Max Adler, who plays "Glee" football player and resident bully Dave Karofsky, doesn't know if he'll get to kiss and make up on the show anytime soon.
On the Tuesday, November 9th episode "Never Been Kissed," Karofsky's bullying escalates against openly gay show choir member Kurt (Chris Colfer) until they have a confrontation in the boys' locker room. Instead of pummeling Kurt, however, Karofsky kisses him.
The character's surprising but confused feelings is something Adler had actually considered but never thought would become reality since Karofsky had always been a one-note tormentor, either shoving other students or dousing them in slushies.
"Before this was written, I thought there's got to be a reason why he's so angry, why he's such a bully, why he's going out of his way to make other people's lives a living hell," Adler tells Zap2it. "So I toyed with it. When this developed, it was kind of cool."
Despite his suspicions, the actor was still surprised by the kiss since there hadn't been any discussion about Karofsky's sexuality previously, even behind the scenes.
"I just got the script delivered and was reading it," says Adler. "I thought, 'This is getting serious. He's not backing off. He's going to punch him.' And then I turn the page and it says, 'Karofsky kisses Kurt.' I was like, 'What?' I jumped off the couch. I was just as shocked as anybody else."
When it came to shooting the emotionally fraught scene, Adler credits Colfer with setting the tone. "Chris is one of the best actors I've ever worked with," he says. "He's just so good in every take. He gives so much."
This includes taking a staged beating each time Karofsky decides to shove Kurt into the lockers.
"I hurt him every time. He broke two ribs," Adler jokes. "Actually, Chris takes a lot of it himself. I kind of graze him and give a little nudge but he throws himself harder into the lockers than it looks like. We work it out with stunt people before so it's all coordinated. He takes the hits well. He's like a little stunt man in there."
Kurt and new friend Blaine's (Darren Criss) attempts to get Karofsky to own his sexuality and come out of the closet fail though. In fact, he's angrier than ever and the bullying continues until it comes to a head at school.
"My parents get involved," Adler reveals about the November 23rd episode titled "Furt." "My mom is not there but you meet my dad (played by Daniel Roebuck). Mike O'Malley's in the episode too. I've already shot that episode and I'm in the next four for sure."
For now, Adler is just enjoying the positive feedback from his friends, family and strangers who've found him on Twitter or Facebook.
"I was just glad to represent such a large group of people," he says. "I've gotten so many messages from people all around the world these last couple of days thanking me because either they are Karofsky, they were Karofsky or they know a Karofsky."
Apparently, the support is so strong, there's even a faction of fans who want Kurt and Karofsky to be a couple.
"I've been seeing a lot of things for 'Kurtofsky,'" reveals Adler. "There's back and forth. I've been getting all the comments for Team Dave. They want me to be Kurt's protector and his big teddy bear and want Kurt and Blaine to just be friends. But I'm sure that Darren [Criss] is getting all the Team Blaine comments."
And even though many improbable things happen on "Glee," Adler doubts that "Kurtofsky" will ever come to pass. "You heard Kurt. He thinks I'm a chubby guy who sweats too much. So I don't see him being sexually attracted to me, but obviously I am to him."
Adler, who'll be speaking at the Anti-Defamation League Concert Against Hate this weekend, was actually a First Chair All-State show choir member in high school. And even though he doesn't think "Glee" needs yet another song-and-dance guy added to the mix, he'd like to propose a certain type of song should creator Ryan Murphy decide to allow Karofsky a number.
"I like the crooners. I like Michael Bublé and Dean Martin. That's kind of my style, where I think I sound the best."
"Glee" airs Tuesday at 8:00 pm (ET) on FOX.