Thanksgiving arrives (a week late) on Fox’s Glee this Thursday at 9/8c, and Chris Colfer has much to be grateful for. In addition to his role as Kurt, who has been transplanted to New York City alongside Lea Michele’s Rachel, Colfer penned Struck By Lightning, an indie comedy that rolls out on VOD/iTunes Dec. 19 (before hitting theaters in January) — and at the time we met up with the actor/author/screenwriter, he was touring the East Coast to tout his novelization of same.
After signing copies for a line of fans that wrapped around a New Jersey bookstore, Colfer spoke with TVLine about the many hats he wears, how Glee is different now that he “commutes” to the Big Apple, his excitement over having a “Kiki” with Sarah Jessica Parker and a realization “Klaine” is about to have.
TVLINE | Your first book, Land of Stories, came out in July. What’s the experience been like for you, between that, the Struck By Lightning movie and now its novelization?
It’s been so busy, but it’s great to kind of stretch my legs and give light to the passion projects. I have no complaints!
TVLINE | Was the process for getting the movie together easier or harder than you expected?
Oh, it was much harder. It’s funny because I always thought — this was when I was, like, 7 — that my first movie would be hard to get done, but it would be easy from then on. Now, I’m learning that, no, it’s always going to be challenging, because every time a movie gets made it’s really a miracle.
TVLINE | Versus Land of Stories, have you sensed a greater interest in Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, which is a young adult novel? That perhaps there’s a better connect with Glee?
I think it will appeal more to the audience, yeah. Yet Land of Stories was labeled a children’s novel, and I feel like I’ve heard more from adults and teenagers who read it and loved it more than I have so far from kids!
TVLINE | Is there anything remotely autobiographical about Struck By Lightning (which centers on a high school student who blackmails classmates into contributing to his literary magazine)?
There are elements that are autobiographical, but it’s definitely not an autobiography. Like, I was president of the writers club and I was very underappreciated for my overachieving ways. But the lead character, Carson Phillips, is definitely the person I wished I was in high school.
TVLINE | Just as you’ve grown from an actor to an author and now a filmmaker, do you feel like Glee‘s New York City arc has forced Kurt to grow?
Absolutely. I mean, he had to move away, and that’s always, I think, the most terrifying part about growing up. And he’s had to grow up pretty quickly, because his dad borderline kicked him out. He was like, “I can’t watch you do this anymore, you’ve got to go and make something of yourself.” It’s been fun to kind of grow up in my own way and have Kurt grow up as well.
TVLINE | Because of that, has Glee been more fun for you this season? Or a different kind of fun?
It’s been less hectic for us, because since it’s split up they’re able to schedule us on different days so everyone gets a day off which is nice, rather than having to the eight days-a-week, 25-hours-a-day that we used to.
TVLINE | When last I spoke to you and Darren Criss, you each expressed your wish for conflict in the whole Kurt/Blaine thing. Are you satisfied with the way they delivered that? Was the break-up organic enough?
I think we’re pretty satisfied. It was really just nice to do something else. As much as everyone wants to see them together forever, as actors that would have been so boring for us. We’d have to start saying “I love you” in different languages to spice things up a bit! So I’m really glad they’re broken up or separated or whatever they are for now.
TVLINE | Now that the actual break-up arc is out of the way, is Kurt going to be a more of an active character there in New York City?
I hope so. We’ll see. I mean, he hasn’t really grasped New York yet — he goes to work and comes home and tells Rachel things. I would really like to see him go out and have fun and meet new people.
TVLINE | As far as you’ve taped, is it still sunshine and roses for Kurt at Vogue.com? Or is Isabelle (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) going to start showing a darker edge?
No darker edge; for the most part he’s there and he’s happy, because he and Isabelle have kind of become co-confidants. They just get closer and will even be spending Thanksgiving together. We even get to do a Scissor Sisters’ number [“Let’s Have a Kiki”], and I’ve been trying to get a Scissor Sisters’ song in the show since Day 1! So it was a lot of fun.
TVLINE | And what were you shooting the other day at the Bryant Park ice rink in New York City?
Darren and I were skating to the number, “(I’m Dreaming of a) White Christmas” — because I don’t know about you, but I know I’ve definitely ice skated with all my exes and sing Christmas carols all the time! [Chuckles] But no, it’s a great story [in the Dec. 13 Christmas episode], because they kind of come to a realization that they’ll always be amazing friends, because they were so important to each other.
TVLINE | Does Blaine just show up or is Kurt expecting his visit?
There’s a reason he’s there… but it’s kind of a secret.