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The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

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Poppy

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Very interesting interview with Darren.  :happy face



Inquirer.net wrote:

Darren Criss talks about his most challenging role to date—playing Andrew Cunanan


by Ruben V. Nepales

June 29, 2017




(First of two parts)

LOS ANGELES—In a room inside the Versace mansion in Miami, just a few steps from where Andrew Cunanan fatally shot the designer, Darren Criss was told that Ryan Murphy, who cast him in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” paid him the supreme compliment.

Hearing that the award-winning executive producer-director cast him as Cunanan because he always knew there was a great dramatic actor in him, Darren gave a fittingly serious answer. Playing the serial killer, who murdered at least five people, is a big shift for Darren, who first worked with Ryan as Blaine Anderson in the musical TV series, “Glee.”

“Oh, how far we’ve come,” Darren quipped with a laugh. He has taken off his gray suit jacket. “Miami heat is getting to my head,” he explained.

We were in a room with walls gilded with mosaic tile work and stained glass windows, typical of the designer’s lavish home.

Like Cunanan, Darren is Filipino-American. The actor— the son of a Cebuana, Cerina (nee Bru), and Charles William Criss from Pennsylvania— noted his eerie resemblance to Cunanan. The latter’s mom (Mary Anne Schillaci) is Italian-American, while his dad, Modesto Cunanan, is Filipino.

For the actor who starred on Broadway in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” this role represents his biggest and most dramatic challenge yet.

Ryan, on a career high with his “Feud: Bette and Joan” and “The People v. OJ Simpson,” picked a fine cast to join Darren: Edgar Ramirez (Versace), Penelope Cruz (Donatella Versace) and Ricky Martin (Antonio D’Amico, Versace’s longtime lover).

The FX miniseries, which continues to shoot, debuts in early 2018.

Excerpts from our interview:

Ryan Murphy said he always knew there was a great dramatic actor in you, and he wanted people to see that in this show. How scary or daunting is that for you?
 Actors are only as good as the parts they get to play. It’s a passive art form. People will hate me for saying that because obviously, when you’re doing it, it isn’t passive. But if I’m a musician, I can pick up my guitar and play it. If there was no one in this room, I can still play my guitar. I can proactively be a musician.

I always say the best actors in the world, we’ll probably never know about. We’ll never get to see that guy do “King Lear,” that woman do “Hedda Gabler.” You have to wait for those moments.

This is a moment for me, and I recognize that. I do feel like my ship came in for this one. “Glee” was a big hit before I was on it. I had a very objective relationship with it. I was in college when it was all over the place. So, to suddenly be thrust on it was a strange but very wonderful experience.

It brings me here for which I’m unfathomably grateful. But I studied acting. I treat acting like a real craft as much as you love to roll your eyes at that little word. But it’s true. There’s no sense of entitlement. But I worked hard. I believe in doing the necessary steps to get to a certain place.

So, to be finally be given this opportunity, I feel prepared. Whether or not it’s good is a whole other story. It could be horrible, crash and burn. But it’s like that—give me the ball, coach. And Ryan certainly gave me a good throw. So I’m very excited about that.

You were 10 when Versace was killed. At what point in your life did you know about him?
 I knew Versace was killed in front of his home. I’d been here before, the first time I went to Miami. I remember looking it up, seeing the steps. This is so eerie. I vaguely remembered that he was half-Filipino. If there’s any half-Filipino in the media, you tend to pay attention to it.

I had, through the fabulous world of “Glee,” met Donatella. I had been to Versace’s home in Milan. But, that was about as far as a connection that I had.

Can you talk about filming the crucial assassination scene?
 It was gruesome. Because we were not shooting this in a sound studio in Los Angeles. This is the house—and people walking around here were there for that. We couldn’t hide it. It was in broad daylight. So, to feel that energy of this very real event, it weighed heavily on me.

When I shot it, I was thrilled because Edgar wasn’t here for that. If I had to look in Edgar’s eyes and do something like that, that would have been tough, because it weighs on your conscience.

But, as an actor, when you’re doing something like that, I’m not thinking of my conscience. As far as I’m concerned, I’m the hero in this story. That’s how I have to play it. There’s a certain longing, loss, confusion, hurt and just a f**kload of pain that is coming into an act like that.

That’s what you have to channel. It helps that we’re in paradise because we do this really gruesome stuff, then I can go home and have a cocktail on the beach. It’s like, “All right, real life is OK.”

Can you clarify why you didn’t film that scene with Edgar around?
 Only because that had to do more with the technical aspects. It’s highly technical, but the biggest meat of the shot was of me making the decision [to kill Versace] and going up [to him]. It’s giving a little bit away. So now, you know about that shot. Sorry, Ryan.

How did you research on Andrew Cunanan?
 The series is mainly based on the book of Maureen Orth, who’s an extraordinary journalist and did mind-bending work and collection of data from friends, family and all records available.

