The emotional range required from Chris Colfer in order to play Kurt Hummel on Glee is so monumental; it might give actors three times his age a case of butterflies. This is why the Golden Globe winner claims that two and a half seasons of the show have left him "fulfilled" as an actor.
But don't take that satisfied state to mean he has any desire to leave Glee -- or that fans or Fox would even entertain the idea of losing the beloved star. In fact, tonight's episode places another hefty dramatic moment on Chris' shoulders while also creating another landmark moment as Kurt loses his virginity. I caught up with the actor this Sunday to find out what his first reaction to tonight's deflowering was, what lies ahead for the character and why Blaine might not be a part of it.
ETonline: At the outset of the season, there was a lot of talk about the show getting back to the feeling of season one. Do you think the show has done that?
Chris Colfer: Absolutely. I think we're doing episodes that would have worked in season one. The heartfelt episodes like Wheels and Preggers are so similar to Asian F – that could have so easily been a part of season one. We're definitely getting back to the heart of the show.
ETonline: A big difference between season one and three for Kurt is the fact he has a boyfriend at school. How have you liked playing this version of Kurt?
Colfer: It's funny because he's definitely there, but sometimes I wonder if people who are new to the show would even realize that they are boyfriends because they have to monitor themselves so much. They're not at Dalton anymore, they're at the very public high school Kurt had to leave because of bullying – I think Kurt and Blaine are so happy to be together, but they definitely monitor themselves more.
ETonline: Well after tonight's episode, I doubt anyone will have trouble realizing the two are boyfriends. How was First Time pitched to you?
Colfer: In passing, Ryan Murphy said that they were working on a "losing of the virginity" episode. Darren and I kind of panicked a bit – well, maybe I panicked a little more than he did [laughs]. We were shocked. And I was really, really worried. From the bullying epidemic to the prom queen episode, I have kind of become the TV poster boy for all these important movements, so I was a little worried. But as soon as we shot it, I knew there was no reason to worry. They always handle everything with grace and dignity.
ETonline: That said, this is the first time a gay relationship has been consummated on network television. Have you been able to wrap your head around what that means?
Colfer: I haven't. The material that I do have can be scary sometimes – there are a lot of crazy, opinionated people in the world that make their presence known. They have, at times, very totalitarian agendas and try to scare you with them. But on the other hand, Glee has given me so many opportunities. It's really a blessing and makes all those sort of scary stories worth telling.
ETonline: Then, we launch into one of the first major network gay love triangles. How does Kurt react to Sebastian putting the moves on Blaine?
Colfer: I was so excited when they brought Sebastian -- I've wanted some drama in the Kurt and Blaine world for so long. They've been in such a puppy dog love world that I thought they needed a little conflict. All the other characters fight and breakup and get back together. I wanted that for us too! Then they brought in Sebastian, who will steal Blaine from Kurt, and the first thing I thought was, "Why does no one pursue Kurt?" I'm starting to take it personally! [laughs] But I loved the drama between the two, it was fun to play Kurt in that territorial, jealous light we haven't seen him in so much. It was a lot of fun.
ETonline: We've also got the big presidential race coming up -- who do you think is the best man for the job?
Colfer: Well, it's Kurt, Rachel, Brittany and this hysterical hockey player who comes along. Wait until you see the episode with their presidential speeches – it's hysterical. Kurt is really trying to run a very honest campaign, but he learns it's a really hard thing to do in politics. Especially in the even more political world of high school. Looking at all the candidates, he truly believes he is the best candidate for the job – the challenge is convincing the world that he is.
ETonline: While Kurt's graduation may or may not signal the end of his time on Glee, what is it, as an actor, that you're hoping to get out of the character before the show ends?
Colfer: If we are leaving, I'd really like to leave him in a light where he doesn't have to be accepted by the world. Where he realizes he is OK just on his own. They've written me some amazing episodes and incredible performances, so I already feel very fulfilled as an actor, but I would love to keep him inspirational.
ETonline: Do you think Blaine and Kurt are soulmates, and that wherever one goes, the other should go too?
Colfer: Fans are going to kill me for saying this, but I like when our show is as honest as possible and if Kurt is going off to college, I think he has to do it on his own. Not saying that he and Blaine have to break up necessarily, but I would like to see him in a more independent light, where he doesn't need anyone. I think if he ventured out, we'd want to see him live – see him trying new relationships. If they keep him with Blaine, I'm OK with that too. Theirs is a groundbreaking relationship that needs to be seen. Especially since I think there's a misconception that relationships between two young gay guys usually aren't monogamous. And that's sad. I'm glad that Kurt and Blaine are an example of what a relationship could be, and that's one of the reasons I think fans have grown to love them so much.
Glee airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Fox