Sunday afternoon, on the heels of the successful premiere of his screenwriting debut “Struck By Lightning,” Chris Colfer hit the 14th Street Apple Store for an Apple Talk. The Tribeca Film Festival was hit with an orgiastic explosion of Gleek fandom. Teenage girls came out with forceful freakage, shrieking with joy over a boy they really, really, really stand no chance with.
The six other notables on the panel shared exactly none of Chris’s spotlight, but let’s be serious. Who really wants to deal with five hundred screeching girls everywhere they go? I only sat in the audience surrounded by it, and I can only imagine how exhausting this must be for poor Chris. Whenever any of the other panel members made even the slighest reference to him or Glee, the Gleek Chorus responded with deafening Awws and Oohs. The girls cried, brought him gifts and pestered security for hugs. And this is not to mention the blatant repeated violation of the flash photography rules.
The panel filled out with actors Polly Bergen, Roberto Acuire, Carter Jenkins, Allie Grant, and director Brian Dannelly. Aside from the hubbub, the panel did provide plenty of insight into the making of Tribeca’s biggest surprise hit.
Dannelly, whose last film “Saved” covered plenty of the same thematic material, spoke of how he came into the project: “I really don’t like writing, so when you have something similar to what you would write, it’s nice.” However, he signed on when he met with Colfer to discuss actors. When it came to the role of Colfer’s grandmother, Dannelly said he was worried that the film would have to have a “Betty White moment.” Colfer, however, said he wanted someone like Polly Bergen.
Bergen, who was present and looking fabulous, was rapturous in her acclaim of Chris. “I arrived on set and I didn’t have to work for one moment. I didn’t even have to think about who Grandma was. the script was so honest and profound and they picked the right actors, so we just had to be who we were. Every day was a joy and a surprise and a revelation. It was one of the best experiences in my 70 years of acting.” The Gleeks awwed.
As soon as the moderator opened the panel up to audience questions, there was no going back. Every question was aimed at Colfer, and they ranged from the “I don’t have a question, I just want to say…” to “Did you mean for the movie to be an emotional roller coaster? I was bawling all the way through.” If only the other Apple Talks at Tribeca were packed with such enthusiasm.
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