Chris Colfer was the man of the evening on Sunday, Jan. 6, when his screenwriting debut Struck By Lightning made its Hollywood premiere at the Chinese 6 Theatres.
In front of friends, family and plenty of fans, Colfer introduced the film with his signature modesty: "I hope you guys like it," he told the audience. "My parents like it."
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And along with the film's stars Sarah Hyland, Dermot Mulroney, Rebel Wilson, Ashley Rickards, Angela Kinsey and Robbie Amell (Christina Hendricks and Allison Janney were noticeably absent), Colfer's Glee co-stars were also on hand to celebrate the film, including Dot Marie Jones, Harry Shum, Jr. and Darren Criss.
"When I see anything that my friends are in, much less a few friends, my meter of what I like is completely blown out of proportion because I'm just like, 'Yay! Go Chris!'" Criss told The Hollywood Reporter at the after party, held at EDEN. "Chris is such force of nature and I was so proud of him and what he created and what he's done and his honesty with his life and the way he works. It's really inspiring. So yes, yes I did enjoy it very much."
Criss added that having the chance "to see the fruits of his labor was something I wouldn't miss."
On the red carpet, Colfer joked that it was his job on Glee that prepared him for anything that the industry could possibly throw at him. Asked about the film's grueling 16-day shoot, Colfer cracked: "It's funny because everyone was talking about how insane the schedule was, but it was nothing compared to my Glee schedule, which is just completely 10 times worse and more intense."
He later added, "I'm pretty sure I could join the CIA after being on Glee, honestly."
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And while Colfer jokes that he was "drunk with power" on set ("There were a couple lines I would flub and the script supervisor would come and say, 'Chris, you got this line wrong,' and I would say, 'No, I rewrote it.'"), his professionalism and sheer talent won him the respects of his co-stars and director Brian Dannelly alike.
"I was so nervous," Dannelly confessed of working with the Glee star. "We had great conversations before, but you never know when an actor comes on set. Especially with Chris, because I kind of knew what everybody else was going to do, but I didn't know what kind of character he was going to create, I didn't know if he was going to be good… So then when we did the first scene, I felt all the pressure of deciding to make the movie was gone because he was so on target. On set, he let me do my job."
Mulroney, who plays Colfer's on screen father, gushed about the young writer's skills. "I was blown away by the script and who wrote it," he told THR. "I had never seen Glee, but I knew that it was wildly popular and even without ever seeing the show, I knew that this guy had his own vibe around him. When I read this highly accomplished screenplay, and I knew it was coming from a very young writer who had this kind of thing going on around him, I just thought I gotta get me some of that."
Wilson, who signed on to the project less than 24 hours before the start of shooting, is a self-described Gleek and admits to being "star struck" when she met Colfer. "I had never met him before I started working with him him and I was like, 'Oh my god, there he is and he looks exactly like Kurt!'" she recalled. "But he's such a great guy, so talented. And if this is the first movie he's written, I'm sure he's gonna go on to do some really cool things."
As the dust settled on Colfer's fairtale evening, it was back to work on Monday morning.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci