Twenty-year-old Chris Colfer was born in Fresno, California and spent his years growing up in the extremely agricultural Central Valley near Modesto. So unless you grew up in that area of California you probably now know him best as Kurt on the hit Fox television show “Glee” where he stands as the youngest main cast member in the group.
So how did this very young man achieve such a tremendous amount of success in his short life? And how has he become such a shining example of bravery to young gays and lesbians around the country?
With the problem of teen gay and lesbian suicide at the forefront of the national consciousness this past year, there was a definite need for a character like that of the out and flamboyantly gay Kurt Hummel in “Glee.” His struggle during the second season with bullying and school violence has mirrored the struggles of so many young gays and lesbians and mirrors his experiences in high school.
Chris Colfer looks at his experiences as a real life gay teen as the thing that made him witty and quick on his feet. But he admits he never got slushies in the face at his original high school. He refers to his frequent slushie facials on “Glee” akin to being “bitch slapped by an iceberg.”
Although a lot of the hype surrounding “Glee” comes from characters like Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester and Lea Michelle’s golden pipes, it just so happens that Chris Colfer’s Kurt is really the heart and soul of this funny, dramatic and unquestionably musical program. He truly is the show’s breakout star.
When “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy initially had the idea for a show about a high school glee club the character of Kurt wasn’t part of the concept. But after seeing Colfer in an audition for the character of Artie, he created a role just for the young actor. But according to a report in the LA Times Mr. Colfer doesn’t like to hear that he was “discovered” because it makes him “feel like a continent.”
In that initial audition Ryan Murphy said to Chris Colfer, “why do I have the feeling you have been Rolf on The Sound of Music before?” Murphy hit the nail right on the head as Colfer later recounted in the LA Times story that, “I know I have Von Trapp written all over me. I actually played Kurt in ‘The Sound of Music’ a long time ago.”
During High School Chris Colfer was overweight but he lost 40 pounds in 2007 through “horrible methods called diet and exercise.” How very un-Hollywood of him. He was also very active in the Speech and Debate Club and holds many high school level titles.