Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Darren Criss Interview with Elle

ELLE: Did you grow up in a musical family?
DC: Sort of. My mom picked up the cello in her forties, after her sons became interested in music. I played almost my whole life, but my brother was the asshole who picked up an instrument for fun in high school and then far surpassed me.

ELLE: Does he sing too?
DC: Yeah, he sings. He’s in the band Freelance Whales. They play everything—banjo, bass, guitar, drums, and they all sing so they’re an awesome band to see live. Plug, pluggy-plug, plug.

ELLE: So we know you’re musically inclined. When did you decide to act?
DC: I wanted to be an actor after seeing Robin Williams as the Genie in Aladdin.

ELLE: Wait, you wanted to be an actor because of a cartoon character?
DC: Absolutely! I saw it in theaters about twelve times, and I knew who Robin Williams was. So asked my mom, “What does that guy do? What’s his job?” Because for all I know he’s a fireman. When she told me, I thought, “Whatever that actor thing is, I want to do it.”

ELLE: Now that you’re an actor—on a hit show, no less—what’s the best part of it all?
DC: Being on Glee is just a really cool presence to have in pop culture. We all want to be doing something that’s greater than ourselves, and the show’s become such a cool soapbox with lot to say; it really speaks out for gay teens and the LGBT community.

ELLE: What strikes me is that Blaine’s a gay teen that’s so comfortable and unfazed in who he is that he makes a good foil to Kurt, who has had to struggle with his sexuality at school.
DC: You know, everybody on the show has been a loner or an outcast in some way—whether they have issues about their childhood, their body image, a disability, everyone is in their own corner, being drawn out together. Kurt is, you know, the gay teen, and up to this point he’s never actually had another other gay male teen to relate to. The fact that this character exists now is awesome, and it’s a dream come true to play him.

ELLE: How was your audition? What song did you sing?
DC: I totally prepped out because my character goes to an all-boys school, and then I sang “…Baby One More Time.”

ELLE: And your character was introduced singing Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” so you already had a whole gender-inversion thing going. That’s a happy coincidence.
DC: Yeah, I really lucked out with that song.