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November 18, 2022 59 mins

And That’s What You REALLY Missed - The SNIXXMAS Special

Tickets here: And That’s What You REALLY Missed - The SNIXXMAS Special – Mandolin Box Office

We know him as Kurt Hummel…but what do we really know about Chris Colfer and how he became Kurt? More importantly, how did becoming Kurt affect Chris?!

Luckily for us (in case you haven’t guessed it yet) Chris joins Kevin and Jenna on the pod to discuss exactly those things and more! The impact of landing the role at 18, being forced to come out and the public response to all of it.

Plus…stories of auditions, canceling going to the Grammys to go on a date and he weighs in on Turkey Lurkey Time number ... did he like it or not?

There’s a lot to unpack here…better grab a snack!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hey everyone, Before we get to our very special episode
with Chris cole for we have an exciting announcement. Snakes
Miss is back, so please join us for a live
taping of and That's What You Really Missed live from
the I Heart Radio Theater in Los Angeles. We are
raising funds and awareness in loving memory of our friend
Naya Rivera to benefit Alexandria House. Celebrate the holidays with

us and keep the snakes Miss spirit alive. Join us
in person at the I Heart Radio Theater or watch
the live stream. Special guests, performances, unbelievable gleeful auction items,
and a live podcast. Here are the details. In person
event December six at seven pm from the I Heart
Radio Theater in Los Angeles. And for those of you
that can't join us in person, we are streaming the

event on December eight at five pm Pacific time, and
don't worry, we'll be watching right along with you and
chatting with you live. We will even have a virtual
meet and greet option. Tickets are available on box office
dot Mandolin dot com. We're placing the direct link to
the tickets on our Instagram bio and the notes of
this podcast episode. So go check it out and we'll

see you there. Mary Snicks miss and That's what you
Really missed with Jenna and Kevin and I Heart Radio podcast.
Welcome to and That's what You Really missed podcasts. I
am Jenna Schwitz, I'm Kevin McHale and today's a great day.
Today is a great day, Kevin, it is. We had

a really good conversation with one of our besties, Chris
call for Um. We talked about the beginnings of Glee
where we all were as children, and literally he was
a child eighteen years old. He was actually a hyeah.
Um no, it's a really he's just again like we're
going with the theme of like open and honest, and

I think people really appreciate hearing from him this way.
And um, you know, he's he's He's Chris. He'll always
be a little Chris to me, but he's all grown
up now and has nineteen running an empire. Yeah, okay, anyway,
let's get to it. Enjoy a conversation with Chris Colfort. Hi, Chris,
thank you for coming on here to talk to us. Yeah,

of course, love love love talking to you, guys. We
are we're grateful to have you here. Chris Coleford for
everybody listening. Um, and I'm excited to talk to you
today about ship we didn't we don't talk about normally,
like we know your audition, we know we know about
like how you got on the show. Like I want
to like dive deeper into like your experience, um, as

much as you're willing to share, um, because it was
so um unique and jarring in some ways, I'm sure
um and from the outside, you know, looking in and
being like a just kind of close to you, but
like I just can't imagine after all this time and
space away from the show, like you being able to

think about things and process them differently and like where
you're at and all those great things. So um, thanks
for coming on. Yeah, no, thanks for having me. Who
do I who do I send the bill to? Oh?
I mean wrong joke. I mean I meant like, this
is therapy and you can billing me any girls are
sent to Ryan Riffy Productions. Very good, Kevin, he seems

to be open to it. So um, well all right,
let's just jump in. Don't you think Jen and I
were talking about this. I think when you're young, you
just sort of like we all accepted, like we're all here,
we got hired and we're doing this thing. But as
now a grown ass man, I was thinking about because
you were the first person I met on the show,

because we auditioned together. But like you, we all had
some sort of like foot in the entertainment business prior
to this in some way, I mean varying degrees of success,
mostly not success. But you, like we lived in l
A or New York and you were driving down from
Clovis like you were very much you're auditioning for things right,

Like you did have an agent, Like how did how
did that happen? Like how did you get an agent
in l A and start like auditioning for things that
eventually led to Glee. Well, I grew up doing UM
Community Theater in Fresno slash Clovis, California. I was the
little boy in every show known to man UM and

a family friend saw one of the shows that I
was in, and UM happened to have another friend who
was an agent down here, and so he put us
in UH in touch uh and UM. So I started
auditioning for things when I was a freshman in high school.
I remember my first audition was for that so raven

um did not get it. Still still better, but so
I I auditioned for for four years, um and never
got anything. I got one call back prior to Glee.
Glee was was the first thing I booked, and I
booked it shortly after I graduated high school. Um. So
God blessed my parents for driving me back and forth

once a month. Yeah it was a big trip. It's
like a three and a half hour drive. Um. But
they just they were very supportive of me, and they
knew that there was nothing else I wanted to do.
Um and um, I didn't really have like a you know,
a raging social life, so they were probably glad I
was getting out of the house in some form. Um.
But yeah, so yeah, so Glee was the first thing

I ever got, so um yeah it was. It was
crazy because um, being so young and having no professional
experience whatsoever. Was it was. It was crazy to be
thrown into that that uh situation with all of you
guys who who you know you you know, you guys
were stars to me. I mean I mean we were.

And it was a spring awakening, like, oh my god,
I was. I was. I was fan girling constantly. Um.
But it was. Yeah. And then also just like moving
from clubs to l a so young, um by myself
because I was not going to let my parents move
move with me. That did you guys talk about them
moving with you? We talked about it. You told them.

