Glee Post Mortem: Max Adler on Life After [Spoiler] and a Possible Kurt/Karofsky Romance

Glee Max AdlerIf you have yet to watch Tuesday’s episode of Glee, hit the nearest exit at once. Everyone else, continue reading…

Glee officially turned the tables on Kurt’s ex-tormentor Karofsky this week when the bully became the victim — a reversal that had near-fatal consequences when Max Adler‘s closeted alter ego tried (and failed) to commit suicide. In the following Q&A, Adler reflects on the powerful storyline, weighs in on a possible Karofsky-Kurt romance, and answers the question on the minds of his insanely passionate fans: Will he be sticking around Glee long-term?

TVLINE | What was your reaction when you found out you would be involved in such an intense storyline?
I was thrilled to be coming back. I found out in early January that I would be returning for these episodes, but I didn’t know the story at the time; I didn’t know where they were going to take Karofsky, but I’m thrilled they went there. I really think it’s incredibly brave and honest and it’s treating the character with the integrity that he deserves. For me as an actor, I’ve always been fascinated with the human struggle… I think you can’t truly appreciate [all the fun parts of high school] without experiencing the other side, which is the fear, the anxiety, and the struggle that teenagers go through identifying themselves.

TVLINE | That was a wonderful life Kurt envisioned for Karofsky.
That’s basically what gives Karofsky hope that there will be someone that will love him for who he is and he won’t have to keep this mask on and continually hide himself from the world. And that, to me, is the message that I would love for people to take away; you can be yourself. Although society might try to suppress who you are, there are people out there who will love you for who you are. And I think that is the message of hope.

TVLINE | Do you think part of Karofsky dreams of a future with Kurt?
No. I never thought Karofsky lusted after Kurt. I never saw it as sexual; I always saw it as a yearning for a genuine human connection. Karofsky’s whole life has kind of been playing this role and being what everyone wants him to be and tells him to be. But [then] he sees Kurt as a beacon of hope — somebody that can truly be who they are, say what they want to say, feel what they want to feel, and not really care what society has to say about it. And I think that’s such an admirable trait. Karofsky finds that so incredible and has such respect for Kurt. I think that’s what it’s been; I don’t think he imagines this life-long love with Kurt. I think there is a true friendship there. Kurt really is the guy that helps Karofsky see the light and brings him out of his darkness.

Glee Summer Tour Cancelled… But There’s a Twist

TVLINE | There are some fans who prefer Kurt with Karofsky instead of Blaine. Is it your understanding that that isn’t going to happen?
That is my understanding. I think there’s been too much history between the two of them to just completely forget about that and start a full-fledged romance. I think at this point, Karofsky is still dealing with his own struggles and his own identity and is not really stable or healthy enough to jump into a real relationship. I think at this point, Kurt is just an incredible friend, and in a way, a mentor for Karofsky. And I think at this point in their lives, Kurt is just an incredible friend that Karofsky truly needs. And my analogy in reading the script is picturing Karofsky hanging off a cliff by a really thin rope, and Kurt is the only one that is hanging onto him to bring him out from the depths of that.

TVLINE | How big a role will you be playing on the show moving forward?
I won’t be in the next episode after that, but as for the future? There’s [nothing certain]. I would love to portray this character the rest of my life. It’s an incredible experience and I’ve learned so much. It’s just been a complete dream to have this opportunity. But as far as actually knowing what’s happening down the road? I don’t know; we’ll just have to see what happens.

TVLINE | So this week’s episode could potentially be your swan song?
It could end here. But my personal thought is that there might be something else down the line to show where Karofsky goes post-hospital. But that’s all up to the writers. They’ve done everything amazingly well and treated this character with incredible consistency and honesty and integrity. Whatever they do, I think it will be genius.