What’s interesting about this particular case is, as famous as Versace is, there’s not a whole lot of stuff [about it]. There’s only one book, at least one that’s pretty serious. The others are trashy pulp novels.

There are three different versions of Andrew that I have to deal with. There’s the real version that none of us knew. There is the version that people did know, then there’s the version that we’re telling.

As an actor, I can contact the family members or friends, but they’re all going to have different answers of who he was. My job is to serve the script. As much as I want to stay true to who Cunanan was, we really don’t know what kind of person he was. We just have to humanize him as much as possible and hope for the best.
(Conclusion tomorrow)
via dcriss-archive



I love that Ryan Murphy said that about Darren.  According to this article, Ryan "said he always knew there was a great dramatic actor in you [Darren], and he wanted people to see that in this show."   Again, very grateful that Ryan has been so supportive of Darren and has so much faith in Darren.  :thank you   heart


I love how deeply grateful Darren is for this opportunity. And I like that he clarified that he does not feel entitled to this opportunity, but yet, he feels prepared for it.  He feels that he is up to rising to the challenge. (Just a minor point:  No need for Darren to add that he may be horrible and crash and burn.)  I like the sports analogy--of Ryan passing the ball to Darren, and now that the ball is in Darren's court, he is able to convey what he can do.  Nicely said.  :happy face

Darren Criss wrote:
This is a moment for me, and I recognize that. I do feel like my ship came in for this one . . .

It brings me here for which I’m unfathomably grateful. But I studied acting. I treat acting like a real craft as much as you love to roll your eyes at that little word. But it’s true. There’s no sense of entitlement. But I worked hard. I believe in doing the necessary steps to get to a certain place.


So, to be finally be given this opportunity, I feel prepared . . . But it’s like that—give me the ball, coach. And Ryan certainly gave me a good throw. So I’m very excited about that.



This is an interesting quote, in terms of giving us some insight as to how Darren is portraying Cunanan:

Darren Criss wrote:
But, as an actor, when you’re doing something like that, I’m not thinking of my conscience. As far as I’m concerned, I’m the hero in this story. That’s how I have to play it. There’s a certain longing, loss, confusion, hurt and just a f**kload of pain that is coming into an act like that.


That’s what you have to channel.

Hmmm.  It may be a stretch to call a psychopath or sociopath--a serial killer--a "hero."  Maybe more like an anti-hero, such as in the film The Godfather.  But I understand what Darren is saying.  He said they are attempting to humanize Cunanan, to provide some depth, some context, some background, to help the audience understand what drove Cunanan to commit such horrific acts.

So interesting to learn that "the biggest meat of the shot was of me [Darren as Cunanan] making the decision [to kill Versace] and going up [to him]."   Again, the scene will give the audience some insight as to Cunanan's frame of mind, his thoughts and emotions. 

I'm also relieved to hear that Darren is doing well emotionally.  I really hope he continues to stay grounded as he films.  :happy face







nepalesruben: With @DarrenCriss on the set of #TheAssassinationOfGianniVersace: #AmericanCrimeStory, as he plays Andrew Cunanan. bit.ly/2tlYks

via dcriss-archive



Mr. Nepales has been a supporter of Darren for some time.  Very interesting interview!



Last edited by Poppy on Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:55 am; edited 1 time in total

Poppy

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From Dcriss-archive:

Inquirer.net wrote:

Darren Criss talks about his most challenging role to date—playing Andrew Cunanan (Part 2)

by Ruben V. Nepales

June 30, 2017



(Conclusion)


I feel so strange,” admitted Darren Criss about being inside the Gianni Versace mansion in Miami one morning in May.



He plays Andrew Cunanan, who shot the designer twice in the head just outside this palatial house in July 1997, in FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”


“I was telling someone about how weird it was to be in this room,” the Fil-Am singer-actor shared about filming the assassination scene a few days earlier. “I was dressed as Andrew Cunanan, in the outfit that he murdered Versace in, and I was inside. I was walking around and I was taking pictures. I took a picture of the pool, and I saw myself. I was like, oh my God, I’ve got to delete this photo. It’s horrible, how irreverent, because Andrew never made it inside.”


In this part two of our column on Darren, we continue our talk about his biggest and most challenging role to date.


Excerpts:


What did you learn about Cunanan that informed your performance? The thing that we want to show in this is that we have two brilliant minds—we have Versace, the creator, and the destroyer (Cunanan). A lot of people who knew Andrew in his younger life described him as a promising, brilliant and charming young man. You go, what happened? It doesn’t follow the same blueprint of that of many serial killers, the Dahmers and the Mansons of the world. They’re off the rails from the get-go.


Whereas Andrew, it was heartbreaking for a lot of people who knew him because we show some of his friends in the series. Andrew was the godfather of the children of a friend from high school who was mortified to hear that this had happened. Because he was this caring friend and godfather.


