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|Assunto: Chris Colfer - Rolling Stone Interview Dom Set 05, 2010 11:47 pm|| |
Even on a show that prides itself on being wickedly funny, deliciously catty and unapologetically gay, Glee’s Kurt Hummel stands out. As the sartorial-minded heart of the show choir at William McKinley High, Kurt has been feted on Oprah, singled out by Madonna, embraced by Obama. On one episode he literally filled a pair of Lady Gaga’s shoes. In the midst of the show’s off-the-charts camp, Kurt’s touching, often confusing journey from victim to, well, less of a victim may be the most honest and inspirational portrait of a gay teenager ever attempted on TV.
”I would just like to see him happy
” says Chris Colfer, 20, who got an Emmy nod for his portrayal of the sarcastic soprano raised by a single dad. ”And to keep inspiring the kids that watch him”
It’s a wish that a lot of fans might have for Colfer, too. He grew up in Clovis, a tiny California town not far from Fresno, which he describes as ”conservative, hot and flat.
His parents were die-hard Republicans who sent him to Jesus camp and took him to the local rodeo dressed ”in these horrible, horrible little cowboy outfits. I still can’t listen to country music without recalling my trauma.” At school, he hit the adolescent bad-luck trifecta: fat, braces, gay.
”I was at the bottom of the food chain.”
he says. ”Very, very frumpy”
Kids in the hallway shoutet ”Fag!” or ”Freak!” when he walked by. ”When you’re in that situation, you learn to think on your feet,”
he says. ”I’d always respond, ”Delinquent!” or some other word they couldn’t understand.”
After a fifth grade debut as Snoopy in You’re a good man, Charlie Brown, Colfer plunged into community theater, playing everyone from Kurt in The sound of music (his Glee character’s namesake) to Chip in Beauty and the Beast. The pinnacle of his career came when his high school staged Shirley Todd, a gender-reversed version of Sweeney Todd that Colfer wrote and directed. ”The town of Clovis just wasn’t ready for it,
” he says with a laugh. ”We had so many sexual innuendoes and drug references and political references – I doubt most of the kids who were in it knew what they were saying.”
After graduation, Colfer enrolled at Fresno City College and drove to L.A. for auditions. One such trip led to a meeting with Glee creator Ryan Murphy, who loved Colfer so much he wrote the role of Kurt for him. Colfer, who has never explicitly come out, was worried about what the people back in Clovis might think – or worse, do – when they saw him playing a gay teenager.”But honestly, I’m glad I had that fear,”
he says. ”Because it made the character all that much more real.”
Colfer plays Kurt with a pitch-perfect mix of arrogance and vulnerability – high school personified. ”I see these gay characters on other programs, and they’re always loud and flamboyant,
” he says. ”In high school – especially in a conservative town – someone wouldn’t be like that. That’s why I made Kurt more internal and superior, rather than external and annoying.”
Colfer is neither superior nor annoying. He shops at Target, has never heard of Marc Jacobs until Kurt had a line about him, and has a recurring dream featuring a little gray kitten named Poker. He’s rich, famous and 20 – doesn’t he do anything a little more dangerous?
Colfer thinks for a minute. ”Um… I love swords?” Turns out he owns a pair of three-pronged daggers know as Japanese sais. ”I grew up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and had always wanted to learn,”
he says. ”Its great exercise. And it’s good to know you could always kick ass if you need to.”