Why Hollywood won't cast Chris Colfer anymore

Almost immediately after Glee premiered in 2009, many predicted that co-star Chris Colfer would become one of Hollywood's most sought-after stars. By 2012, The New York Times was calling him "the show's breakout star," thanks to his "golden voice and an uncanny ability to cry on cue." But after the once-popular musical dramedy went off the air, the Golden Globe-winning actor seemed to completely shift gears. In fact, despite Colfer's obvious vocal abilities and acting chops, it seems as if he's disappeared from Tinseltown.

As of this writing, Colfer has almost completely transformed himself from an on-camera A-Lister to a behind-the-scenes powerhouse. He became a New York Times best-selling novelist and parlayed that literary success into a different kind of Hollywood power on the production end. Perhaps it's fair to say that Chris Colfer is no longer wondering why Hollywood won't cast him anymore, because he's now calling his own shots. So what exactly does he have going on? Let's investigate.

He'll always be Kurt to Gleeks

On the one hand, you have to give credit to Colfer for staying committed to Glee. Although the show lost fans and critics over the years, Colfer stuck by the role that made him famous through six seasons and 121 episodes, but while that may have pleased loyal fans of the show — not to mention Colfer's bank account — playing Kurt Hummel for such an extended period of time may prove to be a major hurdle for Colfer as he attempts to move on to bigger and better projects. With each passing season, TV watchers became more and more used to seeing Colfer as Kurt.

It's a problem that many actors on long-running television shows face, and it's often why they never really recover. Just look at his co-star, Lea Michele. Colfer seems keenly aware of this concept, and instead of trying to move directly from Glee to another major role, he pivoted away from TV almost entirely.

He stayed busy behind the scenes

It appears Chris Colfer's interest in the arts has always extended beyond acting. Evidence of this dates back to 2012, when he wrote the screenplay for and produced the film Struck by Lightning. The movie marked Colfer's first as a leading man and told the story of a high school senior named Carson Phillips desperately trying to escape his hometown to attend New York University. To try to make that happen, Carson blackmails his peers into writing for a literary magazine he creates. Sure, the film was widely dismissed for being a stereotypical teen angst film, but Colfer still received praise for his leading performance.

Struck by Lightning wasn't the only time Colfer put his pen to the test. In 2011, he scored a development deal with Disney to adapt the fantasy book The Little Witch into a TV movie. While Colfer delivered the script, it seems, as of this writing, that the project never got off the ground. In 2014, Colfer wrote an episode for Glee, called Old Dogs, New Tricks. More good news: Colfer's few screenwriting credits are far from where his work with the written word ends.

Slide over, Ms. Rowling

Chris Colfer's writing skills aren't limited to the screen. He's also used his talents to create a wildly successful book series. Launched in 2012, The Land of Stories has earned Colfer a plethora of YA fans, launched five sequels, and even landed him a spot on the New York TImes Best-Seller List. Sounds exactly like the kind of thing Hollywood would adapt into a film franchise, right? Not so fast.

Colfer was initially hesitant about turning the books into movies, telling Publisher's Weekly, "What they say about books made into films is that a great adaptation will immortalize the book but a terrible movie will kill it. I want a great movie because I still have so much planned for future books, maybe even a prequel series. So I want to make sure if it gets done, it is done well."

Someone apparently convinced Colfer to take the plunge — We're guessing it involved a check and a ton of zeroes — because in June 2017, it was announced that the first book of the series, The Wishing Spell, would be made into a feature film. Not only that, but Colfer is also set to "make his directorial debut with the project," according to The Hollywood Reporter. So, why won't Hollywood cast him anymore? Maybe because he's the one doing the casting now.

Is he more than just a song-and-dance man?

Casting Chris Colfer as one of the many outsiders in William McKinley High School's glee club proved to be a perfect decision for the show; one needn't look further than his Golden Globe award for proof. Unfortunately, the word "outsider" isn't always the most sellable word in Hollywood.

In fact, Colfer is so uniquely talented that it may prove difficult for him to find a role that suits his strengths as well as his Glee character. For example, two of the next three acting gigs he took after the show, Hot in Cleveland and Julie's Greenroom, required him to — you guessed it — sing and perform on stage. Of course, he can belt out Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" better than most folks in Hollywood, but is it possible that being a triple threat could actually end up being … an actual threat to one's acting career?

No one wants him to be the hero of his own story

We've clearly established that this actor's writing talents have taken him to a level of success even greater than what he achieved on Glee, but he still seems to harbor a glimmer of desire to break out big as a leading man. Seemingly undeterred by the lesson he perhaps should have learned with Struck by Lightning — that his writing is better served when he doesn't create lead roles for himself — Chris Colfer once again created a star vehicle for Chris Colfer in 2017.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Colfer was set to pen a fantasy series called Indigo about "the mysterious world of Indigo children — those who are misdiagnosed but wildly believed to possess extraordinary paranormal abilities — and the dark forces working to exploit their powers." Colfer planned to write and direct the pilot, as well as star as the series lead. It would have been his big return to a recurring TV role since the end of Glee in 2015, but as of this writing, the project seems to have dropped completely off of Hollywood's radar. In fairness, TV and film projects can sometimes take years, even decades to come to fruition, but for the time being, it seems like Colfer's leading man ambitions are still on a shelf.  

A future worth singing about

Although Chris Colfer's acting career may have temporarily stalled after Glee, the future still looks brighter for the talented young man. For one thing, he's still in his twenties, as of this writing, and it's no secret that Hollywood tends to be more generous with men and age than it is with women — just look at Zac Efron, who went from teen sensation to full-on movie star.

Colfer also has the versatility factor on his side. He can write more screenplays. He's basically become the next J.K. Rowling. He could easily pivot to Broadway if he wanted to. The possibilities are endless. Not to mention, Glee was his first professional acting credit, and he absolutely nailed it, then used his fame to pursue other creative passions, or as he humbly told The Seattle Times in 2017: "I have had a long line of beginner's luck, which I hope continues for a long time."   

In other words: this guy hasn't sung his swan song quite yet.