So, he was not just an abomination. Yeah. That isn’t only on my shoulders, but in the order that we tell the story, without giving away too much. The structure of the show goes in such a way that we get to see Andrew at his worst and his absolute best. Then, it’s up to you to juxtapose those against each other.


How do you tell a story where the moral compass is clearly fixed? We can all agree this is a horrible thing. Versace was murdered on the steps of his house. We’re in this house. The first day I came in here, I got emotional thinking about it. Versace is here, the man is still alive in this house, everywhere. Coming in, seeing this and being a part of it, you go, wow, this man had everything that the man who killed him couldn’t have and wanted so badly.


I get very sad when I think of somebody like Andrew. We’ve all had these dreams of doing something great. That’s something we can relate to. It’s that sense of wanting something so bad and just being misdirected on how to get it.


Following up on that, Asian immigrant families, including Filipinos, are known to be model immigrants. What do you think about him or his family that contributed to his downfall? I don’t have any credentials in psychology and child development but, to me, after diving into what his background is, it seems a pretty textbook case, as far as what happened later in his life.


As a young man, Cunanan came from a very poor family and in one of the poorest neighborhoods in San Diego. His mother was mentally unstable, was very difficult to deal with. I don’t know what she had, but she self-medicated—a very tough situation.


His father, on the other hand, was a crook. He was embezzling people out of thousands of dollars. It was a loveless marriage, but they adored and spoiled this little boy. They gave him their master bedroom as he grew up. He was raised with this sense of entitlement from a very early age. That’s very dangerous as you get out in the world.


Narcissism involves people who think they’re pretty, but it’s more than that. It’s a psychological belief that if you believe something about yourself, it is true.


In that sense, Andrew believed that if he could say something about himself, then that’s true. And if he deserves something, he didn’t have to work for it. So, the decisions he made before the murders were unintentionally implanted by his parents. His father was caught. He sold the house and had to eventually flee to the Philippines.


This was where Andrew switched gears. He went to see his father [in the Philippines]. At this point in his life, Andrew has told a lot of lies about himself. He sometimes would totally discount his Filipino heritage. He would say he was Jewish, or that his father’s an Israeli pilot.


He went to the Philippines believing in this façade that his father was this rich pineapple plantation owner. He saw this man living in relative squalor. I think when he saw his father being everything he wasn’t, and against everything that he ever wanted, that was a point where most of us would learn from that and go, OK, you know what? I can change from this. I don’t want to be like this. I want to work hard for things.


Instead, he came back to the United States. For the rest of his life, he would make up stories. He’d blow up his own image of himself that would lead him to these grandiose acts of murder. Thinking that he’s above the law and above [the laws of] morality, because he doesn’t have to deal with the things that are real in his life.


What insights did you learn about Cunanan’s homophobia? What’s fascinating to me? This is a wonderful extension of where we all are. Not once in my entire time that I’ve been involved with this has anybody ever brought up the fact that he was gay.


I think mainly because it was eclipsed by the fact that he was a serial killer. That seems to be at the forefront of facts that people stick to. But, he was gay. I don’t think there was a homophobic bent to his series of murders. I think his homosexuality did lend him to certain scenes that he got to be a part of.


The people he dealt with and ultimately ended up murdering were people he had met through different underworlds of the gay scene in San Diego and Minneapolis. He had self-hatred. I think there were other feelings of ineptitude and being not good enough that really drove him. I don’t know how much of that had to do with him being gay. But that is a big part of our story.


It was the largest failed manhunt in FBI history. That seems like a big f***ing deal. A lot of people didn’t know about it. You have to scratch your head and you go, “Wait, so this guy killed how many people before Versace? How was he not caught?” He was on America’s most wanted list. Then, you start realizing, there’s a lot of fear and anxiety in law enforcement. And this is right after the worst part of the AIDS crisis in the mid-’90s.


You have a lot of this other stuff that’s happening that does lend itself to how this guy got away with it. That is important to mention. One thing I’ll say about “American Crime Story” that I’m truly proud to be a part of is the fact that, to me, “OJ,” the series, wasn’t just about OJ.


So, for our story yes, it’s about the horrible murder of an icon. And it’s about the journey and the downfall of the person who did it. But it’s also about everything that’s happening around—and how that echoes what we fear and deal with now.

Interesting article.   We get a lot of background on Andrew, in terms of his parents, how he was brought up, his economic status when growing up,  what he desired in life, his motives.  Darren also mentions the historical context, in terms of the AIDS crisis and the prevalent attitudes of law enforcement.


I like this quote of Darren:


So, for our story yes, it’s about the horrible murder of an icon. And it’s about the journey and the downfall of the person who did it. But it’s also about everything that’s happening around—and how that echoes what we fear and deal with now.


