The 22-year-old actor may have made his name as being an outspoken high school student on Glee. But now, as the first film he wrote and stars in, Struck By Lightning, sets to debut online, he talks about death, blackmail, and very odd part-time jobs as the book version hits November 20.
Out: What made you want to make this movie?
Chris Colfer: In high school I was annoyed that everything targeted to the teenage audience was about sex and drugs. I wanted to write a film about those kids who are overachieving and underappreciated.
Are your character Carson’s battles based on your own?
Everything related to the writer’s club in the film is true. I was president of the writer’s club at my school, and it was not fun. Doing the literary magazine every year was like pulling teeth. At homecoming, our writer’s club homecoming float was so sad—there were all these huge theatrical structures, and our float was literally a poster on my dad’s old pick-up truck.
Carson tries to blackmail the popular kids into contributing to his literary mag. Did you?
I tried, but just didn’t have the balls. Part of Carson is who I wish I was in high school. He’s so witty and brave and says all the things I was too afraid to say.
Surprisingly, the flaming theater kid and the big girl in your movie don’t get bullied.
I wanted to make this movie as authentic as I could. At my high school, there were kids who were bullied and teased—I know I was—but there was never that “Carrie and the bucket of blood” moment.
The movie’s title gives away a major plot point. Have you had a near-death experience?
Not really. But for a time, I spent summers making funeral videos. That was my part-time job in high school: I would make videos about people who had died that they’d show at funerals. It was such a part of me that it never seemed morbid.
Struck By Lightning is available VOD and iTunes December 19. It opens in select theaters in January 2013