El Estoque

Preview: ‘Struck By Lightning’ hits theaters Jan. 11

Yashashree Pisolkar

On Dec. 16, 2012, El Estoque participated in a video chat with actor Chris Colfer about his new movie, “Struck By Lightning.” The interview, organized by Tribeca Film, featured questions from student journalists from throughout California. The interview has been reproduced below. Some questions have been left out to preserve key plot elements.

Chris Colfer talks about 'Struck By Lightning'

Photo: The video chat with actor Chris Colfer was hosted by Tribeca Film via Spreecast. Colfer spoke about his motivation behind writing the story of his new movie ‘Struck by Lightning,’ and shared some advice on how to pursue dreams at a challenging school like MV. Source: Yashashree Pisolkar.

One of the most popular faces on television, Chris Colfer will star in Tribeca Film’s “Struck By Lightning,” his second big screen release after “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie,” scheduled to hit theaters on Jan. 11. In the film, Colfer will play the role of Carson Phillips, an ambitious student journalist inspired by hopes and dreams of becoming an editor for The New Yorker. The coming-of-age movie is based on the book “Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal” written by Colfer himself. Both the novel and film encompass drama and a series of fantastical situations in which Carson blackmails his peers to promote his literary magazine, and ultimately, Carson’s pompous aspirations become too much for his small, gloomy town to handle.

Q: How does it feel to see a book you wrote come to life?
CC: Amazing. I think it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had. It’s kind of like holding your child, but less fluid.

Q: When you were writing your book did you always envision yourself playing the lead character?
CC: Yes, it was always me. Always. I was very vain when I wrote it and I definitely wrote it for myself. I quickly learned that if you want to do something you got to create it yourself. It’s funny, I always wanted myself and Allison Janney [who plays Carson’s mother, Sheryl Phillips] to be in the movie and thankfully [we] are.

Q: What inspired you to make the film?
CC: Honestly, I was tired with movies coming out that were geared towards an audience that I didn’t relate to. They were always about the jocks, the cheerleaders and the people who wanted to be them, and I got really frustrated. [They] were about sex and drugs, and all of those things, and I didn’t participate in any of them in school. So I really wanted to see a movie that was about kids like us, I’m assuming, and the crap that they have to deal with just for having the audacity to have those dreams and goals.

Q: What are the main similarities and differences between you and Carson?
CC: I think the biggest similarity would be … we are both very ambitious kids, and I think the biggest difference is I internalize everything and Carson spoke his mind.

Q: When you were writing the script and making the movie, who was the audience you were targeting and what do you think they’re going to gain from watching the movie?
CC: I think I was hoping that it would be geared towards teenagers. I always hoped to show it to an appreciative teenage audience that would appreciate that it was written by a young person. Hopefully this is a movie that inspires people to really, really find the potential for their own goals.

Q: MVHS is a really competitive place to be and the students are really hardworking, so what piece of advice do you have for students who are trying to pursue their dreams?
CC: My best advice would be just not to give up. Don’t let the fact that there are other people at your school who are competitive discourage you. And overall, don’t let other people’s lack of imagination ever discourage yours. I remember that I was always intimidated in high school. I always thought there were people who were smarter than me, better looking and all that –– but you can’t let being intimidated take away your drive.

Visit El Estoque on Jan. 11 for a review of “Struck By Lightning.”  

This story was updated at 9:34 p.m. on Jan. 11 with the hyperlink to the review of “Struck By Lightning.”