He mentioned the fear that some people had in the past toward the LGBTQ community, and he brought it back full circle to now, mentioning about the fear that some people have today, which is truly sad.



Last edited by Poppy on Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

*Jeremy*

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Darren is well informed about his character.

I didn't know Cunanan was gay (I know little about the story and I prefer to learn everything by watching the show). So, it's another LGBT role for Darren !

Poppy

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I was sure that Darren would read up on Cunanan.  It seems he really does put a lot of thought into the characters he plays.  :happy face


I don't blame you for not researching about Cunanan.  You will come into the ACS series with an open mind, a clean slate, with no pre-conceived notions.   (I tried to do that too, but then I succumbed to my curiosity and skimmed the Vanity Fair article by Maureen Orth.  Lack of will power.   sad face )  Yes, it is another LGBT role for Darren.

Poppy

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From Darren Criss Army:

I love that Ryan said this.  His faith in Darren is heartwarming and touching.  heart heart heart 


Inquirer.net wrote:
Ryan Murphy on Andrew Cunanan, ‘Versace’ casting

by Ruben V. Nepales

July 2, 2017


Talk about why you cast Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz. 


Whenever I do something like this (like “OJ”), I always have one person in mind. So, Darren was the obvious choice. I was friends with him. I wanted people to see something I saw—which was, he’s a great dramatic actor.



More interesting quotes:

Inquirer.net wrote:
In researching on the story, what did you learn about Andrew Cunanan?
We had the book that we bought and optioned, “Vulgar Favors” (by Maureen Orth). Cunanan was a mystery in many ways. The things that I was fascinated about are the creator/destroyer idea of Cunanan, and that he and Versace had the same beginning.


They came from immigrant families, and wanted to be famous.


Tragic story

Cunanan was also a tragic story. He was lied to by his parents, specifically his father, who told him they were incredibly wealthy and were almost like royalty in the Philippines.


He was treated like a celebrity in his own family. Then, it was all taken away, and he was shattered by it.


There was also sexual abuse in his family that we could never verify. He also wanted fame and fortune so desperately that when he killed the first victim, that was probably in a fit of pique and rage, he decided, well, I’ll go to jail, so I want to be famous.


Taking the life of a famous person became his fame, which is also a very American story that we see time and again.


Also, the key to this show is when you have somebody like Cunanan, who’s thought of in many circles as a monster and the person who took away Gianni Versace from us, you also have to talk about his childhood. Something along the way made him snap.

[. . . ]


How did you structure the story? For this story, the first 15 minutes involve music—opera, no dialogue, and it’s Versace restored to health, and starting his day with his staff, then walking to the News Café, intercut with Cunanan stalking him. So it starts with Versace’s murder.


What we wanted to do was tell the story backwards. So, we end with the Cunanan figure as a young man, and Versace as a young man trying to make a stab of it as a designer.


The interesting thing about this show is that there’s only violence and murder in the first four or five episodes. The last episode, of course, is of Cunanan on the houseboat and making a decision to kill himself before they can arrest him.

Ryan mentioned that it was difficult and upsetting to film, and for those who, like me, are squeamish about violence, the murder of Lee Miglin sounds especially cruel and awful.  (As someone who is squeamish about violence, it's good to know that most of the violence is in the first four or five episodes.)

Poppy

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from dcriss-archive:

Manila Bulletin wrote:
Darren Criss portrays Andrew Cunanan in ‘Versace’ movie


By Janet Nepales

July 3, 2017


Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in ‘Versace: American Crime Story’ with Annaleigh Ashford as Elizabeth Cote and Nico Evers-Swindell as Phil Cote (Photo by Jeff Daly/FX Networks)



Darren on the Miami set of ‘Versace: American Crime Story’ (Photo courtesy of Janet R. Nepales/HFPA)



Los Angeles – The weather in Miami was hot but Darren Criss, wearing a long-sleeved white shirt, was hotter.

The 30-year-old former “Glee” actor who portrayed Blaine Anderson, the lead singer of The Dalton Academy Warblers, has indeed gone a long way.

The Fil-Am actor, whose parents are Cerina Bru from Cebu and Charles William Criss from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, met with us one day at the late fashion designer Gianni Versace’s former home in Miami.

The charming, eloquent and talented actor talked to us about portraying the Fil-Am serial killer Andrew Cunanan who killed the famous fashion designer just outside of his Miami mansion in Ryan Murphy’s third season of his anthology series, “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”

Asked what he discovered about Andrew in his research of him, Darren replied, “That’s a very loaded question, a half hour is not enough time for me to go through that. I think the main thing to remember about any character you’re playing whether they’re real or not is your job as an actor, as a storyteller. I don’t even want to make it specific to actors. This goes to anybody who is a creative person. It’s your job to find as many common denominators with that person as possible.

