This is a fan forum to discuss Darren Criss\'s career and his public activities, including his theater, film, and TV projects, his music and musical performances, charitable work, interaction with fans, and interviews.
・・・ “I know what it’s like to want to stand out. Andrew [Cunanan] had that too, but we had different reasons.” — #ACSVersace’s own @DarrenCriss explains how he found humanity in the sociopathic killer he plays on TV at the link in our bio. [camera emoji] @katwirsing for Esquire.com. Styling by @mrjonathanevans.
I was also one of those folks like Darren who did not want to feel like everybody else, but I did it to express my individuality, my uniqueness, and diversity. It's interesting to hear the various reasons why people want to be different.
・・・ “I know what it’s like to want to stand out. Andrew [Cunanan] had that too, but we had different reasons.” — #ACSVersace’s own @DarrenCriss explains how he found humanity in the sociopathic killer he plays on TV at the link in our bio. [camera emoji] @katwirsing for Esquire.com. Styling by @mrjonathanevans.
Via Esquire’s Instagram Story (February 8th, 2018)
Again, the entire cast was good, and I admire the writing.
--I agree, the storyline involving Ronnie was really, really interesting. Max Greenfield did a wonderful job. In a short time, he captured Ronnie's humanity. I really felt for him, because of an illness which he thought would be the end of him (I don't remember if he said he had HIV or if it was suggested by the show), but after being given the life-saving medication, now he doesn't seem to know what to do with his life, which is so tragic. Max conveyed Ronnie's loneliness and emptiness, and showed why at the same time his suspicion of Andrew continued to grow, he also seemed grateful for Andrew's friendship. To me, there were three great scenes involving Ronnie and Cunanan.
The first scene was the conversation that Cunanan and Ronnie had while Cunanan was showering on the beach. I agree with one of the critics, that the show reached just the right balance between showing Cunanan's physical attractiveness, without distracting from the important conversation. How good is Darren's acting where Cunanan makes up a fable of being proposed to by Versace and turning him down, then Cunanan swiftly and intensely defending Versace as his "friend" and as a great artist, when Ronnie seems lukewarm about Versace's clothing, followed by Cunanan passionately exclaiming (paraphrasing) that he sees the man (Versace) behind the clothing as a great creator, "the man I could have been." Then another abrupt change in emotion of Cunanan, when Cunanan laughs when Ronnie makes a joke (something about could have been with Versace).
The second scene I really liked occurs when both Ronnie and Cunanan are getting high. The result of Ronnie getting high: He becomes silly and happy. The result of Cunanan getting high: He is taken over by darkness. When Cunanan comes out of the bathroom with the duct tape on his face, Ronnie's reaction was priceless, in part horrified, in part (to the audience) comical in how taken aback Ronnie is (for good reason!). And that great line from Ronnie--delivered perfectly by Max Greenfield, with dread and foreboding--to Cunanan (this is great writing! I'm paraphrasing), "Andrew, what'd you do?" Cunanan's response, "Nothing. I've done nothing my whole life." Wonderful acting. Wonderful writing.
The third scene between those two that you mentioned, Jeremy, that I loved, where they are saying their good-byes. You sense Ronnie's anger, probably from his sense of being abandoned summarily by Cunanan, where he barks to Cunanan about where is the money (again, I'm paraphrasing) and Andrew stops in his tracks, turns, and comes marching back rapidly in that narrow hallway. The camera turns to Ronnie's face, which shows fear, as Andrews reaches in his backpack as he approaches Ronnie. The show suggests Cunanan could be pulling out a weapon, but he pulls out his wallet. Was giving Ronnie money an act of kindness of Cunanan, or was Cunanan merely showing to Ronnie that Cunanan followed through and got the money he said he would? Then that pause, and that sad question from Ronnie that follows, asking Cunanan if their friendship was real. Was Cunanan's response an act of kindness to protect Ronnie from any involvement with Cunanan to avoid Ronnie getting tangled up with law enforcement, or simply to deny any clues to law enforcement, or both?
--The scene with the elderly client in his hotel room, was scary. You are just waiting for the poor guy to be attacked with the scissors that Cunanan plays with in his hands as the elderly clients gasps for air and Cunanan dances around him. When Cunanan pauses, and his face (especially his eyes) sets into a hardened expression, you are thinking, "Oh no"!! Also, Darren is so graceful when he leaps on the bed, and hovers over the helpless elderly man; he made me think of a graceful animal attacking its prey. (BTW did anyone notice that Darren used a dance move similar to one he used in Hedwig, and I thought, "no--don't use the Hedwig dance move!")
