Chris Colfer Was ‘Terrified’ to Portray a Gay Character on ‘Glee’

USA News


  • “Glee” star Chris Colfer opened up about playing the openly gay character, Kurt, on a podcast Thursday.
  • Colfer said he was “absolutely terrified” because he hadn’t come out yet. 
  • The actor came out publicly in December 2009 on Chelsea Handler’s late-night show “Chelsea Lately.”

“Glee” actor Chris Colfer, 32, opened up about his fear of playing an openly gay character on the hit Fox series during Thursday’s episode of the “And That’s What You Really Missed” podcast.

Colfer, who portrayed a character named Kurt on the show from 2009 to 2015, shared that he was “absolutely terrified” because he hadn’t come out yet. He told podcast hosts and “Glee” costars, Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, that his childhood community in Clovis, California, wasn’t very accepting and contributed to his hesitation.

“So, my hometown has come very far in the last couple decades, but when I was growing up there it was dangerous to be out,” he said on the podcast. “Kids would get beat up. On one occasion, someone got stabbed on their way to school. So, being out and proud was just not an option.”

 

He went on to share his difficulties breaking into the entertainment industry. After auditioning and being offered a role on the show, Colfer was “thrilled” to discover they had written a character for him, but initially feared the prospect of facing who he really was.

“But I just wanted to get out and be a part of the industry so badly, I just knew there was no option,” Colfer said. “I also knew that it would probably force me to answer and ask questions of myself that I wasn’t quite ready to do. So, I’m actually kind of grateful for it in a way because I think it kind of pushed me into a path of honesty with myself.”

Chris Colfer in the "100" episode of Glee Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chris Colfer, as Kurt, in the “100” episode of Glee that aired March 18, 2014.

FOX



When he came out to his family, Colfer said that a family member told him it would “ruin your life, essentially.” He ultimately decided to take the role, but not without fear of backlash.

“But I was absolutely terrified. And back then, people told their clients, ‘Don’t play gay characters because it will ruin your career,'” Colfer said. “But again, I had been auditioning for so long and never gotten anything. There was no option for me, I had to do it. As scary as it was.”

Colfer’s character had many storylines that centered around his experience as a gay high school student. In season two of the series, Kurt is bullied for his sexuality and forced to transfer to an all-boys private school. There, he falls in love with a classmate and fellow singer Blaine (Darren Criss). 

“Glee” premiered in May 2009 and Colfer came out publicly in an appearance on the late-night show “Chelsea Lately” in December 2009. 



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