“It’s important, especially for me for this particular story. This is a real person who did really horrible, tragic things to real people. Their families are still affected by the things that he did. But I still maintain the idea that we all have more in common with someone like Andrew than we don’t.

“Obviously, there are big variables. I’d like to think most of us don’t have actual murderous tendencies. However, at the end of the day, we are flesh and blood. We have mothers; we have fathers; we have dreams; we have hopes; we have regrets and failures that all make us who we are. So, the short answer is I found that we really do have a lot in common and that shouldn’t be misconstrued with the things that we know him for, which are obviously these horrible acts.

“But there’s a certain point in all of our lives that could have taken us into this certain path. You really have to identify what those moments are so that as a viewer, you’re not just antagonizing this person from the get go because you know what he’s done. You have to understand how he got there and what the links are between you and that person. So I found an awful lot of those.”

Sides to a story

Darren explained further that there are three different versions of Andrew Cunanan that he has to deal with.

He said, “There is the real version that none of us knew. There is the version that people did know but even that person was like 20 different people and then there’s the version that we’re telling. So as an actor, I can try and contact these family members or friends but they’re all going to have a different answer of who he was because he had different names. He had different looks. He had different attitudes that weren’t parallel to each other. So for me, my job is to serve the script. And whoever the persons that we’ve painted in this particular version, which I’m sure people who knew Andrew will be like, he wasn’t like that. However for our story and for the way that we’re characterizing him, I have to honor what’s on the page.

“So to me, what’s on the page and what’s in the script is my leader in this, and in Ryan and in people who are creating this. I’m serving their image of this story as much as I want to stay true to who he really was. We don’t know what kind of person he was so we just have to humanize him as much as possible and hope for the best.”

Darren was just 10 years old when Versace died. So at what point in his life before this project, did he learn about Andrew, we asked.

“I knew about the Versace murder just from general world facts,” Darren revealed. “I knew Versace was killed in front of his home. I’d been here before, the first time I went to Miami. I stopped by here. And I remember looking it up going, God, seeing the steps and I can’t believe they’re still here. This is so eerie. I vaguely remembered that he was half Filipino.
“I think growing up half Filipino if there’s any half Filipino in the media you tend to pay attention to it. That was about it. I had, through the fabulous world of ‘Glee’ I had met Donatella. I had been to Versace’s home in Milan. And I had seen things about his history. But that was about as far of a connection that I had.

“I don’t know if Ryan told you the story of how this came up. He brought this up to me about two, almost three years ago. I was having lunch with him in New Orleans. And I was joking with him about ‘Horror Story’ because he just announced Lady Gaga was going to be in it. So I jokingly said, hey let me know if you need a wily bellhop to show up on that show, I’ll do it. And he was, no, but there’s this other thing that I’m thinking about doing – Andrew. I looked it up and I was kind of spooked because he looks like me and my brother.

“That was it. I didn’t think he would actually make the show. I ended up diving in pretty hard on researching the guy. I had to wipe my hands clean of it because I was, I don’t want to have to know all this stuff if I don’t need to know about it. It’s a very dark place to be in. So, cut to now, here we are and he kept up with his word.

“While it is a very gruesome and dark project, it is an exciting project to be with him and with this prestigious group of people. So that was about all I knew. I definitely sense being involved I have this profound new connection to Versace and to the story. Like I said, being in this house for the past week has been extraordinarily moving. This isn’t to be romantic or spiritual, but he’s just in the house. Everything that he’s made that we all know the iconography of Gianni Versace, it is present in every turn. So seeing that has really given me a new profound appreciation of his work and appreciation of a great creator, someone who just wanted to relentlessly wreak beauty upon the world.”


Interesting article!  We learn when Ryan first talked to Darren about the project.   I don't watch American Horror Story, so I'm not sure when Ryan announced that Lady Gaga would be in AHS, as Darren mentioned in the interview.  I did goggle it, and I'm guessing it was announced in February 2015 that Lady Gaga would be appearing in AHS.   As mentioned in another interview, Ryan did seem to have Darren in mind to play Andrew Cunanan in ACS.  Darren has mentioned in a couple of interviews that he was impressed that Ryan kept his word.  I agree!  I'm impressed (and grateful) that Ryan kept his word and cast Darren in ACS more than 2 years later.   It is so great that Darren, as he said, is working with this prestigious group of people, from Ryan to the impressive cast.  :bravo

