Sunday night, Gleeks across America were simultaneously zapped. Or so it seemed as girl Gleeks in attendance at O Cinema fawned over Chris Colfer during the live webcast that followed the preview screening of his film, Struck By Lightning.
Twenty-six theaters across the country previewed the film before its official release in select theaters Friday, January 11. Among them was O's Miami Shores location, where an intimate crowd of the indie film's supporters gathered for Colfer's coming of age story about a boy who well, never really got to do that, because he was smote down by a mighty bolt of yes, you guessed it (there are only so many ways to say lightning).
Roll credits, lights on, and before anyone's eyes had time to adjust, audience members already had their smartphones out for tweeting. Participants from all over the world directed their film questions at Colfer under the hash-tag #AskChrisSBL. A few minutes later, the screen tuned into the live webcast of Colfer being interviewed by an extremely chatty Ben Lyons.
In the short amount of time provided for the webcast, Colfer touched on everything from inspiration for the film, to the Tribeca experience, and trying to make "bitch-fork" happen.
When asked what sparked the the project, Colfer said, "Mostly just being so pissed in high school every single day. Just dealing with people and getting so frustrated and feeling like there was nothing out there for me to relate to."
Colfer explained his desire to capture the high school experience. "I just wanted to speak as authentically as possible, like in phrases I got in trouble for using in high school like 'bitch-fork,' which is my favorite word...I think teenagers are smarter than people think." That belief shines in the film, as Colfer takes clique stereotypes to a a humanly relatable level.
He spoke fondly about costars like Rebel Wilson, who caused "hours of outtakes of [Colfer] bursting out laughing." He'd never dreamed certain actors would be interested in his film, he said, pointing to Allison Janney, whose part he specifically wrote for her years ago when his script was still in Word document stages and he was fully immersed in the teenage hell.
He recounted the first story he ever wrote, a 2nd or 3rd grade assignment where students were told to write their own Cinderella stories. Colfer wrote "Seniorella," chronicling the fairy tale existence of an old woman living in a retirement home who didn't have any dentures to wear to the ball.
Colfer also touched on favorite authors like J.K. Rowling, David Sedaris, and Chelsea Handler. In addition to this, Colfer expressed interest in writing for films or projects that he won't necessarily star in.
He joked about casting Meryl Streep as his character instead; he spoke of his favorite scenes and what it was like to play dead; he explained thoroughly thought out back-stories and what was to become of his supporting characters after the film.
Colfer and Lyons attempted to answer as many questions as possible in the allotted half-hour, while scrolling through quite a bit of tweeted commentary and hopeful fan shout outs. Fortunately, toward the end of the webcast, Colfer was able to get out a quick hello and thank you before the screen unexpectedly cut out and Gleeks let out a "Nooo."
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Leaving the theater, one ecstatic lady fan belted out, "He answered my question!"
Another not so thrilled one sighed, "Back to Tumblr..."
Struck By Lightning opens January 11 at O Cinema Miami Shores. Visit o-cinema.org.