By: Melissa Girimonte
Not content with having a hit TV show — not to mention a sold-out concert tour and being on the receiving end of more job offers than a five-dollar hooker at the Republican convention — the cast of GLEE is taking their act on the road. Or should we say to the skies. With a cry of, “Next stop… Europe!”, those singin’, dancin’ kids (and the FOX execs who know a cash cow when they see one waiting to be milked) have set their sights on world domination, beginning with England. Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, we had a chance to chat with Chris Colfer (aka Kurt) — who remains as congenial and down-to-earth as ever despite being part of the most in-demand cast since LOST — about the tour, as well as his efforts to get Julie Andrews on the show, the upcoming Emmy nominations and why GaGa heels can be hazardous to your health!
There’s been a lot of Emmy talk surrounding your character Kurt. Have you thought about the possibility that you could be nominated?
Chris Colfer: I don’t know what I would do with that. I don’t want to think about it because I’d probably go crazy. It has been such an incredible, incredible year, and I couldn’t ask for more, but I think that’s a dream of any actor.
Do you know what episode was submitted for consideration?
No. I definitely have a PR team, personally and with Fox, and they take care of things like that, and I know that Ryan [Murphy] has submitted things on our behalf.
Is there anything you can share with us that’s in store for Kurt in Season 2?
Well, I know he’s getting a boyfriend, but I’m not sure what’s going on with that story line. Recently, Ryan has said – but things could change at any minute, because Ryan likes to change things a lot – but he’s going to be a normal, every day guy that is kind of struggling with his sexuality. Kurt kind of helps him out with it, and they end up falling for each other. I, personally, am heavily campaigning to get Julie Andrews to play my grandmother.
That would be fantastic.
Wouldn’t that be great? Ryan loves the idea, and apparently, somebody actually asked her at some benefit would she be interested in doing this, and she said absolutely. So I guess all the cards have to play together.
I’m sure that would be a surreal experience for you. So far, what has been the most surreal experience that you’ve had being a part of GLEE?
I think probably performing at the White House was definitely the most surreal because I’m a huge history buff, so to be in one of the most historical places on earth, and just to be in the most important place on earth was just incredible, and it’s something that you can’t forget.
I hear the tour went fantastically well. What was that experience like for the cast, taking the performances from a studio to a stage in front of an audience filled with fans?
It was a lot of work and I injured myself quite a bit. I tore tissue in my right leg from the Lady Gaga heels and jumping on the trampolines in the show. And I actually started sleepwalking on tour because I guess my body kind of freaked out with a new environment every day. Honestly, it just reminded me how much I love and how much I miss performing in front of audiences. With audiences, there’s instant gratification, and you can’t get better audiences than our audience. They all screamed whenever we did anything. It was a great, great experience and I really miss it.
Did you get to interact with any of the fans?
Occasionally, we did get to do signings and stuff before and after the show when fans were waiting behind the barricades, but sometimes it got so scary and there were so many of them that it became a security threat and the police department wouldn’t let us in those cities. It was so crazy. I did get to interact a little bit, I wish I could have done more, as Kurt, because Kurt and Brittany did this skit in the middle of the show, and if a fan would shout out, “I love you Kurt!” and they were in the front rows, I would talk back to them.
Oh, that’s so cool! So, I’ve heard that a lot of families are watching GLEE together and it’s encouraging conversation on topics that they may not discuss otherwise. What are your thoughts on being part of a show that opens up these conversations between parents and children?
It’s great to be a part of that. It’s sad that some of these conversations haven’t happened before, or that there hasn’t been representation of these subject on television, like the relationship with Kurt and his father. It’s the first time a relationship like theirs has been seen on television, and that’s so sad. Maybe if something like this happened in the 70s, we’d be in a different place right now. And that goes for all the issues. If a show wasn’t afraid to talk about teenage pregnancy, and obesity, all these subjects, maybe we would be living in a different world.
I know you have an insanely hectic schedule. When you finally get some time off, do you think you’re going to sit back and relax, or will you be itching to find another project to occupy your time?
I think I might go stir crazy! I have a couple weeks coming up and I’m almost nervous because I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. I’ve been going non-stop since January of 2009. I know I have a project where I’m going to get a fish tank and get some fish, because I think that would be something to do. I kind of want a pet, but I don’t want a cat or dog because I don’t want to neglect them and I think fish are the next best thing, and it’s kind of therapeutic to watch them. It’s kind of sad. People think we have these amazing lives, and my biggest concern is getting a fish tank and getting some fish.
This is more of a hypothetical question for you. If you were told that there was only going to be 1 more episode of GLEE, and you could pick only one song to perform, which song would you choose?
Oh, good question! I think it’s a tie. It would have to be in the lines of Kurt, because he’s done so many great songs already, I’d love to add “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” to the list of his female powerhouse ballads, with “Rosa’s Turn” and “Defying Gravity”, and “A House is Not a Home”, I can’t forget about that one. And also, I would love to do “The Sound of Music”, just because without The Sound of Music, there would have never been a Kurt, because of my whole casting story, I think it’d be more than appropriate for him to do that one.
Could that be a potential future episode of GLEE, a Sound of Music episode?
That would be great. I’d love to do a Rodgers and Hammerstein episode or an Andrew Lloyd Webber episode because I’m just a big theatre nerd.
Missed Chris’ memorable performance as Kurt over the past year? You can catch up when GLEE: The Complete First Season arrives on DVD September 14th. And tune in to the 2010 Emmy Nominations on July 8th to see if this bright young star gets a nod.
Melissa is a Toronto-based TV blogger and music journalist. A TV fan since birth, it was only in recent years that she discovered her love for writing about what she was watching. After contributing to several online and print magazines as a freelance writer, she started her own TV blog, The Televixen, in 2008.