Lin

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Interesting interviews, it's always great to get more than just some soundbites.
@Poppy wrote:Interesting article!  We learn when Ryan first talked to Darren about the project.   I don't watch American Horror Story, so I'm not sure when Ryan announced that Lady Gaga would be in AHS, as Darren mentioned in the interview.  I did goggle it, and I'm guessing it was announced in February 2015 that Lady Gaga would be appearing in AHS.   As mentioned in another interview, Ryan did seem to have Darren in mind to play Andrew Cunanan in ACS.  Darren has mentioned in a couple of interviews that he was impressed that Ryan kept his word.  I agree!  I'm impressed (and grateful) that Ryan kept his word and cast Darren in ACS more than 2 years later.   It is so great that Darren, as he said, is working with this prestigious group of people, from Ryan to the impressive cast.  
He also mentioned that it was in New Orleans, Ryan was filming the Scream Queens pilot there in March/April 2015 (and Mia was doing BTS stuff for the show). That's not "almost three years", Darren! Razz But I understand that it must feel longer to him with how busy he is.
The fact that Ryan kept his word is even more surprising if you read his interviews during Glee. I don't know if he is any different "in real life", but that experience taught me to believe about 7% of the things he promises or announces. :laughing And I'm sure he has more ideas than he can possibly work on, so we're so lucky that this one is happening and that he's giving Darren this amazing opportunity. The quote about wanting people to see that he is a great dramatic actor reminded me of an old one about Darren's Glee audition:

Ryan Murphy wrote:As soon as I saw it I said "That person is a star. I want to work with him, I want to make him- I want the world to see what I see here!" video
Well done and thanks for keeping up the good work, Ryan!  applause


_________________

Poppy

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@Lin wrote:He also mentioned that it was in New Orleans, Ryan was filming the Scream Queens pilot there in March/April 2015 (and Mia was doing BTS stuff for the show). That's not "almost three years", Darren! But I understand that it must feel longer to him with how busy he is.

Oh yes, good point, about New Orleans and Scream Queens.  And good for Mia for doing some bts stuff for SQ. 

haha!  I was thinking the same thing, that it was closer to 2 years than to 3 years.  :amused   I agree, he's done so much since then.  It  probably felt a lot longer. 


@Lin wrote:The fact that Ryan kept his word is even more surprising if you read his interviews during Glee. I don't know if he is any different "in real life", but that experience taught me to believe about 7% of the things he promises or announces. And I'm sure he has more ideas than he can possibly work on, so we're so lucky that this one is happening and that he's giving Darren this amazing opportunity.

ha!  I think Ryan got carried away when he did "spoilers" for Glee.  :amused   Ryan seems in some ways like Darren.  Both seem to like to juggle multiple projects at the same time, to keep very busy.   So I agree that Ryan probably has a lot of ideas about different projects.  Darren (and his fans) are lucky that this particular project came to fruition!  It really is an amazing opportunity for Darren to show his talent!  :bravo  That is the power of TV, to bring exposure to a wide audience.


@Lin wrote:The quote about wanting people to see that he is a great dramatic actor reminded me of an old one about Darren's Glee audition:

Ryan Murphy wrote:As soon as I saw it I said "That person is a star. I want to work with him, I want to make him- I want the world to see what I see here!" video

Oh wow.  I don't remember if I saw this video.  So thanks for posting that.  So touching that Ryan said that!    I was watching that video, and just before Ryan talked about Darren, when he was talking about The Glee Project contestants, he said:  "And hopefully by the end of it, . . . I do hope they go home with at least someone saying,  'You have something great.  I see your talent.  I see you.'"    I definitely believe that Ryan felt that about Darren, especially given what Lin pointed out about what Ryan said specifically about Darren, which again, is really heartwarming.  heart  Thanks again for posting that video, Lin!

And yes, thank you so much, Ryan Murphy!  thumbs up



Last edited by Poppy on Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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From dcriss-archive:

I think I will do what Darren recommended, and what Jeremy is doing, and refrain from watching.  But for those who are interested in learning more:

This Friday July 7th, 20/20 on ABC will be about Cunanan and the Versace murder. For anyone who’s interested in knowing more about Cunanan. | Source

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From dcriss-archive:




‘American Crime Story: Versace’ segment on Extra (July 5th, 2017) | Source

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From Darren Criss Army:



Inside Edition:  A Look Back at the Murder of Gianni Versace, 20 Years Later




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Inside Edition wrote:
20 Years After the Killing of Gianni Versace, New Miniseries Puts Murder Back in the Spotlight.

July 7, 2017

July 15 marks the 20th anniversary of fashion designer Gianni Versace’s assassination outside his Miami mansion, a murder that left the fashion world shaken.


The murder is the subject of the upcoming FX miniseries, American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which stars Penelope Cruz as his sister, Donatella, and Edgar Ramirez as the late designer.


The series also stars singer Ricky Martin and Glee's Darren Criss, and is set to air next year.


The filming of the show, produced by Ryan Murphy, took place at Versace's actual mansion.


Versace’s killer was Andrew Cunanan, a 27-year-old college dropout and petty hustler. His trail of death in 1997 stretched from Minnesota to Illinois to New Jersey.


The Italian designer was Cunanan’s next target. He was gunned down as he returned to his waterfront estate in South Beach following a morning cup of coffee.


Cunanan was found days later, hiding in a fancy Miami houseboat. He killed himself as police stormed in.

