'Glee' star Chris Colfer discusses his new pilot for Disney and Kurt's return to McKinley -- EXCLUSIVE

It’s a good week to be Chris Colfer. Not only was the Glee star named one of Time‘s 100 Most Influential People, but the actor also made a deal with the Disney Channel for a pilot based on the children’s book, The Little Leftover Witch. It’s the actor’s second script deal; Colfer’s set to star in his own screenplay, the teen comedy Struck by Lightning, this summer once the Glee concert tour wraps. Did we mention that Colfer is only 20 years-old? In between a break on the set of Glee, EW talked to Colfer about his Disney pilot and what’s in store for Kurt and Blaine. 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this Disney show come about?
CHRIS COLFER: My agent’s husband bought the rights to the book [Florence Laughlin’s The Little Leftover Witch]. They brought it to me and told me they were in talks with Disney and knew that I was a hidden writer and asked me to adapt it into a screenplay. I said, “Yeah, absolutely.” I got the book on a Friday night and I adapted the screenplay by Sunday night. I got so into it. I wrote like a 102 page screenplay in two days. The story was just so cute about this little witch that falls and gets lost on Halloween night and gets stuck with this family. I just totally fell in love with the story and the characters and then added a bunch of stuff and made it my own. Disney bought the screenplay and then asked me to develop it into a TV series.

How will you be involved in this? As an executive producer?
I’m not quite sure, because a lot of the negotiations are still up in the air. I’ll always be around it. I think I’ll write the pilot and then be a strong creative force behind it and kind of steer the show. I’ll kind of be a miniature Ryan Murphy — which is funny because people already refer to me by that.

So the show is about a witch who’s taken in a by a family?
Yes. It’s basically about a neglected witch [who] winds up crashing into this family’s life and the little daughter — her name is Lucy — finds a new best friend. They both fill a void in each other’s life. It’s like one of those “Oh, I finally found a best friend” kind of stories.

So is that what spoke to you about the material?
Oh yes, of course. I think everyone wishes for some kind of powerful, imaginary best friend to pop in when they’re younger and lonely. I mean, I certainly did. It’s just a cute story and anyone can relate to it.

This is your second script that’s been sold. Are you liking this side gig of being a screenwriter?
Absolutely. It’s something that I never ever talk about because I don’t want anyone to criticize me for it. But it’s amazing to create worlds and people. I think I’m just addicted to storytelling whether I’m writing it or I’m acting it out. I’m just a born storyteller.

You’ve been pretty vague on plot details of Struck by Lightning. Can you share anything more?
I’m trying to keep it a little bit secretive. It’s about all the kids in high school who are overachieving in their own right and underappreciated for it just like I was. I think it’s very sarcastic and very real. I hope it goes to show that there still lots and lots of smart kids out in the world. It’s about smart kids and not about stupid kids who wanna get laid and that’s their biggest goal in life. We’ve been having tons and tons of meetings with actors and people who wanna be part of it. It’s so crazy because I’ve had meetings with actors [who] I literally wrote the role for, that want to be in it and want to be part of it. It’s a trip!

So Kurt returns to McKinley next Tuesday on Glee. Is the rest of the season Kurt and Blaine trying to figure out how to be a couple?
They kind of just have to deal with more of a long-distance relationship. I mean, it’s not like they’ve got anyone else to cheat with. He’s around as much as he was before.

While Kurt was at Dalton, it was almost if you were on a separate show from your castmates. It must be so fun for you to be back with them.
It was weird coming back. It was weird. They even said, “It’s weird having you back.” I felt like Shelley Long returning to Cheers. While I was gone, they established all these personal jokes that I don’t know what they’re talking about. So I’ll be like, “Oh this one time at Dalton…” [Laughs.]

Comments (85 total) Add your comment
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  • Linderella49

    So glad to see Curt coming back to McKinley – it will be great to see how Curt and Karofsky’s love/torture relationship will be dealt with.

    • JJ

      *Kurt

      • Victoria

        I love him, so hott and HispanicMatch was amazing

    • dinana

      there is supposed to be a death this week….and i’m thinking…why would kurt be coming back? could karofsky commit suicide due to his struggles with his sexuality?

