Podcast: Chris Colfer on his 'crazy' Emmy contest and 'terrifying' red carpets
"It just makes it all the more crazy!" "Glee" star Chris Colfer confesses in our podcast chat when I ask what he thinks when he hears Emmy pundits dish his chance to win best supporting comedy actor. "This is a race I never thought I would be a part of. Hearing people analyzing it and breaking it down by what episode I submitted, it's all very crazy and foreign to me. I feel like a wide-eyed deer in the headlights."
Colfer could make Emmy history if he wins the Emmy on Aug. 29, becoming the youngest actor ever to claim that category. He's only 20 years old. The current record holder is Woody Harrelson, who was 28 when he prevailed for "Cheers" in 1989. Next youngest is Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace"), who was 30 when he triumphed as best supporting comedy actor of 2000. (Thanks go to Chris "Boomer" Beachum for pointing out this nifty trivia.)
Meantime, Colfer may hold another Emmy age record: "I'm the first person born in the 1990s to be nominated and I think that's pretty cool," he notes — with caution. He was informed of that tidbit by a fan who tweeted him.
Whether Colfer wins or loses depends largely upon what episode of "Glee" he chose to give to Emmy judges. He picked wisely — "Laryngitis" — in which he performs the big, defiant anthem from "Gypsy" that helped three stars to win Tony Awards on Broadway (Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Patti LuPone). "I think I'm one of the only guys who's ever sung that song — publicly at least," he says. "I'm sure lots of us do it in the shower.
"I think that episode had the greatest range for my character," he adds. "Kurt decides to change who he is to please his dad (but then) he decides it isn't worth it. He can't be anyone but himself. He projects that into the song 'Rose's Turn.' "
Performing that number was "my favorite moment so far, personally, doing the show," he says. "It was just me and the crew late night. It's me and an empty stage.… When you're alone in a theater, there's something magical about it."
Colfer admits he's nervous about attending the Emmys. "Every red carpet I've ever gone to has been absolutely terrifying," he says. "From the minute you get out of the car, people are yelling your name constantly. It's like high school all over again except that they're not throwing things at you this time. They're just taking pictures. My heart is speeding for the first 10 minutes. It's very nerve-racking. I haven't gotten used to it."
Colfer tackles a range of topics in our podcast, including this whimsical question: What does he imagine will happen to his character Kurt in the future? How will his life turn out?
"I've always seen him being the editor in chief of Kurtin Magazine someday and, of course, 'Kurtin' would be spelled k-u-r-t-i-n. I personally see him as the next Anna Wintour — except even more scary. I just want to see him happy."
"Glee" producers say Kurt will get a love interest in season two. Does Colfer know more than that? "I have no idea who's it's going to be with," he replies. "We'll find out."
Are there any unresolved questions he'd like answered about his role on "Glee"?
"I'd really like to find out what happened to his mom exactly because that's the thing we never really touched on," he says. "I always try to play the dramatic scenes with that in the back of my mind. Everything was a little harder for him because he didn't have a mother. He lost his mother at such a young age."
Photo: Chris Colfer performing "Rose's Turn" in the "Laryngitis" episode of "Glee." (Fox TV)