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Filming in Long Beach.  :happy face

From dcriss-archive:


Last night shooting for ACS Versace at The Silver Fox in Long Beach, CA via Zack Wysocki’s Instagram Story (July 7th, 2017)

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Ahh, man, my will power is so weak.  I saw this on dcriss-archive, so I watched almost all of it.  :cheeky I don't know 



20/20 ABC | Dying to Be Famous: The Versace Murders

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From Darren Criss Army:




Darren’s chair on set at ACS: Versace via Ricky Rollins’ Instagram Story (Instagram.com/rockerrrick) 7/13/17

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From Darren Criss Army and dcriss-archive:

A very interesting, very detailed interview by Ryan about The Assassination of Gianni Versace:  American Crime Story. 


I haven't heard of this site before, but it looks like an interesting website for the entertainment industry.  Emmanuel Levy certainly has a respectable resume. 

I really do admire Ryan's commitment to giving people in the entertainment industry, including actors, great opportunities!


EmanuelLevy wrote:
American Crime Story: Versace--Interview with Ryan Murphy

June 25, 2017

Edgar Ramirez stars as the openly gay designer, who was tragically gunned down on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion in 1997 by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, played by Darren Criss.

The limited series chronicles the bizarre murder and the manhunt for Cunanan, who targeted gay men and was responsible for five murders.

Casting Darren Criss as Cunanan

Ryan Murphy: I didn’t have to convince him at all. What I like to do is give people opportunities sometimes that they would never have. And Darren is obviously a brilliant singer and a performer and a showman and did “Glee” and has been on Broadway. When Brad Simpson and Nina Jacobson and I were first talking about this idea of doing Versace as sort of the O.J. follow-up, which was around two years ago, I immediately called Darren. Because to me he was the only one for that part. And I just said, I’m thinking about doing this, would you be interested. And he said, well yes, very much so because it’s such a great part. And I said, ok I’ll get the contracts drawn. And then it took two years because you have to write it and you have to get it green-lit. But he was always the only person I had in mind for it because I knew that he would push himself because he was so hungry to prove himself in a different way. And it’s a truly insane dramatic part. And he really wanted to go there. So he was the only person we talked to. He hadn’t heard from me and then he was getting ready to do another show and the day it was announced that Versace was up, he was, oh shit what am I going to do. But we all worked it out so he was able to get out and commit pretty much a year to it. And he was great. Brad and Nina went to see him in “Hedwig” and he knew they were in the audience so of course he came out and sat on Brad’s lap and did the whole showbiz thing.



Love seeing again how supportive Ryan is of Darren, how he really wanted to give Darren this special opportunity.  I'm very grateful and touched by Ryan's faith in and support of Darren!  Loved reading again how Ryan always had solely Darren in mind to play the role of Cunanan.   heart :love


Ok. . . what other show was Darren getting ready to do?!   Ryan, don't leave us hanging!  :cry broken heart 

Was it Royalties?   I personally think it was Royalties because:  (1)  Darren is very careful about not announcing his projects until the last minute, when he's very sure they will get done.  I don't think he would have mentioned (at the SF concert that he did at Feinstein's at the Nikko) selling the pilot script unless he knew that the project would proceed further;
(2)  Jonathan Gabay, and the writer Patrick Carlyle tweeted about the project, and they (along with writer Allyn Rachel, as well as Gail Berman, Joe Earley and Dani Gorin of The Jackal Group, which is a production group) all went to see Darren in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in  L.A..

I also was wondering about the part where Ryan said Darren was able to commit for pretty much a year to this project.  I thought Ryan previously said the commitment was 5 months?

We'll just have to wait and see if we find out what show Ryan is talking about, and if that show is still on the table for Darren! :fingers crossed :fingers crossed


I thought this was interesting (from the same article), what Ryan said about the  historical context of this project in terms of social issues:

Ryan Murphy wrote:
. . . Of course then, half the people I knew who had had ties to Hollywood and San Diego said, I was at a bar, I met Andrew Cunanan.  So there was always a very mythical thing about that guy. But it was just a real tragedy. And the reason I wanted to do this story so badly was because if you do O.J., what do you do to top O.J.? You have to do something completely different. And I wanted to do something smaller and more intimate. And, it’s a different kind of crime. When we do “American Crime” we’re not just going to do Jon Benet, we’re not going to just do something salacious. It has to be about something that has American social issues in it. And this period of time that we’re talking about, 1997, there were really two people who were out in entertainment, Elton John and Gianni Versace.


 
And more about Andrew Cunanan, and about the context of this period of time, about the current struggles and issues facing the LGBTQ community at that time (such as the personal struggles to come out as gay, as well as the homophobic police and how homophobia and self-hate played a part in the motivation of Cunanan to commit these murders).  I definitely can see that this is personal and important to Ryan.  I always have been drawn to personal stories set in the larger context of broad social and political issues.  