I told them, this is not happening. Because I also
didn't want people to think that I had stage parents. Um.
And I also, you know, I was eighteen. I was like,
I want to be with my friends, and I had
all that that teenagings just so young though, But like
we spent every day together probably that whole pilot because
we were the ones that came from out of town. Yeah,

you're staying at the Plazza and we basically lived at
the Grove. Yeah. Yeah. I went to movies like every night,
and literally we went to Disneyland with Lily at one time.
That was fun, right, we did. We spent a lot
of time with the cheesecake factory. Oh my god, it's
a factory, to be fair. But Chris, did you always
want to be just an actor or like was like

the writing and all of this other amazing things that
you've done, like kind of in in the um in
the ether for you as well, or did that come later.
It all hit me at the same time when I
was a kid, because writing and acting were the same
thing to me, because there are just two different forms
of playing pretend essentially. Um. It was until I got

until later, when I was like, I want to say,
seven or eight, that I started realizing, Oh, like, these
are two very different things, Like you know there's something, Oh,
there's something called a script, Like the actors aren't just
making things up in there, you know, on camera on stage. Um,
but yeah, I know, so I've I've always wanted to
do both. Wow. I love that you had that realization
at seven or eight and cut to me at like fifteen,

realizing like, oh, that's a job people do, Like, oh
maybe I should try that. Yeah, You've always have been
more advanced than me. Chris wrote a pilot for Kurt.
He wrote his own spin off, and the four of
us would take like Me, Amber, Kevin, and Chris would
hang out and Chris send it I think to it

to us, and you know, just it was I was like, oh, wow,
like he's he's multi talented. Kids got it all. I
don't know if I was pretty that script, I don't know.
I think I think we read it in your apartment. UM,
oh my god, hopefully were there. Well, usually when we
were doing that, like we um were a little under

the influence of partying. Remember we called him Jack Knights
because Jenna Amber Chris Kevin, Oh my god, night little
did Chris no coming up that elevator at Fox that
he would be stuck with me for forever? I know?
Did you both audition for Reggie? We had the same side.

So the thing is we came up. I had made
a like an effort prely auditioning too. I had to
talk with myself like let me be just nice to everyone.
And I feel like this is a competition, like even
for the same role, Like everyone just trying to get
a job. It's hard. And this was the first audition
after my trying to exercise that nice auditioning thing. And

we get up in the elevator. It's Chris and I
and we check in and I helped Chris, not that
you need to help checking in, but like it's like, oh,
he's here too for the same thing. And so then
we go up another elevator together and like we're talking,
we're nervous, we're nice to each other. And then I
looked down at his sides and I see the exact
same we had already in regis sides to form like

one audition, and I was like, You've got to be
kidding me. I'm like, I've just been nice to this
kid for a kid I'm like a year and a
half older than him, and and I'm like yeah, I
was like can you And We're sitting there, like outside
the audition room, and I'm just like, keep it together,

be nice to him. He's very nice, like there's no
reason to not. And then you like, um, Robert or
the casting director comes up and starts talking to you
about some person named Kurt, and I'm just like a
care and I'm like what is happening? And I was
like trying to put together these pieces and I didn't
want to be overly nosi, so I wasn't trying to

ask Chris to any director. I mean real, You're like,
what's happening back there? Well? Yeah, I was like what's
going on? But I was like, in one breath, I
was like, oh, so he's not auditioning for Artie. Oh
this is great. We can be friends. Yeah, And then
also wait a second, the Regis is out and you're in, like,
why are you nervous? You know? Which would which would

not fly today? Let me tell you. Yeah, now a
lot of things wouldn't fly today, Chris. Yeah. Then them
getting rid of a rid of a character of color
to put to put my pasty acid that would not
fly at all. Several casting things would not have flown.
Both of you would have been would have been out.
It would have just been me standing. Yeah, I was progressive. Okay. Anyway, Um,

you know we hung out a lot before of us,
which was really really fun. Did you kind of fly back?
Oh no, you didn't, so, Jenny, you flew back to
New York. And Chris, when you found out you got
the part, did you just drive back to Clovis? Were
you driving back to Clovis? We were driving to my
aunt's house who she lived in Santa Barbara. Um. So
we were in the car on the way after I
think it's right after our final audition, um, either the

studio or the network auditions. UM. And we got the
call and oh my god, I remember my mom and
I just my mom had to pull over. We were screaming.
So it was just like he was. It was finally
and so it was so strange too, because that moment,
like I was, I knew it was a pilot. I
knew there was a chance that it wasn't going to go,
but but I just I think, just like my gut

was like, this is it, this is gonna be this,
this is happening. Um. And then I never really thought
twice about it ever, not getting picked up app really
I did the same thing. I It was when we
all watched thee at Leah's house. She like secretly was
that secretly she was supposed to be showing us or something,
and she had gotten that she had a yeah, And

I remember us than having a debate whether or not
we thought people would like it, And I remember that
was the first time that I had sort of approached
that question at all, because I was like, we had
a great time doing this. I like this show so sure.
I just didn't think that it was an option for
people not to also feel the same way we felt
about it. Then the very reality of that being an

option hadn't crossed my mind. It's like, oh no, I
don't want this like Summer Camp to end. Yeah. I
remember thinking like there it was a show about kids
just like me, and like thinking how much of an audience.
I think people were like, you know, we're worried if
it would have an audience or not. And I always
secretly saying myself, like, of course there's an audience, Like
every theater kid in the world is going to love

this show for sure. For sure, Christy, did you I
mean we can get into like closer to like preggers
when when that episode came out, But like in the pilot, um,
what were you what were you thinking was anything like
going through your head in terms of playing, um, a
gay character when you were not out to the world. So, uh,

my hometown has has come very far, um in the
last couple of decades. But when I was growing up there,
it was dangerous to be out. Um. Kids would get
beat up. On one occasion, someone got stabbed and on
their way to school. Um. So uh, being out and
proud was just it was not an option. Uh. And

so when I found out that they had written to
this character for me, I was I was thrilled, and
then anyone I finally got the script is when I
realized it was the gay character, and I was terrified. Um.
And I had a family member actually um, not not
my parents of course, but I had a family actually
asked me, are you going to do this? Like what?
You can't do this? Like you you can't play a

gay character like That's that would that would like like
that that would ruin your life essentially. Um and so,
but I I just wanted to get out and you know,
be part of the industry so badly. I I just
I knew, I I knew there was no there was
no option, um but um um And I also I
also I also knew that it would probably force me
to answer and ask questions that myself that I wasn't

quite ready to do. So um uh. And I'm just
actually kind of grateful for it in a way because
I think it kind of pushed me into to a
path of honesty with myself. Um. But um yeah, no,
I mean I was. I was absolutely terrified. And um
you know, back then it was like people told told
their clients, don't don't play characters because it'll ruin your career.

