Chris Colfer

Christopher Paul "Chris" Colfer (born May 27, 1990) is an American actor, singer, author and producer best known for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the television series Glee. Colfer's portrayal of Kurt has received much critical praise, and he has been the recipient of several awards, including Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards and two consecutive People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Comedic TV Actor in 2013 and 2014. He has also garnered many award nominations, which include the 2010 and 2011 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In April 2011, Colfer was named one of the 2011 Time 100, Time's list of the 100 most influential people. He wrote, starred in, produced, and novelized his first film, Struck by Lightning, which debuted at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. He is also a New York Times number-one bestselling author of The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, the first novel in his middle-grade reader trilogy.

Early life and education

Colfer was born in Clovis, California, the son of Karyn Colfer (née Boling) and Tim Colfer. He has Irish ancestry, and has stated: "I'm very Irish, my family is all Irish and St. Patrick's day in my house is crazy." As a child he was confined to a hospital bed for three months following lymph node surgery, which left a scar on his neck, and which he credits as one of the difficult experiences that made him interested in fictional worlds.

At a very early age, Colfer showed a passion for writing. He was “born wanting to be a storyteller,” using both writing and acting as ways to entertain people and escape reality.His grandmother was his first editor, advising and encouraging him in elementary school when he first attempted to write a fairytale-inspired novel, which would later become The Land of Stories. In 2012, Colfer dedicated his first published novel to her, and quoted her: “Christopher, I think you should wait until you’re done with elementary school before worrying about being a failed writer.”

Colfer was bullied so severely in middle school that he needed to be home schooled for half of 7th grade and 8th grade. The next year, Colfer began attending Clovis East High School, where he was involved with the speech and debate program, and won "many speech and debate champion titles," including placing ninth in the State Competition for Dramatic Interpretation. He was also active in the drama club, the FFA, "was president of the Writer's Club, editor of the school's literary magazine, and captain of Destination ImagiNation."As a high school senior, he wrote, starred in, and directed a spoof of Sweeney Todd entitled "Shirley Todd", in which all of the roles were gender-reversed.One of his real in-school experiences was later turned into a sub-plot for his character on Glee, when the high school teachers denied him the chance to sing "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked because it is traditionally sung by a woman. His grandmother, a minister, let him sing the song in her church.
Early work

The first show he was involved in with community theater was West Side Story.[18] He also appeared in a production of The Sound of Music as the character Kurt von Trapp, the musical protagonist Maria von Trapp's stepson.[19] Colfer’s resemblance to the Kurt von Trapp character later served as inspiration for the name of his Glee character. [20]

At the age of eighteen, Colfer starred as Russel Fish in Russel Fish: The Sausage and Eggs Incident, a short film where an awkward teenager must pass a Presidential Physical Fitness test or fail gym class and lose his admission to Harvard University.

Colfer's first TV role came in 2009 when he was cast as Kurt Hummel on Fox's Glee. Kurt is a fashionable gay countertenor who is routinely bullied at school, not only for being gay, but also for being part of the very unpopular Glee Club. Colfer auditioned for the part of Artie Abrams, who uses a wheelchair, a role which eventually went to Kevin McHale. The show's creator, Ryan Murphy, was so impressed with Colfer that he created the role of Kurt specifically for him, and in the process, scrapped a planned character called Rajish so they could add Kurt. Murphy explained in the season two finale of the Glee Project that Colfer was the inspiration for the project show because he didn't fit the role he auditioned for but was still "incredible and special" so a role was created for him.
The grayscale picture of three people, two women and a man, who dance and put their hands on their hips. The man wears a dark outfit, compound of a vest, a shirt and pants. The women wear similar leotards.
Jenna Ushkowitz, Colfer and Heather Morris during a performance of "Single Ladies" on the tour Glee Live! In Concert! in 2011

In a 2010 interview with Allison Kugel, Colfer stated that "There have been a couple of times when I have gone to Ryan Murphy and told him a couple of things that have happened to me, and then he writes it into the show. Or he'll ask me what song I would want to sing, in this situation or in that situation. I don't think any of us directly try to give input on the character or on the storyline, but they definitely steal things from us."

Colfer won the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for his performance as Kurt Hummel. In his emotional acceptance speech, he thanked Ryan Murphy for being his “fairy godfather” and dedicated the award to kids who have been bullied and told “they can’t […] have what they want because of who they are.” He was twice nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category for his portrayal of Kurt.

In 2013 and 2014, Colfer won consecutive People's Choice Awards for Favorite Comedic TV Actor. Both speeches he gave were praised by the media for being funny while making references to things like fanfiction and fanart to show his appreciation for fan culture.

Kurt's characterization

Colfer has explained that Kurt "puts on a very confident, 'I'm better than you' persona, but underneath it all he's the same anxious and scared teen everyone is/was at some point. In later episodes, he goes through an identity crisis, accepting and finding acceptance for who he is. [...] He's a tough guy in designer clothes." The character is also gay, which is at the crux of many of his conflicts on the show. Colfer has a high vocal range, as displayed in the episode "Wheels", in which his character demonstrates the unusual ability (for a man) of singing a "high F" (actually an F5). However, his character deliberately pretends to be unable to sing the note in order to spare his father the harassment he would receive for having a gay son.However, in the episode "Choke" when his character is auditioning for NYADA, he sings "Not the Boy Next Door" from The Boy from Oz a song Kurt claims is "something a little more out there, but much more me", successfully hitting a High G, a note higher than High F.