      • Lily

        Naah, the writers want a happy ending for Karofsky, but to quote BLaine (never been kissed episode): “he is not going to come out any soon”

    • Strepsi

      Of all thousands of 20 year old male actors, ONLY Chris Colfer would say “I felt like Shelley Long returning to Cheers”…

      LOL
      Love ya Chris!

  • JJ

    Good for Colfer for dabbling with producing and working on the other side of the camera. He’s smart to take advantage of the Glee spotlight while he can. While he’s done a nice job making Kurt a memorable character (despite some ham fisted writing) he’s unfortunately an actor who’ll be limited to many future roles because of his effeminate voice/mannerisms. His ability to take on heterosexual roles isn’t as easy as it is for other actors like Rupert Evertt or Sean Hayes so producing is probably a better career for him.

    • Jake

      Yes, it might be hard for him to play a more masculine character, but lets at least face the fact that his is the biases of Hollywood coming through you. He should be either an actor or he isn’t talented enough. In my opinion, he is plenty talented. I also think that for this to be what you focus on is just amazingly insulting to gay people in general. Why should his sexuality define who he is or what he is permitted to do in life? Whey can you not just be happy for him? Its not like you are actually giving him advice, you are posting on a message board.

      • JJ

        Jake, I don’t think he’s talented enough to play a heterosexual character. Is that what you want to hear? It’s not his sexuality that’s defining him, it’s his abilities as I’ve listed the names of other gay actors who aren’t defined by their sexuality. Rock Hudson was gay and was talented enough to play one of the silver screens most desired men and played a long list of heterosexual characters. Colfer isn’t Rock, he’s not even Neil Patrick Harris. Also, in regards to posting on a message board vs giving him advice…please note, this is a message board, this isn’t Give Chris Advice.Com and the purpose here is to post on the article. As a gay person myself, I think you’re naivete’ and defensiveness over Chris’ sexuality. Your over-reaction and emotionally charged push for folks being overly PC makes it seem like gay people can’t handle realities within Hollywood when in truth we can handle other people’s persepctive and realities both harsh and helpful. Don’t paint a picture that sexuality isn’t a topic to be discussed or define us, I for one and happy to define my sexuality as gay as is Colfer. My point is that in the realm of acting he won’t be getting the scripts other gay actors get because of his limits.

      • Martin

        While I think you may have a point about the reaction, your other statement is strange. How can you possibly know Chris Colfer’s capabilites so well? How do you know what scripts he won’t get and what his limitations are exactly? You’re comparing him to Rock Hudson with his whole body of work… but even he started somewhere. Also btw, NPH isn’t exactly what I’d call a “diverse” actor, he has a lot of limitations, that I can comment on because I’ve seen him in say, a dozen things.

        I don’t know this kid well, but he’s hardly done anything outside of Glee from the looks of it. He surely will have limitations, most actors do, but we don’t know them yet.

      • JJ

        I didn’t say I knew his capabilities so well or at all, I simply stated my opinion. I could be completely wrong but from what I’ve seen of him that’s the my perspective on his abilities. Also, my comparison isn’t to Rock’s whole body of work is compareing actor to actor…granted it isn’t fair as Rock Hudson’s star quality overshadowed many actors regardless of their sexuality. My point though is that Colfer doesn’t have that quality nor does he have the more generic/less stereotypical mannerisms and voice of NPH. If Colfer goes on to a successful diverse career, great, if not I won’t be surprised in the slightest.

    • jared4ever

      I think it’s funny that you equate “talented” with the ability to play a str8 character. There are plenty of gay roles for him in the future hopefully and many scripts for him to write. Kudos Chris!

      • jared4ever

        I was talking to Jake btw.