But again, I have been auditioning for so long and
never gotten anything that I did. There was no option
for me. I had to do it. As scary as
it was, did it feel like some sort of I
don't know, judgment on you that this character that you
knew they had written for you was gay and you
were not necessarily there with yourself yet like oh absolutely,
Like oh and I do I come off like I'm

like they just know already. Haven't talked to them about
this at all. Yeah, they they just assumed and they
were right. They're all like, I mean, I've always always
been very um well, I was much more feminate back then. Now,
you know, life is hard in me. Um, but um,
I started I started that show as Kimmy Schmidt. Now

I feel like I'm friend leewoods. Uh. But yeah, it
was and and it was, um, I mean it was.
I mean I was called a fag at every single
day in high school, um, every single day, like like
like it was. I couldn't hide it, you know. I
just I just wasn't ready to have that conversation with
myself for anyone I knew yet. Um. And so so

yeah I did it. Did It did kind of feel
like a judgment. It could kind of feel like, um,
I don't it's it's it's so weird because it's like
it's like the world has come so far and I've
come so far. It's it's so hard to go back
and remember exactly how I felt in that moment. But
I think it was just I was just so happy
to finally get a job and and have an opportunity

to do what I wanted to do. I believe that's
really all I was really focused on at that age.
You're like, yeah, whatever they want me to do, I'm
just going to do it. Yeah. Yeah, I like me
have to hire me in the first place. Yeah. Do
you remember when we say, like, oh, do it for free? Yeah? Yeah, literally,
like we were to get hired. Are you kidding me?
Like no, we had the best time. I mean we

were having like the best time in the world in
those beginning times. Like that was such a special um
a couple of like years of like you know, our
our lives. But I remember you so vividly in that time,
like so like you were so excited that I was
part of Spring Awakening, and it kind of like gave

me a different look outlook on like what I was
doing and Broadway at the time too, because I had
just been so wrapped up in Broadway too with Leah.
But like you came in from you know, this small town,
like oh my god, she's been on Broadway and that
was really cool for me. Um. But also it's just
like this sweet, sweet young boy who like is going

to be thrust into the the arms of some crazy
old grandma. That's kind of rap your eyes out and know,
I just you know, and I felt protective of you
in many ways just because of that. And I think
we all did something. Yeah, I was. I was definitely
the baby brother of the group for sure. When did

we all start hanging out like that, like when we
would go to each other's houses. Was that when we
came back to do Showmance, Yes, because I moved into
the park Libreya y scary elevator that used to drop
like five I just remember every the first image that

comes to my mind. We talked about the places Amber
leaning outside of the window cigarette and I was like,
she can't smoke a cigarette her voice and she's like yeah,
and she's like it's fine, and it's like if the
wind were so high up and I was like, these
guys are crazy, jenuine we need to spring awakening. Because

this was the first like moment. I mean, it was
the first show I've ever been on like this, and
it was the first moment I had ever been part
of a cast, and so that was that was this,
how this happened was all I knew that we were
all bonding, we were all it was just like we
were friends. There was no job involved. It was Spring
Awakening like that, Like were you used to this or

was this even more intense because you had to move somewhere?
And it was more intense because I had to move somewhere.
And I think that's like Chris and I really clung
to each other and we drive to work every day
together just because like you know, they're everybody else had
their own lives going on outside of Glee, but like
we moved into l A, and l A was Glee
for us so um. But but being in Spring Awakening

because the casts were so young, like you were very
close and there was lots of you know, Drew drama
and lots of like you know, I don't know, interloping,
whatever you want to call it, but like we were
just you know, it was very intertwined. But this was
even more um just because the sheer size of what
it was. And then also like living in our bubble

of like um because I wasn't a part of the
original cast spring making either, So I didn't experience that like, um,
intense pressure and all the press and all the things
that they were doing. Um, I kind of came afterwards.
So you got it on this one though. Yeah, we

were all such a tight unit, as we keep saying.
But did you have that in high school or is
this like your core group of friends like this and
then you leave and then all of a sudden you
have another core group of friends or was this sort
of this was our college so it was this sort
of like the first time that we were I don't
know if we you want to say this, but like
drinking and partying and hanging out with one another being young. Yeah, absolutely, yeah,

no I UMU was such a goodie two shoes. I
never um, I never went to those parties. I also
was never invited. Um they didn't know they were missing. Yeah, yeah, no,
they didn't want my European History Fund facts. Um we
did you guys? Did you guys? Did um? I? Um?

You know, I actually I really did not have a
core group of friends when I was growing up. Um,
maybe a little bit when I was when I was
younger and I was doing like the shows in community theater,
but but not not in high school for sure, definitely not. Um.
I would like I would spend I would eat lunch
with the lunch ladies because I thought they were they
were great. Um. And I was very close with the teachers, um,

and would spend you know, breaks and lunches in their
classrooms and stuff. But I know, you guys are really
my first my first core group of friends or my
own age. Sorry. Yeah, just like and that that that
explains a lot about me. The imprint we made, the
residual trauma. Right, um, let's let's talk about um night terror. Sorry,

that's also learning about Chris's night terrors. Wake up? Yeah,
I still do that? Do you really not to laugh
at it? I just had. We were like, we don't
have sleepovers every weekend all the time, and I just
remember Chris waking up screaming and I and I woke

up like, oh my god, is he okay? And it
happened every time, and then I started to get used
to it. But it's like, you're okay, okay, it's just
the yeager, don't worry. Oh I got a blushing so hard.
Oh it's so funny. Oh. We also do you remember,

like during that time, you and I started to talk
on aim I am for us elderly people. Oh my god.
And that was also like such a good way back
then too. I think, like being a young gay kid,
like chat rooms were a big thing to like find people,
and no one would no one knows you. It's fine.

