In the movie, which he both wrote and stars in, Chris plays a sarcastic high school student named Carson. Now, seeing as Chris spent his first three years on Glee playing the sarcastic Kurt Hummel at McKinley High, it makes sense to wonder: Will Carson’s high school on Struck By Lightning be anything like the world of Glee?
Chris spoke to AfterElton about that very thing, and the Glee star revealed that he made an intentional effort to make the film’s school different from Glee’s McKinley High. “[N]o, there was really never any sort of conscious decision to make it look different from Glee,” he explains.
“I think partly because I always envisioned the town so differently. And I think, like, in the script even there were, like,'the town is bleak and dark and small' and things like that.”
Also unlike Glee, the sexual orientation of Chris’ character is not a central issue in the film. Chris says he purposely avoided addressing Carson’s sexuality so as to not exclude anyone. “I didn’t want anyone to not take away a message from Carson because of his orientation. Again, I feel like my experience with Glee, it’s like you designate a story to gay kids and the straight kids stop listening and vice versa,” he says.
Chris has some powerful scenes in the film opposite Allison Janney, who plays his mom, and he says his admiration for Allison kept the scenes from being too difficult to film. “I don’t know about her, but I think I’ve always loved her so much that there was this familiarity that was already there. I didn’t have to dive deep to feel like I had a connection to her,” Chris says.
One of the perks of being the producer and screenwriter is that Chris could cast his real-life high school guidance counselor as a chemistry teacher in the film! “She really cared about each student individually and made a point for them to know that she was there for them,” Chris recalls. “And I remember one day I was having a horrible, horrible, horrible day, so after school she took me out for ice cream.”
And all of a sudden, we’re wishing that we got to go for ice cream with Chris. Oh, well — we’re sure that getting to see the film tomorrow will be good enough!