    • Ewwwww

      Guys, don’t jump on JJ. He didn’t insult Colfer. The reality in Hollywood is that if you are gay but can convincingly play the traditional idea of heterosexual, you will get more parts. Now, I don’t know Colfer, but seeing interviews with him, it’s obvious that he is very effeminate in real life, and God bless him for that. That’s not the issue. The issue is…is Hollywood open-minded enough to offer him hetero roles? But more importantly, can Colfer convincingly play a part that calls for him to act like what we stereotypically associate with hetero men? I love the kid. And I definitely don’t agree with that reporter who infamously said that no gay actor can convincingly play straight. Some can…Neil Patrick Harris, TR Knight, Rupert Everett, Ricky Martin (although he is not known for acting); by the way, Sean Hayes is actually one of those that don’t seem to convincing “acting straight”

      • Ewwwww

        And by the way, this wouldn’t even be an issue, if Hollywood routinely created substantial gay roles, and roles that reflect all kinds of gay men…masculine, effeminate and everything in-between. But sadly mostly writes heterosexual heroes, and when they do have gay men, it’s usually typically affected, “limp-wristed” archetypes, which Colfer, as it stands now, could conceivably play…

  • joblo

    100 Most Influential People? What is Time smoking for them to even think that’s remotely accurate in this world?

    • Who Craig

      All I can say is He’s more influential than Justin bieber, who is on that list too.

    • simonew

      He has literally saved kids who were contemplating suicide. That’s not influential? How many lives have you saved, joblo?

    • jared4ever

      He’s a positive role model for millions of gay teens. What have you done lately Joblo?

      • Jason

        What the hell does it matter if Joblo has or hasn’t been just an influential as this Kurt kid, he still has a point. I don’t need to be president to know Bush was a bad president, just the same way Joblo doesn’t need to be influential to state he doesn’t think this kid is influential either.

      • JJ

        What about the gay teens that he’s NOT a positive role model for? What about the teens that do not relate to a caricatured cliched feminine stereotype? Do you ever stop and think that the average run of the mill suburban teen who isn’t talking about fashion, Beyonce’ and moisturized might look at Kurt and see someone that doesn’t resemble them or their struggle and maybe they fear that they’ll lose who they are if they come out and will become a caricature themselves? While I applaud the openess and inclusion of Kurt as a character and his storylines I’m vastly disappointed to see him check the box of every gay stereotype. Personally I think the Darren Criss character is so much more of role model and realistic portrayl of a gay man. Maybe not all teens are as open and comfortable as his character but he at least resembles actual gay men who don’t want to be portrayed like cartoon characters.

      • Dan

        Speak for yourself; are you even gay?

      • JJ

        First of all, I am speaking for myself since I didn’t say “On behalf of every gay person ever”. Second of all, I am gay but better question am I incorrect? If you think that Kurt is NOT a stereotype I’d love to hear why.

      • Gene

        JJ, there are gay teens like Blaine and there are gay teens like Kurt. Neither is more “realistic” than the other one, and there is room on Glee for both. I’m glad there’s a person like Kurt on TV because of comments like yours and your narrow view point. I don’t care if you are gay or not – you don’t get to define what the proper type of character is. The fact is, gay kids like Kurt are going to get a hell of a lot more bullying than gay kids like Blaine, so it’s good for them to see someone like Kurt being out, proud, and loved by his friends.

      • JJ

        Gene if you read my comment I said I applaud the openess and and inclusion of Kurt. Just because they include a gay character doesn’t mean they’re no longer able to be questioned about the portrayl overall. Kurt shouldn’t serve as kind of quota to be met and your defensiveness only makes it more difficult to voice concerns over less stereotypical characters and allows tv shows/movies to serve the lowest common denominator in portraying gay characters.

      • Dan

        I’m a gay teenager. I am not effeminate like Kurt, I am not obsessed with fashion, but I still think he’s a sympathetic, complex, and relatable character, and I like him a lot more than Blaine who I think is boring. I don’t think that just because he’s effeminate, I’ll have to be just like him when I come out, or whatever argument you were trying to make.

      • Gene

        Oh, stop projecting. I’m the one who said there was room for characters like both Kurt and Blaine. You’re the one acting like it’s a terrible thing that a character like Kurt is on TV. Kurt Hummel is more than just a “stereotype,” but keep believing what you want and only pay attention to the surface. It was obvious from your first comment that you have an issue with less-”masculine” gay men – both characters and actors.

      • JJ

        Actually Gene, if you could retain information, you’d see that in my first post commented positively on Colfer and Criss’ characters. Take a moment to understand that diversity of characters is a good thing and that you shouldn’t have to accept stereotypes. It’s interesting how defensive you’re getting over a fictional character and how an opinion differnt than yours strikes such a defensive chord in you.