The kids at school aren't going to find out, hopefully,
And you and I sort of confided in each other.
I don't know how early that happened either, but I
remember pretty early. It was pretty early. I remember in
my first apartment, um, we didn't have a washer dryer,
and oh my god, I was going to bring that
up earlier. Oh my god. Chris and I were an

apartment hunting um together, right, We were looking for apartments
and Chris, Chris is like one non negotiable was a
washer and dryer inside the apartment, which I respect, in
the unit I respect. I'd be like, Chris, but what
about this one? This location is so good to be
like this, why you're trying? But how I was like

at the time, like the idea of like a laundry
Matt was just like the scariest thing. Oh yeah, and
it's still scarest me. You're from suburbia like you gotta
have that washing entire suburbia. Yeah. I had only learned
the year before, so I I am with you. I
also my first job was at a dry cleaner, so

that that, yeah, that had something to do with it too,
makes sense. And sorry, I we digress. What were we
talking about? Um? Oh? Yeah, I started talking? Yeah? Did
you did you know? You both knew that you guys
were gay, but you didn't like Chris was more out.
I don't think the show, but like Kevin was a
little bit later than than that, well outside of our

core group, yes, but like us, I don't I don't
know if you named it. It wasn't like we were
like you gay, you gay. It wasn't that. It was
just like an understanding. Oh. It was just like talking
about oh yeah, I I I think I like boys,
or I've hooked up with a guy before, and just
sort of like the exchange of information of our experience levels.

It was. It was yeah. And also I felt like
because I had one of my best friends in high school,
she and I sort of like came out to each
other senior year, and so I had at least one
person I could tell everything too in that way, which
was like a huge relief, like a huge asset. And
I just remember, like you, I'm like, I if he

wants to talk about talk about this, if he is
gay or maybe he's not. I just wanted to put
myself out there in a way that you knew because
it was scary to tell people. And I came from
a world and I was like, I'm never telling anyone ever,
Like that's just not gonna happen. And but I was like,
I feel like we need to have some sort of
like trust within each other, and if he needs to

talk to somebody, like I would be so happy to
be the person. But and the four of us got
together and we were all just whatever. We talked about
everything well. I mean, I had a crush on Kevin
earlier on and Chris like found out about it, and
he put a printed photo of Kevin in my drawer

and I completely forgot about that and it was a
printed photo of Kevin and my underwear drawer. I remember that.
Thank you Chris again again A little brother, little brother.
Remember when we spent that we had to sleep over
at your house, Jenna, and I remember you calling me like,
look at this picture. It's like you were like we're
giving like tiger faces or something. Anyway. I okay, so

let's talk about let's I'm curious because this also kind
of ties into my next question of like Chris, when
when Pragers was coming out and we were doing single
Ladies and this was like the real episode that like
this beautiful episode with you and Michaelmalley, um, where Kurt
comes out, Like I feel like we were all kind
of like is he ready for this? Does he? You know,

like how does he feel? But I don't know that
we ever like actually asked you that, like what were
you feeling and like did you feel supported at the time?
And like could were you prepared? You know? If I'm
completely honest, there there you guys aside there there really
wasn't much support for for for um uh young gay

people back then. Um. I think it's it's it's like
I think the whole thing with the what's his name?
From Heartbreakers show that that thing that just happened right now, Yeah,
that absolutely broke my heart because essentially the same thing
happened to me. Um but in fifteen years ago, and
were we were the same age immediately when that happened,

when yeah, and I really wanted to, you know, tweet
something in support of him. But I asked to just
I don't want to be like, you know, the old
guy trying to get attention, you know, trying to take
someone and be like, oh, I don't know now, I'm
sure you would have appreciated. It's also such a specific
thing to experience that you may be one of the
only other people that can't actually to r and it's like,

you know, I I think coming out is I highly recommended.
I think it's one of the best things I've ever done. Um.
I highly I highly encourage everyone to come out when
they are ready. UM. But to force someone to come out,
especially publicly, that you know, unfortunately that when when you
come out publicly, it does put your career and your

safety at risk. I wish, I wish that wasn't the case.
But there's still a lot of homophobia in this world,
and there's still a lot of homophobia in this industry. Um. Again,
I I can't emphasize enough how much I I think
coming out is the best thing you could possibly do
for yourself, so you get to have that freedom. Uh.
But UM, for anyone to to push someone into that,

I think that is just one of the cruelest things
you could you could possibly do. Um. So, but one
silver lining that I that I saw from from that
was how much support. Uh. People were furious that it
happened to him people, you know, And I think that's
proof like how far the community, how far the community
has come, because when it happened to me, it was

it was very much like I deserved it. It was
crickets and it was I deserved it. Um, Like you
know what you signed for, right, I know, it's what
I signed up for. Um. It was obvious. So therefore
therefore I had no reason to be upset about it.
That's a big thing. I think that was. Yeah, that's
a huge putting that on you, that it was obvious

and it was obvious. And the thing is I at
the time, I like, I wasn't ashamed of it at all.
I I very much knew that. I just you know,
I wanted to be on a boat before I called
myself a sailor. You know, I didn't want to label myself.
I didn't know because I didn't have the experiences to
know for sure yet. Um. And uh, yeah, so so

there was there was that there was very little support.
I would say back then, and that that was that
made it a very very lonely experience. I mean, I
remember I was even dirinkly. I would I would get
you know, I would get called a faggot at auditions,
um by casting directors and producers and directors and um.
And like when I would tell people those stories, they
would they would just say like, well, what do you

expect You're you're an openly gay actor in Hollywood? What
do you expect? You know? And now now I feel
like if if that sort of like that was was
ever leaked, you know, people would career, people would bring pitchforks.
You know, you know, it's totally curious. Um so um. Yeah,
so sorry, that's a long, long winded answer. You say
there wasn't much There wasn't much support back then. I
feel like I remember too, like and correct me if