Ryan Murphy wrote:
Versace as Openly Gay

RM: Versace really struggled with it. There were a lot of conversations with Donatella. Should I come out of the closet? Because my business is going public. He was terrified that by not being able to be himself he would be discriminated against and lose everything. That was also the period of don’t ask, don’t tell, which we dive into.  The reason why it’s such an interesting American crime is because Gianni Versace was only killed because of homophobia. Andrew Cunanan killed and targeted people who were gay or who were in the closet. And his murders tend to out them. There was a gentleman who was in his 70’s named Lee Miglin who was one of the early victims, whose family was so upset and terrified of his personal life coming out that they just sort of said, motive unknown. And the police didn’t pursue it. And by the time Cunanan got to Miami, the police officers in town had thousands of wanted posters in the trunks of the cars that they would not put up because they would not go to gay bars. They just wouldn’t do it. So we’re delving with all this very dark period of American society that is obviously personal to me, and very upsetting.


About Andrew Cunanan:

Ryan Murphy wrote:
Cunanan as Character


RM: We had the book that we optioned, “Vulgar Favors.” The thing about Cunanan was a mystery in many ways. The things that I was fascinated about is the creator-destroyer idea of Cunanan and Versace sort of were the same beginning. They came from immigrant families, they wanted to be famous, they wanted to be celebrated and one person did the work and took the risk, which was Versace, and one person didn’t, who was Cunanan.  Cunanan was also a tragic story. He was lied to by his parents, specifically his father, who told them they were incredibly wealthy, almost royalty in the Philippines. And in his teenage years he discovered that his father had been lying the entire time. He was treated like a celebrity in his own family. When he was very young his parents gave him the master suite. So he sort of grew up with this kingly idea of who he was and who he could be. And then it was all taken away and he was shattered by it. And he had real psychological difficulties dealing with. There was also what we could never verify or prove, sexual abuse in his family. So he was also a very tragic figure and wanted fame and fortune so desperately that what happened with him was when he killed someone, the first victim, that probably was in a fit of pique and rage, he decided well, I’m going to go to jail, I’m going to be destroyed, so I want to be famous so I’m going to move towards that. And in taking the life of the famous person became his fame which is also a very American story that we see time and time again, that’s gotten progressively worse with social media over the years and threats and violence.  When you have somebody like Cunanan, who is thought of in many circles as a monster, and the person that took away Gianni Versace from us, you also have to with the actor say, well let’s talk about his childhood. He was a real person. Something along the way made him snap. So we’ve talked a lot about that. And Darren did a lot of research on his own and showed up ready to go.




This sounds so fascinating:

Ryan Murphy wrote:
Actual Filming

Every story has its own organic thing. So for this story we did a really cool thing, we’re starting the story with, the first 15 minutes are music, opera, no dialogue, and it’s Versace restored to health, getting up and starting his day with his staff and then walking to the News Café, intercut with Cunanan stalking him and tracking him.  It starts with his murder. And then what we wanted to do was tell the story backwards. Versace was the last murder but in our show he’s the first. And then we go back in time. We tell the story backwards, ending with the Cunanan figure as a young man and Versace as a young man trying to make a stab of it as a designer.

There’s only violence and murder in the first four or five episodes. And then you really get into the psychological struggle of how does one person become a creator and how does one become a destroyer. And then the last episode is Cunanan on the houseboat making a decision to kill himself before they arrest him.  I’ve never done anything backwards. But I loved the storytelling of it because I think you’ll be so moved because it starts with a violent act and by the time you’ll get to the end you will really realize what Versace had to go through to become Versace and what Cunanan went through to become that killer.



Can't wait to see this show!

BTW, does anyone remember how many episodes are in the series?  Is it eight or nine?

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From Darren Criss Army:

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enews  They say crime doesn’t pay… unless you’re a Hollywood actor.

via dcriss-archive

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From dcriss-archive:


Why Ryan Murphy is ruling TV’s True Crime Genre (July 20th, 2017) | Source (Article)

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Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan
The former Glee star donned some killer jorts for his role as Gianni Versace’s killer in the highly anticipated upcoming season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story. The 28-year-old killed at least four people before murdering the famed fashion designer in front of his Miami mansion on July 15, 1997. On July 24, 1997, he committed suicide. | Source

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Not exactly about Darren, but I saw this on Twitter and found it interesting: Matt Bomer is going to direct an episode!

In the more immediate horizon is Bomer’s first directing opportunity, with an episode of the upcoming The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story series for Ryan Murphy. source


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Aw, that's so cool!  I'm so glad that Matt Bomer is being given this chance.  I always love when nice things happen to nice people.  :happy face  (Plus, maybe it'll be a reunion for the Anderson bros. :amused )  Thanks for letting us know, Lin.

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