--I also loved the scenes involving the Versace family. I am in love with Edgar's Gianni Versace, so warm, and so passionate about his art, life and family. I love the acting and the writing for the scene where Donatella asks a weak, ill Gianni, (paraphrasing), "What is Versace without you?" Gianni: "It will be you." Donatella: "What am I without you?" Such a complex sibling relationship, competitive, with different philosophies about life and art, but so full of love and respect for each other. I really felt Donatella's grief in the scene where she lovingly dresses Gianni in the coffin. I cried at that scene.
The conflict between Donatella and Antonio is understandable, but yet so sad. I understand Donatella's anger against Antonio because she loves her brother so much and has to blame someone other than her brother. But I really feel for Antonio, who loves Gianni deeply, and is attacked by Donatella. He is right. Gianni is not a saint; Gianni is a man who he made his own choices.
I also love the writing and the acting in that scene where Donatella and Gianni are arguing about models and clothing. The language was so beautiful. I loved it. All I remember now is Gianni saying near the end of the dialogue, "Life is precious," but all of Gianni's speech was beautiful. And I loved what he said about the Versace bride, not being timid, being strong, having lived life.
And yes, the fake Donatella person was funny (although still a tense scene, due to Cunanan watching intensely).
Oh and I liked the scenes with the woman detective, who was trying to correct all of the FBI's incompetence, and the FBI's lack of caring.
From Darren Criss Army:
Haven't had a chance to watch this yet.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace | Inside Season 2: The Mansion | FX
Versace’s villa tells a story. The cast and crew explain the power of shooting in his actual Miami home.
I liked this scene. I liked the way Darren skillfully transitions his facial expressions.
Nina Star plays the young girl observing Andrew Cunanan in Episode 2 of ACS Versace (”Manhunt”). The episode aired Jan 24 2018 in the US, the bit of Andrew waving was cut.
Darren Criss: Today’s the day. I’m very proud of all the hard work our cast & crew put into this, and I’m excited to share it with the world. I’d like to remind viewers that these were very real crimes that destroyed very real people. My heart goes out - as it did every day going in to work- to the victims and their loved ones, who, 20 years later, still must cope with the tragedies that our series depicts. My hope is that our show can bring some kind of justice to those whose stories have, until now, lived mostly in the shadows. And my prayer is that with all the darkness we explore, we can create some kind of light- by igniting discussion and encouraging much larger questions about ourselves and the society we live in. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres tonight at 10pm ET on FX.
#ACSVersace is #1 Worldwide trend on Twitter (January 17th, 2018)
vanityfair: Andrew Cunanan would have relished being portrayed by @DarrenCriss, but Criss is empathetic enough to understand that, for all its juicy details, @americancrimestoryfx is an epic story of real-life suffering: “My heart is really sensitive to the people who experienced something so horrible that I’m trying to breathe life into.” The #ACSVersace star and #Glee alum opens up at the link in bio. Photograph by @aspictures.
Via Ricky Rollins’ Instagram Story (January 17th, 2018)
calebfoote: MUST SEE TV! Tonight at 10pm on Fox, Eddie and D Criss are absolute powerhouses @americancrimestoryfx #versace
nicolaseftaxias: Today is the premiere of ACS VERSACE#acsversace Good luck @darrencriss and your team on the show ! Was great to meet and work with you ! You are an amazing actor and friend ! Good luck #nofilter we don’t need it !! Xoxo
jonothonmitchell: Met @darrencriss last year and he was one of the nicest people ever. So happy to see his performance on #AmericanCrimeStory#Versace tonight. People calling it one of the performances of the decade. Come back to ATL anytime, Darren. I’ll take you to the Clermont!
Will read this interview later. I remember being a fan of their interview of Darren when he was on Broadway in Hedwig.
The Daily Beast wrote: How Darren Criss Became Versace’s Killer (And Why He Keeps Playing Gay)
Step-touching his way through the halls of the fictional Dalton High School—the hair perfectly parted, the navy blazer impeccably tailored, and amplifying an a capella rendition of a Katy Perry song through the sheer wattage of his all-American smile—a then-22-year-old Darren Criss, fresh out of college and making his debut as Blaine Anderson on a 2010 episode of Glee, was the epitome of the teenage dream.
Now, he’s the 30-year-old stuff of nightmares.
Well, he isn’t, exactly, but the serial killer he plays on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story certainly is.