I'm wrong. Like you, I feel like there was a
moment to like the show had been airing, and I
feel like you went on a talk show or something
and somebody and I don't remember, like I don't know
if it was like Chelsea Handler or something where yeah yeah,
and she just like I was like, oh, so you're gay,
and and I remember after that something felt different or

something felt weird in the sense of like he hasn't
said that publicly and like she's taking it based off
of the character, and no, actually she we we planned that,
did you like? I I That's one of the reasons
why I went on her shows because I remember watching
it and being like scared and concerned. Yeah, because what
happened was I during the first round of press for

the first season, UM, I did an interview with UM
with a with a publication, I'll say a publication, UM
and uh. They asked me questions that the character about
the show, not not one same question about me. And
the article that was published was was it was It
was basically like you know, oh, you know Chris coover
this out and proud young kid, and I was and

I was like, I was like eighteen, and you know,
I hadn't even had the conversation with my parents or myself,
you know, So it was it was just terrifying and
and UM and I was devastated because it was just
I just I wasn't ready. I was not ready to
to to go there. And then UM and I was
I was also afraid that UM, because I was so
different from my character, Like the more similarities that that

were presented between me and my character, the less of
an actor people would think that I was, and that
that that was also a fear that I had, UM
and so and so then I did another interview where
they they flat out asked me and I said, oh,
I just want to I I think I said, I
want to keep some mystery, you know. And then people
were furious with me. Um, like all the blogs they

were like, well, we you know, how dare you? Like?
How you know all this all that, like, I mean,
just awful awful things to say to an eighteen year
old um for you know not you know. Um, it was,
it was. It was a awful awful week. Um. And
so I I told my team, I was like, I
just want to I would rather read the unicorn than
the elephant in the room, right, So I I just

need I need to, I need to clarify it. Um
and uh and I did and UM it was terrifying,
but um terrifying and in a bit of a nightmare.
But then once all the press stuff started dying down
and I started doing the letters from kids around the
world and the messages and you know, from kids from Egypt.
You know that that that that legally could not come out,

you know, things like that. That's when it was all
it was all worth it, worth worth it for me, right. Yeah.
I was gonna say, like, it feels like amongst all
the the things you didn't ask for, um, part of
it is like I don't know that you could have
ever projected, like we could have ever seen what kind

of an icon Kurt and Chris became in the media
as well as one of the first you know, gay
men out, and then we see the first gate you
know kiss and and just all of these things that
were happening on this massive show that millions of people watching.
That there was like this massive responsibility thrust upon you
at eighteen years old, that you had just been brought

out um again, not against your world, you know, before
you were ready and then I wasn't right yet. Yeah,
and then this massive responsibility as well, like did that
feel like did you feel pressure? Did you feel like
those letters kind of got you through? Oh? Absolutely? And
and and there were so many really truly horrifying experiences

that I that I went through at that time, UM,
And I never vocalized them because because because of that responsibility.
I feel like I had a responsibility to be almost
more of a it sounds so, you know, I was
very pretentious when I was eighteen, looking back, right right,

looking back now, I'm like, okay, he was, he needed
to calm down. Um, but no, I feel like I
had this responsibility to sort of, um live the fans,
to be to live the fantasy that the show was creating,
and and and to only h to only have positivity
surrounding me so so to other kids and other you know,
adults even wouldn't be afraid to come out. Um. So

there was a lot that I internalized at that time.
I'm sure I'll do a book about it someday. I'm
sure you will, Chris, Yeah, I'm sorry. Well, I mean
I might also will throw one of those through, one
of those into the collection to the collection of a
hundred yeah, uh yeah, yeah, so yeah absolutely. And sometimes
sometimes the pressure was suffocating. Um. And it was you know,

getting getting death threats constantly, and then and then having
to put on a smile and and and and you know, uh,
you know, I I had I had horrible agoraphobia for
for a while because I was too afraid to leave
the house, yeah, um to go with you though somewhere
like people were also as much they love another level,
but they were very like when we went in public places,

the response to us was one thing. The response to
you was very physical. People people would come on you,
would grab me you and touch you, and it was
like you were probably the most introverted like out of
all of us. And maybe it was because with the responsibility,
maybe you were just treating yeah where it was I've
had to explain to a lot of people over the

years where the response like to your daily life, You're
going grocery shopping, know, you had to stop because everything
everywhere you went, you were so recognizable and people had
such a passionate and strong response to you. It was
like unlike anything I had ever seen. And I don't
think it was like a switch. I remember we went
to Disneyland or something like that, all of a sudden

people were treating you very differently. And maybe it was
after preggers where there was this new sense of ownership
over you, but no one knew you, and it was like, well,
this is our friend, like back off, yeah, yeah, oh,
I guess you're so sweet. Thank you, thank you, thank
you for saying all that it makes me feel so
you guys are so sweet for saying all these But yeah,
I remember we were in Australia when um we're in

