Chris Colfer did something when he was younger that, while it worked out for the best in the end, he would not have the courage to do again. He sent tickets to a “Glee” concert to comedian Jennifer Saunders.
“We were on a world tour and spent a week and a half in London,” Colfer says. “I didn’t know anybody, so I had my people send her a couple of tickets.
“It seems a little pompous of me now looking back at it.”
What Colfer didn’t know was that Saunders’ daughter was a huge fan. Soon after that meeting, the Clovis East graduate found out that Saunders was writing a feature film version of the TV series and she wanted Colfer to be a part of it. The role was being written for him.
Saunders kept her word and Colfer flew to London for a week in November where he filmed his part of “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.” He plays the aptly named Chris, hair stylist and social media adviser to Saunders’ character of Edina Monsoon.
What Colfer got himself into with those tickets was working with Saunders and Joanna Lumley, who starred in the much-heralded British comedy “Absolutely Fabulous” from 1992-2012. The series about two self-absorbed, alcohol-abusing friends showed that comedy could be both smart and physical.
Colfer describes the comedy on the show and in the movie as being both “The Lucy Show” and “Frasier.”
Working on the film was “a dream come true” for Colfer. That’s because he grew up watching the British series, first appreciating the physical comedy of the show when he was young and then finding a new respect for the written word when he got older.
The fact Colfer is both a writer and an actor has been a major factor as to why he has admired Saunders for so many years. Not only has Colfer found success as an actor from “Glee” to “Hot in Cleveland,” he’s written numerous books including “The Land of Stories” series.
Getting to work with Lumley and Saunders was everything Colfer had hoped it would be. The only thing that made him nervous was the possibility of ad-libbing lines.
“I decided I was not going to improvise at all,” Colfer says. “I didn’t want to be a show-off, just a good soldier. I don’t know why I was worried because they let me come in and be funny and ridiculous. It was wonderful to be in their space and feel their energy.
“Jennifer kept giving me more and more lines.”
Since “Glee” ended, Colfer has remained busy both as an actor and writer. He’s currently on a 14-city book tour for the fifth book in his series “The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey” (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, $19.99).
He’s scheduled to be at the Children’s Book World at Pattiz Concert Hall in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 23 and at San Francisco’s Books Inc. at Michaan’s Auction House Theater on Sunday, July 24.
He got to work with another of the performers he admires when he was a guest star on the new Julie Andrews’ Netflix series “Julie’s Greenroom.” It will air in 2017.
“The show is like ‘Sesame Street’ for theater kids. I taught writing to a group of puppets, and I also got to sing with Julie Andrews,” Colfer says.
Between acting jobs and the tour, Colfer remains very busy with numerous novels in the works, including a sixth book in “The Land of Stories” series, a graphic novel and a picture book. There have also been discussions of turning his book series into some kind of project.
“You know me. I don’t like to sit still,” Colfer says.
Working with Saunders is a highlight for Colfer. He has another dream that involves a Brit: Colfer wants to meet the Queen of England.