In many ways, Criss’ revelatory performance as Andrew Cunanan, the 27-year-old gay man who, after murdering five people including the famed fashion designer, became one of the most wanted serial killers in American history, is all the more unsettling because of its stark contrast to the genial crooner we were introduced to on Fox’s burned-fast-and-bright musical dramedy.
But then again, the surprise of a certain clean-cut progressiveness has been the hallmark of Criss’ still-young career.
“I think it’s really given me an alley-oop,” Criss says, referring to the initial shock a Glee fan might have to watching the actor as Cunanan, say, bind a rich john who hires him as an escort with duct tape and then gauge him with a hammer. “I’d like to think [audiences] would be interested and compelled anyway,” without this lingering image of Criss as Blaine, the consummate Nice Guy. “But I think it’s an extra nudge when you have that to juxtapose against.”
When we first met Darren Criss several years ago, he was wearing a thigh-length kimono and tending to his favorite blonde wig, remnants of sweat-sticky glitter smudging just about everything in sight—aided and abetted in its mission by the runoff from his sparkling go-go boots. We were in his dressing room backstage at the Belasco Theatre, high off the energy of his stage-scorching performance in as the titular transgender rocker in the 2015 musical revival Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
It was Criss’ first major gig after wrapping his run on Glee, and a thundering opening salvo in proving the breadth of his talents, let alone taste in projects.
Things are decidedly bleaker, or at the very least chillier, when we reunite two-and-a-half years later at a café in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York to talk Versace, inarguably the biggest and certainly darkest project of his career thus far. Still, Criss’ fashion choice is doing its part to dial up the fabulousness of the morning: a knee-length, forest green mohair overcoathe pets with pride when we compliment it. “One of the kids from Boy Band on Good Morning Americathis morning was like, ‘Yo bro, it looks like you skinned the Grinch!’” Criss laughs. “I’m like, that is indeed an apt observation.” FULL ARTICLE | THE DAILY BEAST.COM
Darren Criss on ‘American Crime Story’ & PRETTYMUCH’s Austin Porter Has Hobbit Feet | Source
PRETTYMUCH’s Austin Porter & DC Young Fly Grill Darren Criss | The Third Degree | Source
PRETTYMUCH, Fall Out Boy, Darren Criss & the Cast of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars’ Today! | Source
Darren Criss Wants to Collab w/ PRETTYMUCH | Source
Via TRL’s Instagram Story (January 17th, 2018)
MTV's TRL. Darren's eyes look pretty here.
DarrenCriss: You should @PRETTYMUCH tune into @TRL right now.
TRL: i stan @PRETTYMUCH and @darrencriss more than most things #TRL
Andy Cohen. Will watch later.
Darren Criss on the Versace Family’s Response the Series: “They don’t know what we’re doing” | Source
radioandysxm: @bravoandy and his “son” @darrencriss wearing matching cardigans on #ACL!
Via Darren Criss’ Instagram Story (January 17th, 2018)
Love his sweater!
Actor Darren Criss visits SiriusXM Studios on January 17 2018 in New York City
Will listen to this Elvis Duran interview later too.
Darren Criss on Playing a Murder | Elvis Duran Show | Source
This was honestly such a heartfelt message from Elvis.
elvisduran: Good luck tonight @darrencriss. Getting ready to watch #ACSVersace!
Track: Darren Criss at The Elvis Duran Show (01-17-18) Darren at The Elvis Duran Show promoting The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story on January 17th, 2018
Elvis Duran and Darren Criss attend ‘The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show’ at Z100 Studio on January 17, 2018 in New York City.
elvisduran: So excited to see @darrencriss make his debut as a cold-hearted killer tonight on @fxnetworks’ The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. #ACSVersace
ElvisDuranShow: Pumped for our friend @DarrenCriss to make his debut, TONIGHT at 10 pm ET, in #ACSVersace! @FXNetworks
I did get a chance to watch Live with Kelly and Ryan this morning. Kelly always has nice chemistry with Darren, and Ryan seems nice. Darren looked relaxed. My only suggestion would be to refrain from telling the story about leaving Penelope to talk to other celebrities, and to refrain from the bit that he's stated in other interviews where Darren challenges Ryan to find another half Filipino guy etc. to play the role. It doesn't quite come across as humble, and honestly, I'm sure there are other Filipino or half-Filipino actors who are talented, can pass for that age range, and have a resemblance to Cunanan--I wouldn't assume there are no talented actors with that ethnicity in that age range who are available and working hard for such a great opportunity (I'm not saying they would be as talented as Darren, but I'm sure they are talented). Ok, sorry, it just rubs me the wrong way a bit. The way I look at it, Darren represents himself in the best light when he states how fortunate and lucky he feels he is to be in this project (which to his credit, he had stated before), because he really is fortunate and lucky to be in this project. Ok, I'll stop.