Australia when Preggers aired, and I remember I remember leaving
for Australia, like when we came back life life was
we got off that. Yeah, we got off that plane
and then it was I think for like a lot
of us, because it was like the second or third
episode that you know I started airing and the audience
started building and building, and yeah, I remember that was
just strange. It's like we went to a different world
when we came back to a different world. Yes, we

went to our first gate club. Sorry, oh my god,
we know, I climbed the spider whip and they announced
that you guys were there, right. That was in Arizona.
But we were in Australia and it was our last
night and we were going out and like Chris and
I were the last two remaining, and we each had
like a boy we were sort of like interested in.
And then our boys went home together. We got to

the class. So then we then Kevin I went back
to the hotel. They're our jails I'm like, what do
we do? What we do was because I climbed the
spiderwhib speaking of because the two of you guys had
like this little kind of knowing relationship. Um, we were curious, Chris,

like because Kevin didn't have to come out because he
wasn't outed, because people didn't really assume um because already
wasn't Like what did that? Did you feel angry at all,
like at that or resemble at all? Oh? Absolutely absolutely,
if if I'm being completely honest, absolutely, I mean more
so more sort just towards the situation, not not not

you personally, Kevin, but which was like the yeah, yeah,
I'm sure you deserved it to um, but no, because
I at the time, I feel like like the people
listening to have a drinking game every time I say,
at the time, take a shot. But at the time
they were sort of like this like underground gay world
in the industry, UM that I just didn't get to

participate in. UM like yeah yeah. And I feel like
Kevin like got to see people, got to date people
who were also closeted, where like I would go somewhere
and like I would be pulled out of photos by
publicists and agents because they did not want their clients
taking a photo with me because they did not want
like us to start and so so it that that

was really that was way tough. But um, I mean,
I like, I didn't I didn't go on my first
date until I was twenty um um. And I remember
actually I missed the Grammys to go on my first date.
Um yeah, yeah. I got asked out and he was like,
what are you doing Sunday? And I opened my calendar,
said Grammys and I said nothing, I'm free. But because

I was just so desperate, Yeah, what's another award show? Yeah,
we weren't. We didn't win anyway, we didn't win anyway,
and and Cord got to go in my place and
I was like, yeah, that's that's that's good, you know.
So um uh so yeah that was that. That really
was just it's just why I mean, it's I think
it's way different now. Um. I remember that too, because
I remember because we were so close and all of

a sudden when all that stuff started happening to you,
everything you just explained, which I didn't know as in
depth then where it was sort of like the first
little riff or riff or like distance I felt out
of any of us, and I was like, oh no,
I'm like, I hope he's not mad at me. I
don't know what I did. And I remember talking into
Amber and pulling her aside, and she explained it to me,

and I was like, oh, well that makes a lot
of sense. And I was like, say something. She's like,
just give him time, Just give him like he's going
through a lot. And I was so thankful that she
was just so honest and open because we were like that,
and I I didn't want anything to get in between us,
like our core friendship, because at that like that was

the most important thing to me that was coming out
of this show or in the experience. And so I
do remember um sort of like walking on eggshells around
you for like a couple of months, but your life
had completely been upended and mine was relatively the exact same,
and so I think I knew that I needed to

just give you space because I was representative of the
thing you were not able to have a different sort
of way of living at that moment. But I also
envied you in a lot of ways because I I
didn't know how or if I ever would do that,
and I was like, Oh, at least he's sort of
like you said, it's pushed you to have to reconcile

with yourself and reconcile with what that um meant maybe
publicly going forward, and so there was a part of me.
But I think honestly, once I saw all this ship
you had to go through, I was like, and we're
gonna step that back down. No one's going to know that. Yeah,
it looks like a picnic and Chernobyl. Yeah, so the

only time I will make out with someone is halfway
around the world in Australia. Yep. That's oh my gosh.
I was and I there was a point where Kevin
even knew, like there was something about it that I
was like, is he ever going to come out? And
you're like, and somebody said, he doesn't have to announce it,
he doesn't have to you. You're like, you're totally right.
We just live in this media bubble where like everything
has to be announced and you know, presented in some way.

But it was more like, I just wanted you to
be honest with yourself enough to be open with other people,
and and that came with time obviously, But you know,
we're all just so involved with each other's lives at
that point that you're like constantly thinking about all that.
There was also some pushback or at the top some
of the executives um that worked on our show. I

won't name names, but there were there was There were
like two schools of thought. One person was very much
what are you doing? You need to come out, because
at some point, I think at the end of the
first season, we were all like at upfronts or something,
and I drunkenly came out to everyone and one of
them was very would give me ship regularly afterwards, like

you you need to come out. This is like you
can't live like this, this is a lie. And I'm
like I'm fine, I'm sort of um. And then that
he was just like, well, yeah, we're taught to sort
of fetishize the secret nous of it all. And I
was like, oh, okay, let me try to wrap my
head around that. And then there was also somebody else
was like, oh, you can never come out, you need

to do that, don't ever do it. Yeah. Yeah, And
so I was very much battling those two camps the
whole time as well, and I was like, I'm just
gonna ignore it and pretend nothing's happening. Did you have
anyone say anything to you Chris, Like, oh yeah, I had.
I had many people tell me tell me, um, uh,
never never say it. Just just be a mystery. And

I never say it even even even if people know,
just just you know, you're you're. You're more likely to
get casts and things if you don't say it than
if you do. Um, you're you know. Um. I had
someone say, um, you need you need, you need to
have a fake girlfriend, find a fake girlfriend, which okay, yeah,
people were going to believe that, um general my fat girlfriend.

So yeah, I remember, Yeah, that was Those are fun though,
those those are kind of those are fun days. Um,
my past with gay men, it's you invented being gay.
You supported the community. Jendaye, I am a gay man. Okay,
that's true. Let's talk aboutly for a second. Um, like

Curtain Burt became such this iconic duo. Um, what was
it like working with Mike and was he like what
was he like for you? And in terms of like
support for like on set and all of that, and
can you talk about a dream A wonderful absolutely wonderful.

