Chris Colfer Interview in Mr. Porter

Sitting there with his Tintin quiff, all skinny and tall, digging into the chips and guac in an otherwise empty Mexican café in West Hollywood, Mr Chris Colfer looks perfectly calm on the face of it. But here’s the thing - he has no right to be. Because Mr Colfer has a lot more on his plate right now than tortilla chips.

"Yeah, by the end of next week - well, a bit after that - I have to write a novel," he says, in his trademark high-pitched voice. "I haven’t started yet. I’m not even joking."

He’s best known as the actor who plays Kurt Hummel, the gay countertenor inGlee, one of the most talked-about shows on television. When its creator Mr Ryan Murphy arranged for Kurt to be bullied at school, Mr Colfer’s portrayal was so rapturously received that he received a Golden Globe, was invited to the White House and declared one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. That’s the Mr Chris Colfer that people know.

And yet, it turns out, the 22 year old is also this insanely prolific writer.

"I’ve written one book already, it’s for children," he says. "The Land of Stories. Comes out this month. I’m also simultaneously writing the sequel which hopefully will come out next year.” During season one of Glee, he wrote a movie,Struck by Lightning, which he produced and starred in, alongside Ms Christina Hendricks, of Mad Men, among others. “It’s a dark comedy for teens. And I’ve written another movie, this time definitely R-rated about a 1930s asylum.

"Oh and my agent asked me to adapt this children’s book into a feature for Disney. I wrote that one in a weekend. Yeah - a 90-page screenplay in two days. It was insane."

A screenplay in two days? No wonder he’s not panicking about his novel. One might think that Glee was plenty of work on its own, what with all those song and dance numbers. But the truth is, life on set involves an awful lot of sitting around between scenes. “Whenever we were between scenes or takes, or if they were changing the lighting or whatever, I would just go sit somewhere and write,” he says. “My cast mates refer to it - lovingly of course - as ‘Chris’ Genius Corner’.”

Perhaps his next book ought to be about time management?

"I’ve actually just banged that one out while we’ve been talking," he grins. "I’ve been writing it under the table!"

It’s a frenzied work rate for a young man of 22, but Mr Colfer senses acutely that the clock is ticking.

"It’s the story of the ant and the grasshopper," he says. "The ant gathers food all summer while the grasshopper’s playing, and then the winter comes - Well, I’m the ant. I’m always afraid that winter is upon us."

By winter, he means the end of his celebrity, this glorious platform that Glee has afforded him. “Every actor has a shelf life,” he says. “Next year, I could go from being this spearhead of this huge movement, to the kid that used to be on Glee.” So all he’s doing is making hay. He’s seizing his moment - and who could deny that this is indeed Mr Colfer’s moment?

In a year in which gay issues were at the front of the national conversation - issues such as gay marriage, and the bullying of gay teenagers - Glee was arguably the gayest show on television, and Mr Colfer was playing arguably the gayest character on Glee. And all of a sudden, he was meeting the President. Was it a surprise, the way things played out?

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