      • JJ

        Dan, it’s great that he’s a role model for you but what about other gay teens? Shouldn’t they also get to have role models too?

      • Gene

        LOL, no, JJ. You said CC couldn’t get other roles because he has “stereotypical mannerisms.” You realize he’s a person, not a character? So you seem to have an issue with gay men who…aren’t like you, I presume. I question whether YOU can retain info. And we’re once again back to how *I* said Blaine and Kurt were both good characters and you keep making comments that directly contradict other things you said.

      • Chris

        “Dan, it’s great that he’s a role model for you but what about other gay teens? Shouldn’t they also get to have role models too?”

        You can’t satisfy everyone. And Kurt isn’t the only gay teen on tv, or on Glee.

        And your argument about how teens “might look at Kurt and see someone that doesn’t resemble them or their struggle and maybe they fear that they’ll lose who they are if they come out and will become a caricature themselves” is stupid. I’d hope they would know that glee is a tv show and that most of the characters are exaggerated.

      • Marie

        Stop the violence :<

    • Bri

      Chris is an amazing, talented, and smart person. He can do things literally no one else can. He has already written 2 screenplays and changed the lives of many in-the-closet gays as well as lesbians. He is one of the most influential people in the United States, hell possibly the world haha. But if I would have to pick anyone to write for me in a screenplay or be my best friend even it would be Chris Colfer. :)

  • suebrody

    He’s 20 and he’s already written two screenplays. Boggles the mind. He said he wanted to be a writer and work behind the scenes (directing, producing). He’s well on his way.

    • Elle

      Not to undermine his accomplishments, but I wrote my first fully realized spec screenplay when I was 16 years old. I wrote my first ever screenplay which was about 12 pages at around 9. So a 20 year old finishing a screenplay is not impressive to me. I do contend that his is probably seeing as I am very critical of my own work and had a lot of dialogue issues as well as struggled with the overall structure.

      • Elle

        *his is probably better

      • iWoman

        His script was *bought* when he was 20. He’s said in interviews that he started writing the script for his movie when he was in high school. He also wrote a play when he was in school. So there’s a difference between when he first wrote a script and when someone actually decided to make a movie out of it. Either way, it certainly is impressive for a 20 year old to write a script that’s actually going to be seen by the public.

      • Megan

        In defense of Elle, it will always be much easier to sell your screenplay at any age, if you happen to be part of a phenomenally successful TV show, than if you were an unknown writer, toiling away in obscurity.
        That being said, I don’t think it’s impressive, since he has the connections and more importantly, the clout to make his name attractive to any investor who’d want to put money into his script. Impressive would be if some Joe Shmo from Anywhere, Usa had his script sold at 20.

      • Connie

        You’re being kind of naive (and unfairly dismissive of Colfer’s talent) if you think being on a TV show means people will buy your script – especially if it’s your first one. And especially to DISNEY. Disney is HUGE and can certainly pick and choose from anything they want. They aren’t going to buy something from some 20-year-old kid just because he’s on a TV show only in its second season unless it’s good.

    • tracy

      Thank you for sticking to the subject of this article! Chris Colfer is a multi talented young man. My 13 year old daughter adores him. It is not about just being gay, it is about just being who you are! I think he is showing kids you can be who you are and still succeed in life!

    • Emma

      Well, he’s not just a “20 year old kid on a tv show.” He’s a Golden Globe winning actor in probably the most talked about role this season on the most talked about (by the press) show on television-so I’m pretty sure he has an “in” now. However, it’s still beyond impressive to even write a screenplay, and DISNEY wow!

  • Stefanie

    Every time I hear something new about him, he impresses me more and more. Not even 21! Amazing!

    That last part about him being away from the regular cast made me sad, though. :/ But, hey, at least he was able to work on other projects while he had more free time, being away at Dalton!

  • Amy

    Chris Colfer is ADORABLE. It is so great to see a nice, honest and talented guy like him succeed. And he is definitely influential. He is giving a voice to a lot of kids in high school, not necessarily gay kids but also anyone who was bullied. He deserves to be on Time’s list. Justin Bieber and Blake Lively…not so much. In fact, they bring down the credibility of the list, sadly.

