Glee, Phenom Series'
Star, Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt Hummel,
IS FAMILIAR WITH THE SUBJECT OF BULLYING BOTH ON AND OFF STAGE. HE TALKS TO SWEETENYOURWORDS.COM ABOUT WHAT IT'S LIKE TO A VICTIM OF BULLYING AND HOW TO HELP OTHER TEENS GOING THROUGH THE SAME SITUATION.
Can you talk a bit about the bullying storyline in the show and can you talk about your own experience with it growing up.
I absolutely have had firsthand experience. I was bullied a lot in junior high and high school. In fact, I was bullied so much in junior high, I had to be homeschooled for a little bit. It's funny because -- like, when I stated that I was bullied in high school, I didn't realise it was like a confession, like a big thing. It turned into this huge thing. And I thought everybody was bullied in high school.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE GOING THROUGH IT?
My biggest advice, I think, would be to a kid, if they're struggling, to get help for it. Like, I mean, I think the problem is teachers and faculty members at schools these days, they're all about disciplining kids, they're all about punishing them and shaking their finger at them, and they forget to remind the kids that they're there to help them too. So I think it's more responsibility for people who are witnessing it every day rather than someone who's being bullied or are bullied.Because when you're in this scenario,it's hard to avoid and hard to escape it. You kind of need help.
SO, DID YOU GO BACK TO SCHOOL AFTER YOU WERE HOMESCHOOLED?
Yes, I did. Yes, I went to high school, yeah.
AND THEN THINGS WERE OKAY?
They're okay, but, I mean, like -- I mean, that's kind of my mindset. Like, when you go to school, you get bullied. That's what I always thought because that's how it was for me.
DID YOU GET SOME KIND OF EMOTIONAL LETTERS FROM -- OR CONTACT FROM FANS TALKING ABOUT THE STORYLINE?
Oh, yeah, yeah. Thousands and thousands, yeah, absolutely. If I open up my Twitter or my Facebook right now, I could print out, like, seven or eight for you right here. I think all kids need to see is someone like them. They just need someone going through the same thing they're going through and they just feel so much better about themselves.
AND YOU WERE NAMED AS ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE.
I was, yeah. That must be an incredible thing. Yes, absolutely. I mean, even though I have the magazine framed in my house, it's still hard to believe that actually happened, yeah.
HOW CONSCIOUS ARE YOU OFF BEING A ROLE MODEL? I MEAN, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY INFLUENCES WHAT YOU DO OR DON’T DO?
Absolutely, yeah. I mean, there are definitely situations that I definitely avoid because I know that I'm a role model and if I get seen, you know, doing this or doing that, it would take credibility away from me. It would also take credibility away from the character, unfortunately. So if I do anything stupid, it would reflect on Kurt as well. But, yeah, I definitely take it very seriously, and I hope that anyone who would be in my situation and would have this powerful material that that they're portraying on a television show, I would hope they would take it as seriously.
YOU ARE ALSO WRITING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN. WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO BE ABOUT?
Well, they're completely different from anything I would do, because people kind of think Chris Colfer, oh, it must be books about bullying or something like that. But, no, I'm doing a middle grade reader fantasy series. And I just finished the first one in September, and it gets released August next year. I'm very, very impatient for it to be released and I can't wait. It was one of the most fun I've ever had doing something.
WHAT WOULD YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST THING YOU’VE LEARNED FROM BEING FAMOUS?
You can't please everyone, so don't try. It's impossible to please everyone. There's always going to be someone that wants to bring you down. I think Kurt is having the most sweet and most romantic relationship in the show. Is it going to be that sweet in the future? I hope not. I mean, it's -- I really -- I love the relationship, but, oh, my God. It needs something. It needs some kind of drama or something, otherwise -- I mean, you can only say I love you so many times. But they've been in such this, like, puppy-dog-love state for so long that when this new character Sebastian comes in and kind of stirs things up, I loved it. Kurt was horrified that someone was trying to steal his boyfriend, but, like, I was jumping up and down for joy, like, so glad I got to play territorial in a scene rather than like just love-stricken. But I hope they get -- they have tons of drama, because as an actor, that's what you love the most, is the more emotion, the better.
SO ARE YOU MORE THICK-SKINNED THESE DAYS? BECAUSE AS YOU WERE SAYING, YOU'VE LEARNED NOT TO TRY AND PLEASE EVERYONE.
Yeah, I mean, I think now I'm kind of like -- I'm kind of like a grizzly bear. Like, I do still feel the sting of the bee, but it doesn't hurt quite as much anymore. So how are you feeling about the Glee graduation? I'm looking forward to it. I think I was looking forward to my real graduation in high school more than this fake one. But, yeah, I'm excited to see what happens to him, where he goes.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO STAY WITH "GLEE," OR IS THERE A BIT OF YOU THAT'S KIND OF ITCHING TO GO AND EXPLORE THOSE OTHER KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES COMING YOUR WAY?
Well, I put so much stuff on my plate where right now I'm getting to do both. I'm getting to branch out and do all the things that I've always wanted to do while staying on "Glee." So I hope I can just have the best of both worlds, but, I mean, I'm fine with whatever happens.
WHAT ABOUT CELEBRITIES ON THE SHOW - WHO STANDS OUT IN YOUR MIND AS KIND OF THE MOST EXCITING GUEST STAR OR THE MOST SURPRISING GUEST STAR?
Well, I love Gwyneth. I was so intimidated by her at first because I didn't know what to expect, because she's kind of Hollywood royalty. And then she couldn't have been nicer or any sweeter. We had a great, great time with her. And of course, I love Kristin Chenoweth and, oh, gosh, and John Stamos was so -- was such a nice guy. We've really lucked out. We haven't really had a guest star that we didn't like. And Idina Menzel, she's great, she's fantastic.
YOU’VE DONE SO MANY SONGS IN "GLEE." IS THERE STILL ONE SONG YOU WOULD LIKE DO?
Yeah, there are a couple. I mean, I haven't really gotten to do so much high soprano, operatic-type songs, like all of "Phantom of the Opera" or "Evita," so I'd love to do something like that where I really get to sing really high, because I've got voice for it. I want to do it. But ever since I did I'm the Greatest Star and I got to do the whole scaffolding, acrobatic stuff and swords, it's like I don't want to just stand there and sing. I have to be doing something and singing otherwise I get bored.