I loved love working with him loved every single thing
we did. Um. I think I think that is. I
think that relationship is. Um. You know, the curtain blame
thing took off pretty became pretty big, but um, I
always think the curtain Burt thing was a little more
um yeah important. Um And like, UM, I would be
you know a few times I would go to the

grocery store, like I have grown straight men walk up
to me in tears and tell me how much it
meant to them, you know, because it was like they
put themselves in that situation. They asked themselves, would I
support my child if you know, if they were if
they were gay. Um. So, so yeah, that was I think,
I think and I think it was. I think I do.
I think it was. Um, one of the best parts

of the show. It was, was that relationship great. I
think it was the heart of like that was sort
of the foundation of There was a singing in the
comedy and high school relationships, but that was the most
I think thought through and make meaningful relationship in the
entire series. Yeah. And I remember when I got that script,
when I got Greggors and I read, you know at
the very end, um that the dad accepts him. I

was furious. I was like, no, this is supposed to
be Miami moment, Like, this is supposed to be the
you know when I get to cry and scream and
get kicked out, and I was like, what are they doing?
What's wrong with them? You got to cry? Other times
I cried. You were so good at it. It gave
me a confixt you know it. I'm sure that comes

with me at the Night Terrors too. It's a those
were pretty um those scenes within though too and Curtain
like so powerful, so good, yeah, really really good. When
I feel like those like those scenes took with with
Burton and Finn, like they were so real, they were
so authentic, and and I kind of made me almost

resent the stuff with Curtain Blaine, because it was kind
of all fairy tale, you know, it was all like fantasy.
It was all like you know, you know, you know,
you know, young gay people go through quite a lot
in high school, you know, finding a soul mate, uh at,
you know, fifteen probably isn't experienced many people can resonate with.
So um. I really missed all that that stuff, the
more authentic stuff. That's really interesting that that makes like

a lot of sense when when you say it now,
Like I'm I'm like, oh, okay, yeah, you're right, Like what,
we didn't get to work with you and Blaine like
a whole ton, or like you and Darren like a ton.
We were around you guys, but like you know, you're
you're big numbers, and things were kind of off on.
We were not in the story on their own, and yeah,

I wish I were in the story Lane, but but
they but you guys did have like the proposal and
the things. It was always so massive and maybe that
was just in like in Ryan's mind, like what he
wished he had her, you know what I mean, just
like large kind of bigger than life stories. But that
makes a lot of sense. Well, it's like they're both

fulfilling like different fantasies. Yes, having the dad that you
want to have and then having the great love in
high school. I guess you never get yeah yeah, because
you know, yeah, yeah, how many books have you I'm honestly,
I'm just floored by it, I really am. I'm just
I've knew, always known you were a writer to be

a bestseller, to write and whenever we text Chris or like,
we'll be like, hey, we're doing this and he's like
I'm writing and you're like, Okay, bye, see you in
a moment. Yeah. But I'm like when he's like out
of his writing cave because then like I'll see him
out on the town. Yeah. But it was like we're

going to see him every weekend. Yeah, it's the Land
of Stories. Though. Congrats it's ten years, right, ten years.
How many books have you written now? I am. I'm
currently writing book number nineteen. Oh my insanee. Oh god,
that's absolutely insane. You're a maniac. I love it. I

also wrote a movie in like years three two or
three of Glee. Yes, yes, like Lightning. Remember when you're writing,
when you're writing the first book and you were just
like we were all there talking ship, talking about things
that does not matter, and you're like when when did

those stories come to you? And when did you decide
you were going to write them. I just want to
talk about it for a second because it deserves so.
The main characters, Alex and Connor, have have been my
imaginary best friends since I was as for as long
as I can remember. My mom used to read me
fairy Tale before I would go to bed that night,
and I would always have these crazy questions about the
characters and the kingdoms and the motives and whatnot. And

she got so tired of answering these questions for me.
One night she said, Christopher, you're so if you're so inquisitive,
why don't you just write your own down fairy tale?
Um and so I started and um, and it was
really wonderful because, um, my sister got very very sick.
But when when I was young, UM, and so I
used the Land of Stories as as an escape whenever,
like she would, you know, have a grandma seizure or

you know, an epileptic fit or or something, I would
just I would just get up my pad paper and
start drawing pictures of the Land of Stories or start
writing you a little stories about land stories. So it really, really,
uh was a very very therapeutic tool. And then years later,
going back to what we were just talking to talk
about earlier, when all that stuff was happening, UM, and

I was, you know, I had all the pressure about
being out and whatnot, I suddenly like found myself thinking
about land stories again and again. And so it's really
land Stories has always saved me twice um in my life. UM.
And then um, everyone wanted me to do an autobiography,
and I was like, absolutely not, I'm nineteen, that is

horrible idea. Um. So I was like, what I'd love
to do a children's book, and and so luckily I
found the right right publisher. Wow. Wow, that's I've been
working with them ever since. Yeah, broke amazing, Yeah, exactly amazing. Um. Sorry,
I'm just I'm just blown away. Its book nineteen and really,
how many have been published? How many you're out? Yeah,

I'm just like shocked at like how I've known you
for this long and I don't even I can barely
get my shoes on in the morning. And he's written
nineteen books. Oh I do a bare Okay, good, Okay,
that makes yourself. You've made a human. That's pretty impressive.
You've made a human with your body. Fair enough, fair enough,
fair enough. I have nothing to show, only two fine months. No,

that's it. She'll take care of you when you're older.
These books aren't gonna do ship for me. I don't
know the check. Yeah, do you have any Glee favorites?
Favorite song do you have? Do you have a favorite
song that we did? Um? Or I'm more just in
what you hated the most? What I hate? Oh my god,

what what was your least favorite song to do? Least favorite? Um?
Oh my god, I think Umbrella was rough. Oh that
was just the water And I was really upset at that,
you know, yeah, and we're all just like ruining. Um,

I think, um whatever that number we did? And oh no,
I hated Ben when I had been Michael Jackson episode
cut didn't it? God? I hope so maybe didn't. I
was like, of all the songs in his catalog, this
is the one, this is the one that I and
I had to sing to my my my lover who
was in a hospital. Bit like top I can't it

was it was about a rat. I mean, I gotta
I gotta say Turkey Lurkey really is up. Oh that
made me so angry. I had worked for years to
get a Scissor Sister song on that show, and then
they matched up with so you're the one that's been
sending Ryan hate mail for that song. There's like there's
like uproar about about when that member. Hands are just

really upset about that. That it was And then I
had to go back because because because the Scissor Sisters
were my friends, Jake and On and I had to
go back and apologize because I was just I was devastated. Um,
I think I think I think the worst one of
all time was was Thriller? Right? That was? That was
the Everyone hates that one the most. It It took

a month to shoot because we kept they kept canceling
the night shoot. It was the worst to shoot. It was.
And I mean, while I wasn't even and I was
warm in my trailer watching the parent traffic Roman Dott
shut up. Really I wasn't. I wasn't because Mike Kurt
wasn't at McKinley at that time. I was. I was
see what happens when you suggest songs? A lot of

times it backfired because it didn't happen the way you
wanted it to. That's right. I was so desperate from
Michael Jackson and then three hours of prosthetic makeup and
bronchitis and the flu, yeah, pneumonia and yeaheen degrees like,
oh never mind, I take it back. We're recapping UM
Showmance soon and um we got that's a great episode.

