Golden Globe winner, two time Emmy-nominee, Time 100 Honoree, tween heartthrob -- Chris Colfer can now add New Yorker Festival guest to his impressive resume. The actor, who plays Kurt Hummel on "Glee," joined New Yorker editor Susan Morrison for a 90-minute discussion of his career and ambitions Saturday night at the SVA Theater in front of an audience of primarily young Colfer obsessives.
While the interview was mostly a rehash of topics Colfer fans know from previous interviews -- how he had the role of Kurt created for him, bullying in his past, who he wants to guest star on "Glee" -- questions which Colfer answered with the preface, "For the two people in the back who don't know..." However Colfer did add some nuance to his previous answers, admitting that his bullying was so bad that he home schooled for 7th and 8th grade and claiming he sometimes likes the character Kurt more than himself.
His answers were met with aws, gasps and giggles from the audience, who made a mad dash to microphones during the Q&A to express their nervous adoration and question him on a variety of topics ranging from what it's like to kiss his on-screen boyfriend Darren Criss, ("Darren's a good kisser. And he knows it.") to what parts of himself he wished were in Kurt ("He was very lonely, but I wish he didn't feel like he need someone to be loved. It was a lesson for me as well.").
Chris Colfer at The New Yorker Festival
He also dropped some hints about future "Glee" storylines, teasing the crowd about upcoming scenes for the fifth episode this season, which had Colfer filming on location in California until midnight on Friday before he headed to New York for the event.
"I know you know!" joked Colfer, referring to leaked spoilers and fan reports from the set detailing a particularly heated scene between him and Criss. "I will say that I have never loved Kurt and Blaine more, and I really think, without trying to give us credit that we don't deserve, I really feel like Kurt and Blaine are a modern version of Lucy and Ricky. (Laughs) Oh, I'm Lucy for sure. I'm excited there's finally a lot of development with them."
To the fans clamoring for Colfer to make a Broadway run like his costar Criss will do this January, Colfer was positive about wanting to make an appearance, eventually. But when asked what his dream roles on The Great White Way would be, Colfer quipped, "I haven't written them yet."
Colfer has been doing exactly that, making his way outside of "Glee" by writing his own parts as of late. Colfer showed stills from "Struck By Lightening," the movie he wrote and starred in alongside Allison Janney and Christina Hendricks. He also briefly discussed his forthcoming novel, a children's book called "The Land of Stories," which he said he'd been thinking about since he was seven years old, when his younger sister was diagnosed with a rare from of epilepsy and he was seeking an escape.
"I had this old book of fairytales that my mom was given by her mom. I'll never forget because you opened the pages and all the illustrations were actual pictures of dolls in freeze form of the story," Colfer shared. "I remember in the moment never wanting an escape more ever, I wanted to literally dive into the book. I then came up with the story about these two twins that went to fairytale world and all the adventures they had, adventures I wanted to experience rather than what I was going through. I promised myself then if I ever had the opportunity to write it in a book, I would." Now Colfer has a two-book deal with Little Brown, with the first installment due out August 2012.
Colfer said "Glee" has opened his eyes up to a lot of music, but that showtunes were always his "jam" and that big, emotional ballads are his favorite to sing on "Glee."
"I really feel like singing is the best tool for an actor to use to get the emotion across, and to get the audience to connect to the emotion," he said. "Those are like candy to me, I love doing them." He did admit to one "Glee" ballad he didn't love -- Hey Monday's "Candles," which he performed in duet with Criss last season.
"I'll be honest, I just don't like it," he said. "Why were we singing a breakup song when we just got together?"
Which isn't to say Colfer doesn't have an affection for popular music, both performed on the show ("Animal," "Bad Romance" and "Dog Days Are Over" were standout mentions) and on his own iPod.
"Don't make fun of me," he prefaced, before admitting to loving Demi Lovato's music. "I really love Demi Lovato's new song, 'Skyscraper.' I get teased about that, because I play it in my trailer. I really love Roller Derby music, like music you could play at a Roller Derby… Roller Derby Glee!" A singing and dancing Roller Derby? Perhaps Colfer has found his Broadway role after all.
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