By Kathleen Archambeau
â€śTo all the amazing kids that watch our showâ€¦who are constantly told NO that they canâ€™t be who they are or have what they want because of who they are by the people in their environments or by bullies at school, well, screw that, kids!â€ť
Chris Colfer, Glee Star
2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor Acceptance Speech
A star in the television series, Glee, Christopher (Chris) Paul Colfer stunned everyone from his Central Valley hometown of Clovis, California. In 2011, Colfer was named one of Time magazineâ€™s 100 Most Influential People in the world. In characteristic humility, he credited others. â€śIâ€™d say the group that most influenced me in the last year is the crew of Glee,â€ť he said. â€śThey work just as hard as we do and often donâ€™t get the praiseâ€¦â€ť And, of his new-found hero, â€śI think Oprah kindaâ€™ sets the bar for everything this period.â€ť Chris Colfer pulls off being himself in the superficial world of Hollywood. His latest tweet: a tale of his adoption of an older Tabby cat at an animal shelter.
But it wasnâ€™t always easy for Colfer. He was bullied so badly in 7th and 8th grade that he was home schooled. His younger sister, Hannah, suffers from severe epilepsy. Fortunately, he had understanding parents who were accepting of his gayness early on. In a Trevor Project video, Colfer tells teens, â€śI know what itâ€™s like to be bullied and teased every single dayâ€¦Know that you are loved and you are not alone. I promise it gets so much better.â€ť
Bullying had an unintended consequence: It made Colfer incredibly, â€śquick on his feet.â€ť His Speech and Debate teacher gave Chris advice that he took to heart. â€śIf you truly own who you are, no one can ever use that against you.â€ť In high school, Colfer excelled in speech and debate, was president of the Writerâ€™s Club and editor of the schoolâ€™s literary magazine.
Colfer had few acting credits â€“ theater roles in West Side Story and The Sound of Music and a starring role in a short film, Russel Fish: The Sausage and Eggs Incident â€“ when Gleeâ€™s creator, Ryan Murphy, designed the role of Kurt Hummel for him. Of the Hummel role, Colfer says that Kurt â€śputs on a very confidentâ€¦persona, but underneath it all, heâ€™s the same anxious and scared teen everyone is/was at some pointâ€¦Heâ€™s a tough guy in designer clothes.â€ť In the series, Colfer can show off his â€śhigh Fâ€ť â€“ F5 -- countertenor vocal range.
As one of the youngest television actors to come out and star in a hit television series, Chris Colfer knows triumph. Colferâ€™s Glee stint began in 2009, when he was just 19. He plays openly gay student, Kurt Hummel, in now the fourth season of the show. Ironically, Kurtâ€™s love interest the past two seasons is Darren Criss, a San Francisco native and ACT graduate, who is straight.
Chris Colferâ€™s greatest accomplishment in his 21 years: â€śinspiring kids to be yourself.â€ť