It's an excellent episode. I think it's better than the pilot.
Oh wow, eight doesen. I watched it last time. I
was like, oh my god, but push it. Oh my god.
I was laughing, and I was like, this still laps.
This is really funny. It's really really funny. We all go,
We all really got into it, and we as the
things we had to do to each other in that number. Yeah,

we did. We got close real quick. Wasn't there like
didn't we have to learn like five different versions of it?
That was really I thought that was don't stop. There
were stop. There were five different versions and push it.
There were varying degrees of like sluttiness right right right right,
and they kept it all. We did the most extreme version.
Do you remember when we showed We had to rehearse

it for the crew that morning, Like we had been
sitting with this number for like three or four weeks,
and then we get in there and I just remember
sweet Andrew Mitchell's face were like looking out at everyone,
and it's very early in the morning, and then all
of a sudden, we're all humping each other. It's basically
like the audience's reaction to it was like because there

was a pilot, you know, there was nothing, there was
nothing that was like vulgar or really like in this
which is full full. Yeah. Do you remember do you
remember the claw hands that you kept having on your
your pants smallpants? That's what I swamp swampants. Okay, so
everybody can start watching the show now for my swamp hands,

which I still I still do. There's something about the
way that my my limbs and my um my joints
go that like, this is really comfortable. I even sleep
like this. It's the game man in you cons and
wrist break the swamp hands. Um. I still also um.

Before we let you go, we have to talk about
your Golden Globe win for a second, because right this
was one of the best moments of my life. Oh gosh.
We sat there and we're at the table with you
and they and they're like the winner is and they
call your name and I saw and I'll never forget it.

The color leave your same. Yeah, And there wasn't much
he was trying. You were translucent. You turned into Casper, right, absolutely,
I will never I was flush. We were like, Chris,
you have to go up. Yeah. Yeah. Someone I think
it was either Diana or actually had to pull me up.

I feel like both of them did. And we're screaming
while screaming at that table. You can watch it on YouTube,
but I don't even I don't even remember. I don't
remember that, Like I I I literally left my body
and I just I just gone through something similar at
the Emmy's. We're going up the Emmy's. Every like award
prediction said I was going to win the Emmy and

then I didn't. And then the Golden Globes. Every word
thing said that, um uh eric Ston Street was gonna
win the Golden Globe and then he didn't. I once,
So I was just it was I had my biggest
thing going into that work show was like how can
I drink the champagne without being caught on camera? Because
that was to eat we were we didn't chocolate, some

champagne on the table and that was it right right.
And I was twenty at the time, and I was
like I just want I want some champagne like everyone else,
you know. And so I was like timing it like, Okay,
my category is coming up. As soon as it's over,
I can start drinking the champagne, keeping on the cameras
and then, um, I'm sure people are handing your champagne
after you won. Oh yeah, yeah they were. Um in
your acceptance speech also, which I don't I think we

were all crying and screaming and blacking out as well.
But you said, screwed the kids, screwed that kids, screw
that kids. Um, yeah, I'm amazing. I mean what, thanks,
I don't want I don't know where that came from,
all right, thank god, thank god. I had like speech
and debate training in high school, but that I have
no idea where it came from. But um, it's great.

It was really great. I remember looking back. I remember
I like I flugged a line that I was trying
to say where I meant to I meant to say
something like, UM, like I owe this to you guys,
but I was thinking I owe this to you guys,
and you deserve this as much as I do. And
I think I said, like you owe this too. Oh wait, no,

I mean you deserve I look at that, like, oh
my god, thank god, no one, thank god, people knew
what I was trying say. Yeah, you would owe me,
Like I feel like that that was a good one.
I'm not being so worried to going up there. I
don't know why. Of course, you had something like you

know you're gonna say something great. Yeah, you always were
eight steps very quick. But I remember, I'm glad I
didn't shoot my pants walking up there. That's what I
was scared of. I was like, what is he going
to say? I've never seen any of my friends went
an award before, Like, what the hell is going to happen? Yeah,
I'm really glad the globes are coming back because that
means my award isn't canceled. And oh my god, that's right,

Chris were We're so lucky that you you came on
to chat with us. Honestly, I know we bug you
for a million things and like you're always games, so
we really appreciate it. Oh, I love you guys. Thank you.
Guys always had my back and of course thank you.
Thank you for giving me a safe space to talk
about stuff. Now we appreciate it. Yeah, if you wake

up with night terrors, with any more trauma, you can
come back on and just air it and imagine like
a fainting goat. Like night terrors is a good good
good title for podcast is should we start one? Horror?
Start one? What? Yeah? What is your night terror? That's
what we'll We'll start that. Okay, Anyway, next time on

What is Your Night Terror with Chris, Kevin and Jenna.
We gotta get Amber Jack Jack Jack Presents Night Terrors.
Um No. Thank you for being so open and with
us and sharing your experience. And we we love you,
and people, we love you, love you guys so much,
Thank you, love you. Thanks again to Chris for joining us,

Thank you for listening, and we'll see you next week.
We're going to recap Showman's so come on back and subscribe.
Tell your friends, tell your children, tell your wives, tell
your husband's, tell your sisters and brothers to come listen.
Anyone with the phone, computer, Alright, see you next week. Okay,

bye bye bye
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