Just how awesome is Glee's Chris Colfer?
So freakin' awesome that he inspired Glee executive producer Ryan Murphy to create The Glee Project, which ends its second season tonight and features an appearance by the show's inspiration himself! We chatted with Colfer about mentoring the final three contestants, Aylin Bayramoglu, Ali Stroker and Blake Jenner, and what fans can expect from the finale.
Plus, Colfer talks about the new season of Glee, which he is loving so far, filming in New York vs. Los Angeles, and his reaction when he found out Sarah Jessica Parker, who he has yet to work with, was playing his mentor (Hint: it had nothing to do with Sex and the City)...
How do you feel being chosen as a mentor and for such an important episode?
"I was so honored and um, what's another word for honored? [Laughs.] I think I was honored and surprised that they chose me to do the finale. It's so funny because all the contestants are either my age or older than me, so I really told myself when I go in there I'm not going to try to give them any advice because I'm sure the last thing they want to hear is advice from someone younger or their age. I'm just going to go in and tell them to do their own thing and figure it out along their way in their own careers. And I tell you, I got there and I wouldn't shut up! [Laughs.] I did the absolute opposite of what I told myself I was going to do."
Was mentoring harder or easier than you thought it would be?
"I don't know if I really consider it mentoring. I kind of feel like they had to listen to me! [Laughs.] Because there were like cameras and it was my coverage of the mentor session. It was different. It was different."
What was your impression of the final three when you met them?
"I thought they were very, very talented. I thought they could easily fit in with the show. I don't know, the whole experience kind of took me back to my first Glee audition and the whole experience of auditioning in front of the producers and the creative team and then going for the network and the studio tests. It brought back a lot of anxiety. [Laughs.]"
So do you think you would have been able to do a show like this?
"Absolutely not! Absolutely not! No way. The first thing, I don't know what they kept and what they didn't, but the first thing I said to them when I walked in was I don't know how you do this. I'm terrified and I'm not even competing."
In a sneak peek that was released, it was revealed that your audition for Glee inspired Ryan to create The Glee Project. What does that mean to you? That's a pretty big honor.
"I mean, it totally is. It's such a huge honor and I mean that's really special because I feel like if I inspired something that is giving kids a platform that is incredible."
How do you think fans will react when the winner is revealed?
"I think they'll be just fine with it! [Laughs.]"
Last year, Ryan surprised everyone by crowning two winners and giving the two runner-ups roles on Glee as well. Can we expect any surprises tonight?
"I believe maybe so. I was not there. I know who officially won, but I'm not sure about any other perks. I believe there are a couple twists coming."
One of our favorite parts of the show is watching all of the contestants freak out whenever a Glee star comes into the room. What was that like for you?
"Well, I honestly have never really seen much of the show, so I really didn't know what to expect. That totally threw me off. It's so funny because you go into these things and you repeat to yourself keep calm, keep calm. Be cool. Be cool. And then you walk into the room and they lose it and then you lose it and then you look like an idiot and you're so awkward. So it was an experience!"
Be honest: did you have the same reaction when Ryan told you Sarah Jessica Parker would be playing your mentor on Glee?
"Oh yeah, absolutely! I kind of did, about the same, I'd say. I was really excited. I mean, it's like people immediately relate her to Sex and the City, but I relate her immediately to Hocus Pocus! [Laughs.] I was like, 'No way, no way. The hot witch from Hocus Pocus! Yes, yes!'"
How does it feel to be filming in New York now as opposed to L.A., where you filmed the first three seasons?
"It's crazy. It's really crazy because I feel like whenever we're in New York it becomes like a huge spectacle and a thing. We'll go film in L.A. and no one cares. It's such a different world out here."
We know that season four is going to have a bit of a change in the show's format. How seamless is the change?
"I kind of love it. I personally love it. I think it adds a lot to the show and of course it adds locations. I think it adds a whole new level of the performing arts community onto the show."
Make sure to check out our exclusive sneak peek at Chris Colfer's appearance on the show above!
The Glee Project finale airs tonight at 10 p.m. on Oxygen