Darren Criss ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ Interview on Live with Kelly and Ryan | Source
Kelly and Ryan thought Darren was an intern.
DarrenCriss: Just tryin to get that internship though @LiveKellyRyan Sorta behind in posting today's media blitz of Darren.
Via Live with Kelly and Ryan’s Instagram Story (January 17th, 2018)
Will watch later.
Darren Criss and Exec Producers on ‘American Crime Story’ Season Two Source
Darren on Buzzfeed AM2DM. Will watch later.
Darren Criss on playing a killer, “serious” roles, and the ambiance of “American Crime Story” (January 17th, 2018) | Source
AM2DM: “American Crime Story” star @DarrenCriss talks playing murderer Andrew Cunanan in new season
Darren and Edgar in the Build interview.
[14 HQ] Actors Edgar Ramirez and Darren Criss attend the Build Series to discuss ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ at Build Studio on January 16, 2018 in New York City. | Source
More pics of Darren at the Build interview. That jacket is so pretty.
[HQ] Darren Criss at Build Studio on January 16, 2018 in New York City | Source
Darren Criss Calls “Versace” a Highlight in His Career | E! Live from the Red Carpet | Source
Darren Criss Discuss Homophobia in “Versace” | E! Live from the Red Carpet | Source
‘American Crime Story’ Season 2 tackles assassination of Gianni Versace
Published by Breakfast Television Toronto (BT)
Oooh. Nice interview by the New York Times (good memories about that interview done by Patrick Healy of the NYT when Darren was on Broadway for How To Succeed). I'll post the whole interview but please visit the site to give it a number of "clicks." We must continue to show to these media sites that there is a lot of interest in articles about Darren. The pics are beautiful too.
The New York Times wrote: Darren Criss Plays the Happy-Go-Lucky Killer in the Versace TV Drama
by Michael Schulman
Ryan Pfluger for The New York Times (Photo)
Jan. 12, 2018
MIAMI BEACH — At 6:30 in the morning, Darren Criss was bright-eyed and perky as he bounded out of his South Beach hotel and into a black car. It was the last day of shooting for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” Ryan Murphy’s nine-episode follow-up to “The People v. O. J. Simpson.” Mr. Criss plays the assassin and, the night before, he had been up late shooting a manhunt scene that blocked off a stretch of Collins Avenue, to the chagrin of nightclubbers and Uber drivers. “That was a very cool rock-star moment,” Mr. Criss said in the car, wearing a ball cap and jeans. He flashed an easygoing grin, the kind that endeared him to legions of young fans of “Glee,” on which he played Blaine Anderson, the preppy, harmonizing love interest of Chris Colfer’s Kurt Hummel. His new role on “American Crime Story” (which has its premiere on FX on Jan. 17) couldn’t be less gleeful: Andrew Cunanan, the gay gigolo turned serial killer who shot Mr. Versace in 1997, after killing four other men. Mr. Criss, 30, leaned over and pointed out the window. “See that?” he said. “That’s the houseboat, perfectly recreated.” In Indian Creek, the crew had built a replica of Mr. Cunanan’s final hide-out, where he met his demise after a frenzied eight-day manhunt. The series makes use of several real locations in Miami Beach, most notably the Versace Mansion, the site of the murder, now a boutique hotel.
[size=13]As the car turned into a parking lot full of trailers, Mr. Criss was all smiles, doling out greetings of “Hey, man!” and “Happy last day!” Even pre-caffeine, he was relentlessly chipper, which seems antithetical to playing a murderer. Or maybe not. Charm was Mr. Cunanan’s calling card, masking a desperate need for acceptance that curdled into pathology. And Mr. Criss’s exuberance on set, he said later, was a way of putting the crew at ease.