The Land of Stories

On June 8, 2011, Colfer signed a book deal to write two novels for children to young adults (age range). The series follows twins Alex and Conner as they magically travel through a cherished book of stories and have adventures in a land where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

The first book in the series, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, was released on July 17, 2012. For two weeks after the book's release it was number one on The New York Times Best Seller list in the Children's Chapter Books category.
The second book in the series, The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns, was released on August 6, 2013. It debuted at number two on the The New York Times Best Seller list, and by the end of 2013 it had spent eleven weeks in the top fifteen for Children’s Middle Grade books.

Following the success of the first two books, Little, Brown and Company extended Colfer’s original two book deal to include at least three more in the series.The third book, The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning, is scheduled to be released on July 8, 2014. A fourth novel is expected to arrive in 2015. Also expected in Spring 2015 is a picture book illustrated by Brandon Dorman, The Curvy Tree, based on a short original fairy tale of the same name, which Colfer first told in The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.

Other work

Colfer wrote, starred in, executive-produced, and novelized the coming-of-age comedy film Struck by Lightning. The plot revolves around Colfer's character, who is struck and killed by a bolt of lightning, and chronicles his exploits as he blackmails his fellow senior classmates into contributing to a literary magazine he is publishing. It was shot during the Glee hiatus in the summer of 2011 and had its world premiere in 2012 at the Tribeca Film Festival.

In March 2012, Colfer was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8' — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Ryan Kendall.The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Colfer landed a deal with Disney Channel to adapt the book "The Little Leftover Witch" for a television pilot.He also wrote another movie, set in an asylum, which he planned to appear in as a supporting actor.However, both of these projects have been delayed with no expected dates for production.

On January 28, 2014, it was announced that Colfer will star in a new 3D CG animated family film, Robodog, as the voice of the title character.The film, which will costar Ron Perlman, is described as “a classic, heart-warming adventure story about an unlikely duo who couldn't be more different.” The film’s director, Henry F. Anderson III, said Colfer is “perfect” for the project because he “has an appealing, youthful voice which fits right in with our lead character, KC, who is above all a charismatic entertainer.” Vocal recording for the film began on February 1, 2014.

Personal life

Colfer is openly gay and shared on Access Hollywood that his parents were accepting of him but he was frequently bullied at school.Colfer's younger sister, Hannah, suffers from severe epilepsy,and often experiences over fifty seizures in an hour. Colfer has commented that when he was younger he used acting as a method of escaping the stress involved with having a family member with disabilities.
Colfer appeared on the British chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on June 18, 2010, along with his fellow Glee co-stars Amber Riley and Matthew Morrison. He demonstrated his skill with a pair of sai, revealing that he bought a pair on eBay and regularly practices in his trailer. He also mentioned that he would like it if his sai could be worked into an episode of Glee; they first appeared in the season 3 episode "I Am Unicorn", during Colfer's character Kurt Hummel's performance of "I'm the Greatest Star", from the musical Funny Girl.Colfer revealed in 2009 that he has a huge fear of needles, during an interview with Bonnie Hunt.

On Hollywood Game Night, Colfer won 6,000 dollars and donated it to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of the international success of his Land of Stories series, #1 New York Times bestselling author and award-winning actor Chris Colfer will publish two new books in the popular series, as well as his debut picture book, with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, it was announced today by Megan Tingley, Executive Vice President and Publisher. The acquisition for world rights was made by Andrew Smith, Senior Vice President, Deputy Publisher, and Alvina Ling, Executive Editorial Director, who will edit the books, with Colfer’s literary agent, Rob Weisbach of Rob Weisbach Creative Management, acting on behalf of Colfer.

“Beginning with his spectacular turn hosting the BookExpo America Children’s Breakfast in 2012 and continuing with the excellent critical reception of his books, Chris Colfer has proven he is an exceptionally talented and committed author with a passionate fan base”

Book Three in Colfer’s Land of Stories series is scheduled to be released in fall 2014 with the fourth book following in 2015. Both books will be simultaneously available in hardcover, ebook, and audio book editions. In addition, Colfer will publish an original picture book, The Curvy Tree, in spring 2015. Illustrated by Brandon Dorman, the picture book will be based on a tale from Colfer’s The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, which brought readers on a quest filled with magic spells, laugh-out-loud humor, and page-turning adventure.

In response to the overwhelming enthusiasm and fan excitement for the Land of Stories series, Colfer is inviting fans to decide which city he will visit for a newly added tour stop for The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns. Beginning October 17 through November 1, fans will have the opportunity to vote to decide which city in the US will win a book signing with Chris Colfer. Fans can vote once a day, each day at The city with the most votes will not only host Colfer’s final book signing on his Fall 2013 tour, but customers at the event will be the first to learn the official title of The Land of Stories book three.

“The Land of Stories has been an incredible journey for me as a writer, and I am so happy the series has a home at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers,” remarked Chris Colfer. “The fan support and love for these characters has been more than a dream come true—I’m humbled and excited to be able to share these new adventures with my readers.”

“Beginning with his spectacular turn hosting the BookExpo America Children’s Breakfast in 2012 and continuing with the excellent critical reception of his books, Chris Colfer has proven he is an exceptionally talented and committed author with a passionate fan base,” commented Megan Tingley. “We look forward to sharing more enthralling tales from the Land of Stories with his legions of fans.”

Hailed as a “comic and ironic adventure” by USA Today and praised for “its combination of earnestness and playful poise” by the New York Times Book Review, the Land of Stories series combines our modern-day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Conner Bailey leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic, where they come face-to-face with the characters they grew up reading about. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell launched in July 2012 and shot to the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestsellers List. The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns, published in August 2013, is a New York Times bestseller as well.


Chris Colfer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and a Golden Globe–winning actor best known for his role as Kurt Hummel on Glee. He was honored as a member of the TIME 100, Time magazine’s annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world, and his books include Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, and The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns.

Colfer is represented by Inphenate, Coast to Coast, ICM Partners, and Rob Weisbach Creative Management.