‘Glee’ Star Chris Colfer Reveals ‘Message’ Behind ‘Struck By Lightning’
Move over Lea Michele: It looks like Chris Colfer is the new “Glee” star to watch. When he won a Golden Globe in 2011 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, entertainment gurus started paying attention to the guy who plays Kurt Hummel.
Colfer originally auditioned for “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy in the hopes of landing the role of Artie, a paraplegic nerd with insane rapping skills. The part went to Kevin McHale, but Murphy liked Colfer so much that he created the role of Kurt specifically for him. The charisma that won Murphy over has since stolen the hearts of audiences, and the actor has used his fame to launch his own side projects — including “Struck by Lightning,” a feature premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Colfer wrote the screenplay and stars in the film as Carson Phillips, a driven high school senior and promising journalist focused on making it in New York. His plan is to attend his dream college and become editor of The New Yorker, but things change abruptly when he is — you guessed it — struck by lightning.
“The project kind of started [as] a way for me to vent out my high school annoyances with my classmates and my teachers and the town that I lived in,” Colfer told MTV News. “It just kept evolving, evolving … [until] I just kind of said to myself, ‘I really need to make this into a movie someday.’ ”
Even though the story is loosely based on Colfer’s high school experience, he tells us that it is not autobiographical. “Carson is a very, very driven kid who really just wants to get out of his town and is waiting for his life to begin in New York City,” he said. “That’s his goal. Meanwhile, he’s stuck in this really small town with these people whose aspirations are becoming a fireman, becoming a nurse, becoming principal of the school, and he has a hard time with it. And I think he has a really important message for kids to hear these days.”
It’s a message that can now be heard thanks to the phenomenon of the Fox musical series. “[‘Glee’] kind of created a possibility for me to do this,” the actor revealed. “Making movies, writing stuff, has always been my plan. Always, always, always. And sometimes I laugh when people are surprised that I do that because it’s always been so much a passion for me to get into someday.
“I feel like every actor has a shelf life, and luckily I’m relevant now because I’m on ‘Glee’ and there [are] just a lot of things I want to get done before my shelf life is over,” he added, laughing. “So I’m just trying to get everything on my bucket list off while I can.”
We’d say he’s off to a good start. “Struck by Lightning” will continue playing at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, April 27, and Sunday, April 29. Rush tickets will be available. The movie is set to hit theaters later this year.