Chris Colfer, the young actor playing cute Kurt Hummel in the TV music series Glee, says he hopes gay teens will be able to identify with his character.
In the second series of Glee, which has been commissioned by Fox, Kurt gets a boyfriend.
The 19-year-old actor was asked by Digital Spy whether he thought his gay character could help gay teenagers.
“I definitely hope so,” he said. “I decided to play him the way I do because there are a lot of over-the-top, flamboyant, loud characters like Kurt on TV.
“I grew up in a small conservative town so I didn’t know a lot of people like that, so that’s why I decided to play him that way. I have so many letters and messages and fan mail. People are relieved to see someone being honest with who they are.”
One very memorable scene for Hummel in Series 1 was when he had to teach the school football team how to dance to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.”
When Colfer was a high school senior, he wrote, directed and starred in a spoof of Sweeney Todd entitled Shirley Todd, in which all of the genders were reversed.
High school teachers once turned down Colfer’s request to sing “Defying Gravity” – from the musical Wicked – because it is traditionally performed by a woman. However, his grandmother, a minister, let him sing the song in her church.
This incident was later turned into a subplot for Glee.
The role of Kurt Hummel was Colfer’s first TV outing. Colfer has previously said that Hummel adopts a very confident, “I’m better than you” persona, but beneath this bravado he is just as anxious as many in his character’s position find themselves in. In some episodes, he goes through an identity crisis, accepting, and finding acceptance for, who he is.
The actor is openly gay and says his parents are accepting of him, although he was bullied at school.