'Glee' star Chris Colfer discusses his new pilot for Disney and Kurt's return to McKinley -- EXCLUSIVE
It’s a good week to be Chris Colfer. Not only was the Glee star named one of Time‘s 100 Most Influential People, but the actor also made a deal with the Disney Channel for a pilot based on the children’s book, The Little Leftover Witch. It’s the actor’s second script deal; Colfer’s set to star in his own screenplay, the teen comedy Struck by Lightning, this summer once the Glee concert tour wraps. Did we mention that Colfer is only 20 years-old? In between a break on the set of Glee, EW talked to Colfer about his Disney pilot and what’s in store for Kurt and Blaine.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this Disney show come about?
CHRIS COLFER: My agent’s husband bought the rights to the book [Florence Laughlin’s The Little Leftover Witch]. They brought it to me and told me they were in talks with Disney and knew that I was a hidden writer and asked me to adapt it into a screenplay. I said, “Yeah, absolutely.” I got the book on a Friday night and I adapted the screenplay by Sunday night. I got so into it. I wrote like a 102 page screenplay in two days. The story was just so cute about this little witch that falls and gets lost on Halloween night and gets stuck with this family. I just totally fell in love with the story and the characters and then added a bunch of stuff and made it my own. Disney bought the screenplay and then asked me to develop it into a TV series.
How will you be involved in this? As an executive producer?
I’m not quite sure, because a lot of the negotiations are still up in the air. I’ll always be around it. I think I’ll write the pilot and then be a strong creative force behind it and kind of steer the show. I’ll kind of be a miniature Ryan Murphy — which is funny because people already refer to me by that.
So the show is about a witch who’s taken in a by a family?
Yes. It’s basically about a neglected witch [who] winds up crashing into this family’s life and the little daughter — her name is Lucy — finds a new best friend. They both fill a void in each other’s life. It’s like one of those “Oh, I finally found a best friend” kind of stories.
So is that what spoke to you about the material?
Oh yes, of course. I think everyone wishes for some kind of powerful, imaginary best friend to pop in when they’re younger and lonely. I mean, I certainly did. It’s just a cute story and anyone can relate to it.
This is your second script that’s been sold. Are you liking this side gig of being a screenwriter?
Absolutely. It’s something that I never ever talk about because I don’t want anyone to criticize me for it. But it’s amazing to create worlds and people. I think I’m just addicted to storytelling whether I’m writing it or I’m acting it out. I’m just a born storyteller.
You’ve been pretty vague on plot details of Struck by Lightning. Can you share anything more?
I’m trying to keep it a little bit secretive. It’s about all the kids in high school who are overachieving in their own right and underappreciated for it just like I was. I think it’s very sarcastic and very real. I hope it goes to show that there still lots and lots of smart kids out in the world. It’s about smart kids and not about stupid kids who wanna get laid and that’s their biggest goal in life. We’ve been having tons and tons of meetings with actors and people who wanna be part of it. It’s so crazy because I’ve had meetings with actors [who] I literally wrote the role for, that want to be in it and want to be part of it. It’s a trip!
So Kurt returns to McKinley next Tuesday on Glee. Is the rest of the season Kurt and Blaine trying to figure out how to be a couple?
They kind of just have to deal with more of a long-distance relationship. I mean, it’s not like they’ve got anyone else to cheat with. He’s around as much as he was before.
While Kurt was at Dalton, it was almost if you were on a separate show from your castmates. It must be so fun for you to be back with them.
It was weird coming back. It was weird. They even said, “It’s weird having you back.” I felt like Shelley Long returning to Cheers. While I was gone, they established all these personal jokes that I don’t know what they’re talking about. So I’ll be like, “Oh this one time at Dalton…” [Laughs.]