Colfer as Kurt Hummel on the Glee Live! Tour in 2011.
May 27, 1990 |
Clovis, California, United States
|Occupation||Actor, singer, producer and author|
Christopher Paul "Chris" Colfer (born May 27, 1990) is an American actor, singer, author and producer known for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the television series Glee. Colfer's portrayal of Kurt has received much critical praise, and he has been the recipient of several awards, including Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards. He has also garnered many award nominations, which include the 2010 and 2011 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In April 2011, Colfer was named one of the 2011 Time 100, Time's list of the 100 most influential people. He is also a New York Times number-one bestselling author and publisher of Struck by Lightning and The Land of Stories.
Early life and education
Colfer was born in Clovis, California, the son of Karyn Colfer (née Boling) and Tim Colfer. He has Irish ancestry, and has stated "I'm very Irish, my family is all Irish and St. Patrick's day in my house is crazy." He was home schooled for half of 7th grade and 8th grade due to many cases of bullying.
While a student at Clovis East High School, Colfer was involved with the speech and debate program, where he won "many speech and debate champion titles," including placing ninth 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." 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. 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. His grandmother, a minister, let him sing the song in her church.
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.
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, a role 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, and in the process, scrapped a planned character called Rajish so they could add Kurt. Murphy explained in the season two finale of the Glee Project that Colfer was the inspiration for the project show because he didn't fit the role he auditioned for but was still "incredible and special" so a role was created for him. The Glee Project is a reality television show on Oxygen that serves as an audition for Glee with the winner earning a seven-episode arc in the following season of the show.
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."
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 fellow seniors including Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Finn Hudson (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."
Colfer won the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for his performance as Kurt Hummel. He was twice nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category for his portrayal of Kurt.
Colfer has explained that Kurt "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." 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. However, in the episode "Choke" when his character is auditioning for NYADA, he sings "Not the Boy Next Door" from The Boy from Oz a song Kurt claims is "something a little more out there, but much more me", successfully hitting a High G, a note higher than High F. Tibideaux, a famous and exacting performer who is one of NYADA's most notorious alumni, is impressed by both his performance and the risk he took singing that.
Writing and other work
Colfer wrote, starred in, and executive-produced the coming-of-age comedy Struck by Lightning. 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 is publishing. It was shot during the Glee hiatus in the summer of 2011.
On June 8, 2011, Colfer signed a book deal to write two novels for children to young adults (age range) the first of which, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, was released on July 17, 2012. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, the twins Alex and Conner leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. For two weeks after the book's release it was number one on The New York Times Best Seller list in the Children's Chapter Books category.
Colfer is also writing another movie, set to film next summer[when?], in which he will appear as a supporting actor. Colfer also landed a deal with Disney Channel for a pilot based on the book "The Little Leftover Witch".
In March 2012, Colfer was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8' — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Ryan Kendall. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
It was announced on March 16, 2012 that he would present an award at the 2012 Kids' Choice Awards. During the presentation of the award for Favorite TV Actress, the special "Exploding Blimp" was placed in front of Colfer by Heidi Klum where it burst open, covering him in the network's trademark green slime.
Colfer is openly gay and shared on Access Hollywood that his parents were accepting of him but he was frequently bullied at school. Colfer's younger sister, Hannah, suffers from severe epilepsy, and often experiences over fifty seizures in an hour. 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.
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 could be worked into 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. Colfer revealed in 2009 that he has a huge fear of needles, during an interview with Bonnie Hunt.
|2009||Russel Fish: The Sausage and Eggs Incident||Russel Fish||Short film|
|2010||Marmaduke||Drama Dog No. 2||Voice role|
|2012||8||Ryan Kendall||Supporting role|
|2012||Struck by Lightning||Carson Phillips||Lead role; Screen Writer; Producer|
|2009–present||Glee||Kurt Hummel||Main Cast|
|2011||The Cleveland Show||Kurt Hummel (voice)||Episode: "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Roberta?"|
|2012||The Glee Project||Himself||Guest Mentor, Episode: "Glee-ality"|
|2013||Bitter Party of Five||Himself||Episode: 6|
|2009||Satellite Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television||Glee||Nominated|
|2010||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Male Scene Stealer||Won|
|2011||Golden Globe Award||Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series||Won|
|Monte-Carlo TV Festival||Outstanding Actor – Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Male Scene Stealer||Nominated|
|2012||People's Choice Awards||Favorite TV Comedy Actor||Himself||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Glee||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Actor: Comedy||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Fashion Icon: Male||Himself||Nominated|
|2013||People's Choice Awards||Favorite TV Comedy Actor||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Glee||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Actor: Comedy||Nominated|
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1209/1210). Jun 1/8, 2012. p. 35.
- "Show Tracker". Los Angeles Times.
- 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
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- "Glee Does West Side Story".
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2012
- 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.
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- "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.
- "Golden Globes 2010". Goldenglobes.org. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- Chris Colfer Emmy Nominated
- Steinberg, Jamie (May 2009). "Chris Colfer – Pure Glee". Starry Constellation Magazine. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
- Ryan Murphy (director, writer), Brad Falchuk (writer), Ian Brennan (writer) (November 11, 2009). "Wheels". Glee. Season 1. Episode 9. Fox.
- "Glee's Chris Colfer Makes Leap to Big Screen for Lightning". TVGuide.com. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
- "Chris Colfer Signs Children's Book Deal – Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. June 8, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- http://www.amazon.com/The-Land-Stories-Wishing-Spell/dp/031620157X Amazon
- New York Times, New York Times Best Sellers August 5, 2012. Accessed February 19, 2013.
- Tim Stack, "Glee star Chris Colfer discusses his new pilot for Disney and Kurt's return to McKinley – EXCLUSIVE", insidetv.ew.com, April 22, 2011.
- "'Glee' Stars 'Touched' By Pitt & Clooney's Support Of '8'". Access Hollywood. accesshollywood.com. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- ""8": A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality". YouTube. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
- "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
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- Advocate.com Editors (December 4, 2009). "Handler to Colfer: "We Know You're Gay"". The Advocate. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
- Saltman, Laura. "Dish of Salt: Who’s The Biggest Loser On ‘Glee’?". Access Hollywood. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
- Glee's Chris Colfer Not Out After All? The Advocate, November 1, 2009.
- Chris and Hannah Dealing with Severe Epilepsy. Success Circuit, April 16, 2012.
- Black, Rob. "Hannah Colfer's Story". GleeFan.com. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
- "Chris Colfer (from Glee) | Trojan Vision Television". Trojanvision.com. April 18, 2010. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- BBC. "Chris Colfer show his sai swords skills – Friday Night With Jonathan Ross"". Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
- Kugel, Allison (April 26, 2010). "Glee Star Chris Colfer Shares His Best Behind-the-Scenes Moments and Surreal Adventures". PR.com.
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