Q & A with Glee actor Darren Criss
The Glee star, 24, on playing a gay character, and those embarrassing videos on YouTube…
What is your earliest memory?
My brother’s birthday at our house in Hawaii when I was about four. I was born in San Francisco, but we moved immediately to Hawaii. I remember people running round with painted faces and sunglasses, and wondering why I wasn’t in on the fun.
When you were ten years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
It’s insane, but I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do as a ten-year-old: performing. I remember seeing Aladdin when I was five or six and loving it. I looked at the big screen and said to my mum, ‘Whatever this Genie guy does, I want to do.’ Mum said I couldn’t be a genie, but that Robin Williams, who did the voiceover in the film, was an actor. So
I said, ‘OK, then, I want to be an actor.’ Being on Glee – acting, performing, singing for so many fans – is this marvellous serendipity.
What’s it like playing a gay man on Glee when you’re straight?
It’s just like any other part. As an actor it’s your job to empathise with your character regardless of whether they have a different sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, or anything.
Who is your best friend?
The guys from my theatre company Team StarKid. My favourite memory with them is from when we were performing A Very Potter Musical just before I started Glee. We recorded ourselves singing and dancing and it was a huge hit on YouTube. It was quite daunting; we were, like, ‘Oh my God, we look like a bunch of idiots.’ But experiences like that brought us closer together and that’s why we’re such good friends now.
If you got stuck in a lift, who would be your dream companion?
Eddie Izzard. I met him once in a grocery store in the middle of Hollywood – I imagine he’d be very clever and together we’d think of a way out of there.
Where’s your happy place?
I believe that it’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with. But I’d have to say Los Angeles or Chicago, with my friends from college and Team StarKid and the Glee production company.
Where is home?
For now it’s LA, though I’m such a vagabond and a nomad – I live on aeroplanes. But I don’t mind travelling; I think it makes you appreciate your whereabouts.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I have an unabashed adoration of cheesy pop music. Food-wise, it has to be ham and cheese waffle sandwiches. You take two waffles – any regular freezer brand – toast them and then fill them with ham and cheese. But I also believe that if you find something pleasurable, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it!
What was your last good deed?
Recently, a friend of mine in Chicago was feeling down, so I flew him to London – where I was staying at the time – and he was my red-carpet date for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows premiere. So I guess that’s a selfish good deed!
Bus, taxi or walk?
Depends. Obviously, when I’m with the Glee cast, there’s a big red arrow hovering above our heads, so we’ve got to take taxis. But generally I’m much more of a subway guy. And one of the nicest things about being in London is that I can walk everywhere.
What did you have for breakfast today?
Absolutely nothing. A phone was delivered to my room to do this interview. This is my breakfast!
What word or phrase do you say too often?
When I’m in the UK I find myself using a lot of Britishisms. I like saying ‘pissed’ in the British sense, meaning drunk. In America it just means angry.
“In America it just means angry.” Darren Criss logic ladies and gents. LMAO.
After watching Darren do “It’s Not Unusual”, I decided that I’m going to laugh so hard when Blaine and that lesbian Mexican chick hook up and turn each other straight.
“oh my god guys, i’m so excited to be singing this song for you today. it’s so beautiful and organic. tom jones is such a legend. and i’m just this little goober trying to make this work. ok, let’s get this started. you guys don’t mind me dancing to get into the headspace, right? i mean, i grew up with Fresh Prince. this is such an honour!” *dances*
- Darren in the studio for It’s Not Unusual
Fuck you Alice. I’m cracking up here.
we’re all Carlton dancing around our rooms
now can you imagine what Darren did in the studio?
OMG HOLY SHIT. SO NOT FAIR TO THINK OF THIS. If I could have ever been a fly on a wall… LMAO.
If we don’t get crazy dancing in the episode I will be pissed.
Your boy can sing and act? Great.
My boy can sing
My boy can act
He can hold a guitar
He can play the guitar
He dance to polka
He can rock a suit
Actually, he can rock whatever he wears.
Or whatever he doesn’t wear.
Speaking of which, my boy’s also a desert warrior.
And a wizard
My boy doesn’t judge you
Our boy honestly loves us
And amongst all his success, he’s still the same boy we saw a couple of years ago.
He’s still Darren Criss.
Pretty sure I’ve reblogged before, but what the hay, still relevant.