TVLINE | It’s insane how passionate your fans are. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t receive at least a dozen emails from them asking when you’re returning to Glee.
They’re amazing. That’s what is so gratifying and rewarding about this; this character is so real — the way he is written and the way I get to play him and experience him and talk about him. I think the fans have a connection to him… What I’m so happy about with this episode is that it gives that really amazing, powerful message to victims of bullying and to people who are or have contemplated suicide that there is hope; there are people who accept you for who you are, and you don’t have to change yourself for what society tells you to be. It also shows the bullying aspect, and what your words on Facebook or Twitter can really do. You almost get desensitized because you type a few words and hit send and then you go on with your day. It’s just so powerful how human beings can affect each other. I think that’s the message: if people are in need of help or crying out, we need to be there for one another and stick up for one another. I think [it would have been different] if one guy in the locker room would have defended me. People are afraid to speak their minds or speak up because they want to fit in. I think that’s [another] message: we can all be ourselves and we can all open our minds a little bit and have some perspective, and we can treat each other with the respect that we deserve.


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189 Comments
  1. shiagurk says:

    After reading the majority of these comments, isn’t that what the whole episode was about? Why do we feel the need to speak disrespect about people when they’re doing the best they can? Where is the respect? We all have our opinions, but blasting them and shoving them in peoples faces and saying others are wrong for thinking differently, this is what the show was bringing to our attention. This is a serious issue, and our ignorance hurts people, and all we can do is talk about what a bad actor and singer we think someone is.

  2. Kristina says:

    How ironic that the plot of this episode is about online bullying and all of you are doing exactly that about actors you don’t even know. Respect their talents. Or keep your emotionally abusive comments to yourself. It’s people like you that made it necessary for an episode with this message to be created. You’re disgusting.

  3. jason says:

    After the message of the episode and the interview all that happens is a dialogue that tears someone down? You all need to grow up. No one is perfect and any real singer that actually enunciated their words has faces like that. If you are lip synching then you won’t. Lea’s face does the same emotive actions. Each character can display emotion and depth when written into the storyline.

  4. Lane Miller says:

    Max – I could not be more proud of you and your character Karofsky on GLEE! Your character reminds me of well, me. It’s like I had written much of your story on the show myself. The episode last night was simply AMAZING….I wanted to climb through the tv and give you a bug hug! Keep up the great work – many of us are pulling for you and your character on the show! Best of luck with all your future endeavors!

  5. Emily says:

    Oh please do educate us as to how a ‘realistic’ gay man should be portrayed!! Do you even understand how many stereotypes YOU just pandered to??

  6. Pedro Lucas says:

    Well I think this character is showing what it really feels some bullies try to beat to feel hurt so popular not to show who you really are. I am Brazilian and Glee and very famous here and Kurt and Dave Karofsky are the more I hear about Glee congratulations.

  7. none... says:

    ppl need to grow the hell up on this board and stop bullying eachother.. everyone has focused on kurt and blaines relationship. im so glad they brought up the fact that max’s character is having a hard time bc this is our society today. its wrong that people dont care about one another. its quite sad that ppl dont become the bigger person and stand up for one another. we all get bullied but if we stand up we could put it to rest. people live everyday with a disease they cant control, they cant help who they are and thats what max’s character is doing. he is struggling and kurt is going to help him. its sad that people are finding a way out through suicide, if we reach out to those are suffering we can help them over come this. our society today is completely different from 10 years agao today. people are changing and life has to move on, we need to accept everyone for who they are. im so proud of what glee is doing by bringing out the suicide awarness, its very important in our society today. i dont write on these stupid boards but im standing up for those who need help and those bullying max’s character. why dont you all find something else to do with your ignorant lives and go do something to make a difference in this world. im also so glad they are bringing up the fact no texting in driving, they should! Great preformance by the cast of glee!!

  8. Jammy says:

    This is how I see it. The writers of Glee are trying to portray into real life. There may or may not be a Kurt/Karofsky romance. I think it would be great for them to see if there is some chemistry between them but thats for the writers to do. Life is full of ups and downs and we saw that in this last episode. Best friends make the best of lovers so maybe the writers will go with that. I can’t wait to see what happens in future episodes but like everyone has is opinions. Don’t shoot them down. We are supposed to learn that people make mistakes and we must live with those. Stop the bickering and bitching. Its not gonna change anything.