    • Elle

      Yeah. Rebecca Black was more influential than Justin Bieber…allthough not in a good way.

    • Elle

      Yeah. Rebecca Black was more influential than Justin Bieber…although not in a good way.

  • Mariana

    Oh maaan I cant wait to see all of his writing, wish I didn’t have to wait so long to finally enjoy it!

    Bet he is a terrific writer, only 20 and he’s already selling stuff to Disney. His talent knows no limits.

  • Aimee

    Thanks for the interview. Always glad to hear more from Chris. I can’t wait to hear about which actors he wrote the specific roles for.

  • AnonGeek

    Has Chris met Adam Lambert? Someone set that up. How cute would they be?

    • Lily

      No , but Chris’ speech at the Golden Globes ressembles Adam’s speech he gave earlier at his one but last concert in LA.

    • niloo

      it would be so cute, but adam is too wild, chris is so cute and innocent :)

  • Ed

    While I really like him and think he’s very talented, is anyone else a bit skeptical and taken aback by this? I mean, he read the source material and wrote the screenplay in one weekend?? Sounds like a very rushed first draft to me. I don’t care how talented a writer is, a 48 hour screenplay is going to need a lot of work.

    • Gene

      Who says he didn’t polish it up afterward?

      And the source material is a children’s book, less than 200 pages, not War and Peace or something.

      • JJ

        Yeah Ed, how dare you have an opinion! You can’t question Kurt you have to only echo the sentiments in the article. Thanks for policing people’s differing opinoins Gene. We want to make sure no one thinks outside the box here.

      • Gene

        Learn to read, JJ. Ed’s (or mine) comment had nothing to do with Kurt. I was just noting that it was possible that the script was edited later. But keep getting hysterical over nothing and making yourself look ridiculous.

      • JJ

        Gene, remember you’re the one who felt compelled to comment on an opinion different than yours. You’re “noting” is quite clear as to it’s intent. Enough with the defensiveness over comments that are directed at you. The boards are here for a reason and it’s not for you to try and force others to see things as narrow as you no matter how hard you try.

      • JJ

        “over comments that AREN’T directed at you”…drat, no edit feature after posting.

      • Gene

        Ed’s comment wasn’t an opinion – it was a QUESTION. Please look up the difference. And also take your own advice, because you’re the one trying to force YOUR opinions on everyone who comments in response to you.

  • Sam

    this kid is amazing.

  • james

    great a new Disney channel……Gay Disney

    • Lily

      Happy, glee days…

  • VioletF.

    Love the premise of both screenplays. I get the feeling that you’re way talented as a writer and look forward to seeing the script. Hopefully primetime and not the Disney channel.

  • alan of montreal

    “Are you liking this side gig of being a screenwriter?” No, he hates it and he’s only doing it for the money. Of all the stupid questions…

  • melissa

    How can any one of us decide that Chris doesn’t have the acting chops to play a perfectly ‘straight’ man? He is an actor–a natural actor–who is perfectly capable of fulfilling a role, no matter what it is. Don’t forget that you have been watching him play a gay man…actually teen. Perhaps you are confusing the character with the actor. Who gives a rip that he is gay in real life? The kid got through life in Clovis California where folks’ lives were threatened if they were gay or even percieved as gay. Give him a chance to get different roles and prove to you that he can act in whatever capacity is required of him as an actor. In the meantime, he may write many things that will make any negative talk inconsequential. Go Chris!

    • Megan

      Nobody has said that he doesn’t have the chops to play a gay actor. Look, I know a guy that is a stage actor, a very, very good one. He also happens to be a very effeminate gay man, who always gets offered roles like “Angel” in Rent and “Molina” in Kiss of the Spider-Woman. I have seen him audition for masculine straight characters, and he simply can’t do it convincingly. He is way too mannered and apparently, going by those auditions,he can’t successfully appear to be stereotypically hetero. Nothing to do with his sexuality, but with his natural mannerisms and demeanor.

      • Megan

        Sorry, that should’ve read “Nobody has said that he doesn’t have the chops to play a straight character”.

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