Tuning in to TV: Coffer tries hand at screenwriting

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When “Glee” star Chris Colfer was 8, he began writing a novel. He wrote two pages, called it the first chapter and proudly showed it to his grandmother.

“She said, ‘OK, could use some development,’ ” laughed Mr. Colfer.

That memory was worked into his script for the movie “Struck by Lightning,” which premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Mr. Colfer wrote and stars in the movie. He plays Carson, an ambitious high school senior who blackmails his fellow students into helping him get into Northwestern University.

The 21-year-old actor came up with the idea for the story when he was a teen as a way to vent about his teachers and classmates.

Elise Testone, a 28-year-old teacher from Charleston, S.C., was eliminated from "American Idol" on Thursday. She had appeared in the bottom three six times this season. The "Idol" champion will be crowned May 23. (Fox via Associated Press)

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Elise Testone, a 28-year-old teacher from Charleston, S.C., was eliminated from “American ... more >

Allison Janney plays his mother, and Mr. Colfer said he always pictured her in the part.

“I always had her voice in my head for some reason. Always, always,” he said.

Miss Janney said she was unaware the part was written for her but loved it immediately.

“I was blown away by Chris‘ script,” she said. “The writing has always been the most important thing to me, and I had an instant connection to his script. The characters were funny and flawed, especially the part of his mother. Then I met with him and was completely charmed by him. … How can he be so talented and accomplished and charming and be so impossibly young? I can’t wait to see what’s next for him. Maybe directing?”

Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks and Sarah Hyland also star in the movie.

Mr. Colfer just finished a psychological drama he hopes to shoot independently this summer. He also adapted a pilot for the Disney Channel based on Florence Laughlin’s children’s book “The Little Leftover Witch.”

In addition, he has inked a deal to publish two children’s books. “The Land of Stories,” which will be in bookstores in July, is essentially the completion of that story he began writing when he was 8.

“It came from me being a young, curious kid holding a book in my hand and wishing with all my heart that I could just fall into the book and go on these adventures with all the characters,” he said.

Mr. Colfer said he told his parents when he was growing up that he was going to write and act, and he has made good on those bold declarations. His portrayal of gay teen Kurt Hummel on the Fox show “Glee” has earned him a Golden Globe and two Emmy nominations.

- Associated Press

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