  9. My name says:

    ..My Kurtofsky heart is bleeding, but it’s for the best. :,,(

  10. Kate says:

    You know the broadway critics adoring him mean nothing (and live acting is a Hell of a lot harder than tv acting)

  11. EliEss says:

    I love all of the interviews with Max I have been reading. He is so well spoken and really delves into the subtext of his character. He seems to really care not only about the message and how it’s being presented, but about all of the people to whom that message is being sent. A lovely guy and an absolutely phenomenal actor! As much as I would love to see more of Max/Dave on Glee I also hope they don’t get to a point where they over-use him. I think it has been his rare appearances that keep him so special to me. If he were to join The New Directions and we saw him all the time he might become just another character on the show. What makes holidays and birthdays special? The fact that they only come around once every year. If we had them everyday it would get stagnant and lose that special quality. So more Max, heck yeah! All the time? Not necessarily.

  12. Matt says:

    Guys if you have never acted before you have no right to criticize. Darren Criss is an amazing actor, I’ve seen him on Broadway. He has an amazing voice. Also Blaine isn’t a “stereotype” or whatever. I look, act, and dress just like him. People like him exist. When youre a stage actor you have to “over act” and Glee is basically a filmed musical. Thats why they over emote and the writing can be campy. Get over it. Stop judging something you have little knowledge of.

  13. Have you learned nothing? says:

    This episode was not about the different partnerships and weird names we can come up with for the actors. It was about bullying and what coming out really means for teens. It is sick to read some of the things that people have posted on here, all the name calling towards Blaine’s character and the actor who portrays him. People who say those thing, are no different than the bullying that occurred on this show and in our own school systems. The same bullying that leads so many teens to commit suicide. Have you learned nothing from this episode? =/

  14. Ann says:

    Hi everyone. I can’t help noticing that most of the comments here have so much hate. I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and you’re pretty much can say what ever you want. And there’s nothing wrong to choose who your favorites is/are… But please, let’s skip the hates. I believe they did that episode on purpose as a lesson or see how people would react regarding such matters. How can we/someone make a change if the fans itself is sharing hates with each other? Isn’t Glee is about, loving, be loved, let love in and share love no matter what? I just hope that we get to understand that life really is too short to be doing nothing but to share what you have. Have a good day ahead everyone! :)
    /xx

  15. Nic says:

    Max Adler is an incredible actor. And judging by the things he says, an incredible man. This episode positively gutted me, but it was so, so important to be done – and done this well. Kudos to GLEE. P.S. More Karofsky, please.

  16. Cherish Life, You Only Get One says:

    You people are all so childish! I can’t believe you’re talking about “annoying” characters and ‘ships’! This was not what the article was trying to put out there AT ALL! None of you get the point. Life is delicate, and precious and one small word (like the one we saw on Karofsky’s locker) can make a difference. None of us should be fighting with each other, let alone, fighting over stupid, little things such as ‘ships’. I think the writers of Glee, did a FANTASTIC job with the way they so delicately put the storyline into veiw. I really, truly think that Max said these things in the article to show that this is REAL and it is what REAL people go through everyday and eveyone needs someone that loves them for them. And sure, there may be some relationships that I don’t really care for, but is that what I got out of this article? No. Of course not. And it shouldn’t be what you took out of it either. All I’m trying to say is, end the conversation about ‘ships’ and really think about this artcle AND Tuesday’s episode. If you don’t get what I’m trying to say, go watch it again, and then come back and think about why you brought Klaine/Chris/Darren/Kurtofsky/Seblaine into the mix.

  17. wow says:

    I can’t believe you guys are really all arguing over something like this. Who cares if one person doesn’t like Blaine, or whatever. And this episode wasn’t even about relationships or love. It was about the effects bullying has on people. I personally think this was the best episode of Glee because it dealt with things that could really happen, and things that do happen everyday. It’s not always about love or sex, its pretty much about accepting people for who you are and more importantly accepting yourself for who you are and not letting people get you down.

