"...most importantly, to all the kids who watch our show and the kids who our show celebrates who are constantly told 'no' by the people in the environment or bullies at school that they can't be who they are, or have what they want because of who they are—well, screw that, kids!"Chris Colfer
—Chris Colfer, 2011 Golden Globe Awards
(b. 1990) grew up outside of Fresno, CA, doing oral interpretation for the speech team in high school as well as participating in the drama club and doing community theatre, including the role of Kurt von Trapp in The Sound of Music
Then, one day, he auditioned for a little show called Glee
Colfer actually auditioned for the role of wheelchair-bound nerd Artie, but show creator Ryan Murphy was impressed by Colfer's talent and charm. He scrapped a preplanned character and replaced him with the character of Kurt Hummel (named after Colfer's prior role as Kurt from Sound of Music
, and the cherubic Hummel figurines), a Camp Gay
countertenor. Much of Kurt's character is inspired by Colfer and Murphy's own struggles growing up gay. Since the show's premiere, Kurt has become one of Glee's most beloved characters due to Colfer's heartfelt portrayal. Even Television Without Pity
adores him. He won a Golden Globe Award for his work on the series in 2011, and scored Emmy nominations in both 2010 and 2011.
Colfer is currently in the process of expanding his work beyond Glee
(of the original cast, he and Amber Riley had the least professional experience going in), writing, executive producing and starring in the coming-of-age comedy Struck By Lightning
(which had its world premiere at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival), writing the pilot script for a potential television series based on the book The Little Lost Witch
and penning a couple of children's novels, the first of which (The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
) made the New York Times
Children's Literature best-seller list in its first week of publication.
He has a thing for Alpacas.
- Adorably Precocious Child: Often mistaken for one due to being Older Than He Looks:
Colfer: Yeah, and honestly, I hate being so young because I feel like those are the kind of questions I never get asked. Usually people ask us, “Who’s your favorite Jonas brother?” rather than “What were you feeling in this scene?”
- Alliterative Name
- Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Averted, and how. In addition to Glee and all the insane amouts of work that go into it, he has written and will star in a film titled Struck By Lightning, and adapted the children's book The Little Leftover Witch into a series pilot which was bought by Disney - the adaptation took him all of a weekend, apparently. He is in talks to be attached to the series as a producer of some description. And he makes no secret of the fact that he has other projects in development too...
- He now has a novel coming out summer 2012. As part of a two-book contract. The first book was a bestseller.
- He has also written a second screenplay, which, as of spring 2012, already has a director and producer attached.
- Brutal Honesty: There's no doubt he's extraordinarily grateful to Glee for propelling him to stardom, but nevertheless Colfer can sometimes be pretty harsh on the show compared to his colleagues. He's come down on it for perceived flaws such as its Narm, the second season's preference for popular songs over ones that fit the scenes better, and talked the writers into changing a scene that potentially Wimpified for Kurt. Also isn't afraid to say things that might upset the show's huge shipping fanbase; he has a decidedly cynical take on Kurt and Blaine's relationship and seems to think of Klainers as having a bit of a Fan Dumb, although how of it is legit annoyance at some of the... weirder things they've said to him and how much of it is just the usual good-natured ribbing is arguable:
"Be scared. Be very scared." - his advice to Grant Gustin on Klaine fans
- Deadpan Snarker: So deadpan that sometimes people actually take him seriously when he's snarking, and then raise a fuss over something he was obviously being sarcastic about. He's barely twenty-one years old; what do you expect?
- Although his fans are completely in the know, and usually find the deadpan jokes to be the most hilarious. Quite a few people laughed out loud when he described everyone waiting for Blaine and Kurt to kiss as perverts.
- Epic Fail: He does this purposefully, since claiming to be a llama is, in his opinion, funny.
- Lying Actor: When it comes to information about Kurt and Blaine's relationship, Colfer is a lying little tease who is not to be trusted. Actually, when it comes to information about the show period Colfer is a lying little tease who is not to be trusted.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy / Sibling Yin-Yang: He has affectionately referred to his little sister as a 'jock'.
- Older Than They Look: Got pulled over by cops because they didn't believe he was old enough to drive, despite being 20 years old at the time.
- One of Us: Yup, he admits to being a huge nerd, and makes his love of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, Mario, and Star Trek, among lots of other things, pretty clear. According to co-star Darren Criss, Colfer is also a big fan of A Very Potter Musical (from before Darren began on Glee, believe it or not) and quotes the show often. Furthermore, he's joined Pottermore. Diagnosis: very much One Of Us.
- Performance Artist: Yeps. He's been doing musical theater all his life.
- Reality Subtext: Kurt ended up singing "Defying Gravity" on the show, challenging Rachel for the lead. Colfer had begged his drama teacher to let him sing the song in their Broadway revue every year, but was denied. Kurt throws the audition for his dad (long story), but Colfer really can hit that high F - and did so repeatedly on the Glee Live! Tour, dueting with Lea Michele.
- Kurt and Rachel's growing closeness is quite obviously a reflection of the mutual adoration Lea and Colfer have repeatedly professed for each other; Lea in particular is not shy about declaring to the world how much she adores Colfer.
- Sai Guy: Believe it or not, it's true!
- Self-Deprecation: He is quite a fan of this type of humor, particularly when discussing his voice and his appearance; in a Crowning Moment of Funny in an interview with Conan O'Brien, he compared himself to the child from The Omen.
- Separated-at-Birth Casting: The actor cast to portray young Kurt in "Grilled Cheesus", Adam Kolkin, bears such a scary resemblance to Colfer, they are the trope's page image.
- In a move that has delighted many fans, Adam Kolkin was also cast to play a younger version of Chris's character (Carson Phillips) in Struck By Lightning.
- Smoking Hot Sex: Referenced. Sort of.
- Vocal Dissonance: He sounds like a girl. This throws some people. And by "like a girl," we mean "could possibly rival Kristin Chenoweth for most beautiful soprano singing voice in showbusiness." And yet, he also has an incredible range, from soprano to a baritone; one radio show flat-out refused to believe that his deep notes in 'Give Up The Funk' weren't computer-manipulated until he gave them a live example on air.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Jane Lynch called him this almost verbatim and often talks about his "inner grandma". Has also been called an "old soul" by David Permut, Kevin McHale, and (according to Colfer) random psychics in airports.
- Written By Cast Member: He stars in Struck By Lightning, a movie he wrote and produced.