  • Glee: The Music, The Rocky Horror Glee Show (2010)
  • Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album (2010)
  • Glee: The Music, Volume 4 (2010)
  • Glee: The Music, Volume 5 (2011)
  • Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers (2011)
  • Glee: The Music, Volume 6 (2011)
  • Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2011)

References

  1. ^ "Show Tracker". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/09/glee-creator-and-executive-producer-ryan-murphy-discovered-chris-colfer-but-dont-tell-the-young-actor-that-it-makes-him-feel.html. 
  2. ^ According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/39461
  3. ^ Ayers, Dennis (May 27, 2010). "Chris Colfer, Birthday Boy". AfterElton.com. http://www.afterelton.com/blog/dennis/chris-colfer-birthday. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The 2011 Time 100". Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,2066367,00.html. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ Bentley, Rick. "Emmy nod 'surreal,' Clovis East grad says - Clovis: News". fresnobee.com. http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/07/08/1999366/clovis-east-grad-gets-emmy-nod.html. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  6. ^ tv (2011-08-19). "MSN UK". Tv.uk.msn.com. http://tv.uk.msn.com/blog/editor-blogpost.aspx?post=34985fb8-f3e1-4105-a10d-78b7160d0b2b. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  7. ^ "'Glee' cast talks of new season, how show changed them", Manila Bulletin, October 10, 2011, Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  8. ^ Chris Colfer on Glee wiki[dead link] Gleewiki on Fox.com. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  9. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley. "Just One of the Guys". Advocate.com. http://advocate.com/Arts_and_Entertainment/Television/Glees_Chris_Colfer__Just_one_of_the_guys/. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  10. ^ a b Glee’s Chris Colfer Reveals Real-Life Story Behind Kurt’s Diva Moment People, November 12, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Kugel, Allison (April 26, 2010). "Glee Star Chris Colfer Shares His Best Behind-the-Scenes Moments and Surreal Adventures". PR.com. http://www.pr.com/article/1151. Retrieved May 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Glee Does West Side Story". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgfAsgUbPoM&feature=channel_video_title. 
  13. ^ Malcolm, Shawna (May/June 2010). "Let It Glee". Emmy (North Hollywood, California: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) XXXII (3): 102–109. ISSN 0164-3495. OCLC 4629234. 
  14. ^ "Comic-Con 2011: 'Glee' Trio 'Are Not Done With the Show After This Season,' EP Says", The Hollywood Reporter, July 24, 2011, Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  15. ^ Steinberg, Jamie (May 2009). "Chris Colfer – Pure Glee". Starry Constellation Magazine. http://starrymag.com/content.asp?ID=4321&CATEGORY=INTERVIEWS. Retrieved June 2, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Wheels". Ryan Murphy (director, writer), Brad Falchuk (writer), Ian Brennan (writer). Glee. Fox. November 11, 2009. No. 9, season 1.
  17. ^ "Golden Globes 2010". Goldenglobes.org. http://www.goldenglobes.org/nominations/. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Glee's Chris Colfer Makes Leap to Big Screen for Lightning". TVGuide.com. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Chris-Colfer-Film-1026500.aspx. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Chris Colfer Signs Children's Book Deal - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. June 8, 2011. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Chris-Colfer-Book-Deal-1034048.aspx. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Handler to Colfer: "We Know You're Gay"". The Advocate. December 4, 2009. http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2009/12/04/Handler_to_Colfer_We_Know_Youre_Gay/. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  21. ^ Saltman, Laura. "Dish Of Salt: Who’s The Biggest Loser On ‘Glee’?". Access Hollywood. http://www.accesshollywood.com/dish-of-salt-whos-the-biggest-loser-on-glee_video_1152506. Retrieved December 6, 2009. 
  22. ^ Glee's Chris Colfer Not Out After All? The Advocate, November 1, 2009.
  23. ^ Black, Rob. "Hannah Colfer's Story". GleeFan.com. http://www.gleefan.com/hannah-colfers-story/. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Chris Colfer (from Glee) | Trojan Vision Television". Trojanvision.com. 2010-04-18. http://trojanvision.com/?p=2618. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  25. ^ "Chris Colfer show his sai swords skills – Friday Night With Jonathan Ross"". Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZl1QBOW5X0. Retrieved June 19, 2010. 

Further reading

External links


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