  18. Becca says:

    He should go to Mckinley and join glee club :)

  19. Megan_ says:

    It disgusts me that people come onto this article, and take absolutely nothing in. What Max said about his character was breathtaking, yet all you people can do is complain about Darren Criss’ acting (which is wonderful, by the way) and hate on different relationships in Glee. That’s terrible. The last episode was about SO much more than all that. It was about falling down and breaking down, and rising back up again. It’s about fighting through the hardest of times. If all you can take from both this article and the previous episode is that Darren sang “Cough Syrup” too happily, or that Kurt and Dave need to get together, then you need to go back and re-watch it and reread this, for your own sanity. What Max had to say was touching, along with the episode. To prevent real-life situations like this from happening, all of you need to settle down and realize the message the writers are trying to push through to you.

  20. D says:

    The episode of Glee shows that bullies are not impervious to anything in high school, or life for that matter. No matter who we are there are forces that drive is to our every decision and for Karofsky to become the victim and see how much he hurt Kurt, to see how strong Kurt has to be to just be himself. I wish that every bully could understand that when they victimize a person, suicide is a perceived viable out for some. However, it isn’t until too late that most bullies realize the impact they have on someone’s emotional well being. As someone who was bullied everyday in high school, the whole Kurt/ Karofsky story line is a powerful one, yet no matter how much it should register on those who bully others, they won’t understand until their victim is in hospital, or God forbid, dead.

    • Andrea says:

      This is how I saw this episode. How life can change. Not to say the awareness about bullying and the forgiveness messages weren’t the most important parts and Max and Chris’ acting was stellar on it, but yeah, for me, it’s also a great story development.

  21. Fizz says:

    NGL, I think the faces are a conscious character choice, where Blaine is letting himself go and having fun during songs. I saw him in How to Succeed and even on a large stage, his facial expressions were much more in check. Honestly, at least his Glee expressions are silly, as opposed to Lea, who always appears to be in pain.
    I don’t see why everyone has to argue Max vs Darren. I enjoy both, and think theyre both talented men.

  22. Haley says:

    I think that they should bring back Kraofsky back and bring in that kid from glee project Alex as his boyfriend. :) Since Alex only gets a couple episodes that would be a good excuse to bring him in, sure he may be a little tooooo much for kraofsky with the drag act, but I think they could make it work! :) Besides, Alex is incredibly talented, they need to put him on the show soon! :) Just an idea, writers! :) Oh, and shame on you for wasting Damien’s episodes! :(

  23. Irish-angel says:

    I totally agree with you, but I have to admit that K looks hoter than Blaine, and I prefer a football player than a singer… (^_^)

  24. zach says:

    i was saying no the whole time im like this isnt happening i got all teared up. but the relationship between kurt and david would never work kurt is great with blaine because they have things in common. David shoewed a love for music in the thriller episode but i dont think its nearly as strong as blaine and kurts they are show biz people while david is a sports guy thats wat he said himself so they wouldnt mesh well i dont think but he needs a friend in kurt and im so glad he has him!

  25. Jane says:

    Chris and Max did an amazing job with the material they were given. I really hope that they bring Dave back because the Kurt/Karofsky scenes are great.

  26. adam says:

    I would love to see a Sebastian and Dave pairing it would very exciting and complicated relationship to tell as for Kurt its good that they are better off as friends.

  27. Matt says:

    I have always come to think about how most bullies have or are being bullied. The topic on this episode of glee was very moving and it makes you see that even though some things don’t look like they hurt people, they really do. I think that there are a lot of bullying problems in schools that starts around middle school, the bullies don’t realize that they are tormenting their victims. It is ridiculous how “gay” has become a derogatory term that is often used in the context of stupid.

