The Many Hats of Chris Colfer

The New York Times
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December 26, 2012

Sometimes being famous is like attending your own funeral. Chris Colfer learned as much at the ripe age of 18, when he was cast as the plucky gay countertenor Kurt Hummel on “Glee.” Armed with a golden voice and an uncanny ability to cry on cue (his secret: think of eye injuries), Mr. Colfer became a poster boy for bullying issues and the show’s breakout star. But back in his hometown, Clovis, Calif., things got weird. “People that I went to school with almost acted as if I had died,” Mr. Colfer, now 22, said in a recent interview at the Trump SoHo hotel. Classmates who once treated him like toxic waste were now bragging on Facebook that they had been best of friends. “I thought, Wow, this must be what someone feels like at their eulogy.” That old Tom Sawyer fantasy is the basis of “Struck by Lightning,” a film that Mr. Colfer wrote and stars in. After having its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, it was released on video on demand last week and opens in theaters Jan. 11. Mr. Colfer plays Carson Phillips, a high-school outcast who, in the hope of getting into Northwestern University, blackmails classmates into contributing to his literary magazine. The film is told in flashback: in the first scene, Carson is, indeed, struck by lightning and dies.