  28. clippy says:

    tvline: posts a terrific interview with a wonderful actor
    commenters: bicker about ships
    sigh…

  29. ROSS TAYLOR says:

    TO MAX ADLER!ON THE SHOW, GLEE!!! I REALLY HAVE A LOT OF PASSION INTO HELPING KIDS WHO BEEN BULLIED TO SEXUAL ABUSE AND HURT! I MAX AND DR. DREW WHO I SAW MAX ON YOUR SHOW LAST NIGHT ON WEDNESDAY! AT 12:30 AM I LOVE TO HELP AND DONATE TO STOP THIS BULLING OF KIDS GAY, STRAIGHT OR ANY SEXUALITY!! I HAVE PASSION IN HELPING EVEYONE IN GETTING TO FEEL SAFE IN SCHOOL OR JUST OUT HAVING FUN! I BE IMPRESSED TO GO ON YOUR SHOW AND TELL YOU WHAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED AND WHAT I HAVE BEEN THROUGH WHY I HELPED OUT IN MAKING THE SECURITY BACKPACKS!!! THANKS SO MUCH YOUNG DR. DREW!! ROSS TAYLOR WISH YOU A GR8 NEW YEAR!!!!!!!! LESS STOP ASSUALT, HURT AND ALL THE PAIN AND BULLIED KIDS OUT THERE! I KNOW MY BACKPACKS FOR ALL AGES OF 7 AND UP! WILL HELP SOOO MUCH! I JUST LIKE ONE CHANCE TO GET THE WORD OUT! I WAS ABUSED IN SCHOOLS AND ANGERY ALSO HAVE HAD FRIENDS OF MINE RAPED FROM GUYS! THIS BACKPACK/ PURSE WOULD HAVE SAVED HER IF SHE HAD ONE!!!!

  30. none says:

    Karofsky’s acting is also crappy btw. He slurs when he talks, and he can only portray sadness with that “phlegm in the throat” voice of his.

  31. none says:

    nope. As I’ve said on the first place, he’s even crappier imo.

  32. yourmomma says:

    Jesus! You realize Blaine is a CHARACTER on a TV show right? Maybe he’s supposed to be limpwristed. How old are you? 12? Grow up

  33. AngieD says:

    Now is not the time for Karofsky to be in any relationship given his inner turmoil. I could see Kurt and Karofsky eventually being a couple – but in the Glee future. It’s not as though Karofsky was tormenting Kurt because Kurt was gay – it was more a matter of self-loathing. Karofsky stopped bullying once he started to accept that he was gay – even while still being fearful. Kurt can see that Karofsky’s behavior towards him was denial, not hate. I would actually enjoy finding out that Karofsky and Kurt were together at their 10th High school reunion after reconnecting at their 5th year reunion.

  34. Kayden says:

    Loved the interview and what was said. I truly hope people got the great message that was portrayed in this episode:)

  35. Brittany says:

    Bullying and the dangers of rushing….yet bullying was the one that spoke volumes for me. I’ve personally dealt with harsh criticisms from the time I entered school in kindergarten. Having to deal with the bullies in a small school everyday for almost 9 yrs and now I’m having cope with scares that became so ingrained in my brain that now they are self-esteem breakers that I use against myself.

  36. Tina says:

    Wow why is so many people being so mean on this blog? If you don’t like the show, then don’t watch it. If you can’t stand Blaine, “Klaine”, or the Kurt/Karofsky characters and/or the story lines then don’t watch the show. It really doesn’t make any sense to be cussing and fussing about a dog-gone tv show. This blog should be for the people who love Glee, not the haters.

  37. Ryan says:

    I just don’t understand how anyone can have forgiven Karofsky for the way he treated Kurt last year. The way he treated him while going through the same feelings inside? Karofsky’s actions last season were completely uncalled for and he should feel what Kurt and the rest of us have gone through because of bullies like him.

  38. Ellen says:

    Such a powerful story acted out by such an amazing person. It broke my heart and made me really feel for the character.

  39. Tasha says:

    I think it would be cool if Kurt and Dave became good friends and Kurt suprised himself by falling in love with Dave. Especially if Dave is oblivious to the fact. :-) I’m not a big shipper either way but I’m getting bored with Klaine and I find that Kurt and Karofsky have amazing chemistry. I think a romance would be great eventually.

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