“This is the first time I’ve been No. 1 on the call sheet, so you’re kind of the quarterback,” he said. “You set a tone. I take my work very seriously, but I don’t take myself seriously at all.”[/size] He plopped down in front of a mirror, where a hair-and-makeup artist fitted him with a wig. Like any decent actor playing a villain, he had looked for Mr. Cunanan’s redeeming traits: his talent, his likability. “The bleeding idealist in me always likes to think that there are more things in common between all of us than there aren’t,” he said. Presumably, he meant “bleeding-heart idealist,” but the phrase seemed apt. It was that chiaroscuro quality that caught the attention of Mr. Murphy, who as a co-creator of “Glee” gave Mr. Criss his breakout role. “Darren was seen by people as being a comedic actor, a Broadway musical star and a sensation: Mr. Charisma,” Mr. Murphy said. “I just knew he had the ability to go dark.” Mr. Murphy has a knack for matching actors with career-changing roles, notably Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark in “The People v. O. J. Simpson.” The new series features Edgar Ramirez as Mr. Versace, Ricky Martin as his lover Antonio D’Amico and Penélope Cruz as his sister Donatella. (Last week, the Versace family released two statements calling the series an unauthorized “work of fiction.”)
But Mr. Criss was the linchpin. “He was my first and only choice,” Mr. Murphy said. “I truly wouldn’t have made it without him. I don’t know any other actor who would have been correct.” Given Mr. Criss’s squeaky-clean image, the casting seems wildly against type. But Mr. Criss and Mr. Cunanan had some unlikely similarities, beginning with an uncanny physical resemblance. Both are half-Filipino California natives, and “we both revel in being different,” Mr. Criss said. As a teenager, he wore vintage bell-bottoms to high school, while the young Mr. Cunanan put dimes in his penny loafers for “that extra bit of flair.” But while Mr. Criss channeled his charisma into singing and dancing, Mr. Cunanan faked his way into high society, lashing out when he didn’t get his way. Growing up in San Diego, Mr. Cunanan was a social butterfly in the Hillcrest neighborhood, where the gay and military communities overlapped, subsisting on sugar daddies and outrageous lies. “The evidence is strong that he was a drug dealer and involved in crystal meth, so he would get a lot of money in cash and treat people to elaborate dinners,” said the writer Maureen Orth, whose Vanity Fair article about Mr. Cunanan grew into the book “Vulgar Favors,” the basis of the FX series. “At the same time, he was extremely aspirational. Even when he was hiding out in South Beach, he had the biography of William Paley. He had Architectural Digest. And then he’d go out at night and hustle.” Shooting Mr. Versace was a crime “very much of anger,” Ms. Orth said. “Andrew had been rejected, and things hadn’t turned out for him the way he wanted. And he also was desperate to be famous, and he was willing to kill.” From Theater Geek to ‘Glee’ By contrast, fame came easily to Mr. Criss. Even before “Glee,” he had garnered a following from his role in a satirical “Harry Potter” musical, which he put on with his post-collegiate theater company in Michigan. A YouTube version, with Mr. Criss as the boy wizard, went viral. By then he was already a seasoned performer. Raised in San Francisco, the son of a prominent banker, he began studying classical violin when he was 5. Not long after, he saw “Aladdin” and decided he wanted to be the genie, or, barring that, an actor. The year of the Versace murder, he made his professional theater debut at age 10, in a local production of the 1954 musical “Fanny.” His big number was “Be Kind to Your Parents.” He spent the next eight years studying at the American Conservatory Theater’s young conservatory program, while acting with 42nd Street Moon, a San Francisco troupe known for musical revivals. “After school, I was raised by gay 20-somethings,” he said of his adolescent years. “These are the people that I loved and looked up to and wanted to be around.” His early introduction to gay culture helped prepare him for a career in which his best-known roles and a good chunk of his fan base are gay, though Mr. Criss himself is straight. (His longtime girlfriend is Mia Swier, a TV director and producer.) He’s a rare breed: theater geek filtered through California bro, which made an ideal combination for the pop dorkiness of “Glee.” In the show’s early days, he auditioned unsuccessfully for a few bit parts, including a football player, until Mr. Murphy finally took notice of him and cast him as Blaine in Season 2. “I knew he could sing, I knew he could act, and I knew before we shot a frame of it, this kid’s going to blow up,” Mr. Murphy said.
He was right: Mr. Criss debuted on “Glee” in 2010, not long after getting a theater degree at the University of Michigan, and his cover of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” from his first episode shot up the Billboard charts. A vocal fan base kept the Kurt and Blaine romance steaming along, breaking television barriers as it went. Mr. Criss burnished his overnight fame with stints on Broadway in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” and recorded music as a solo artist and with Computer Games, an alt-pop band he started with his brother, Chuck Criss. In 2015, he helped found Elsie Fest, an outdoor music festival in New York that has been called “Coachella for Show Tunes.” Mr. Murphy first floated the idea of the Versace project three years ago, when Mr. Criss was in New Orleans while Mr. Murphy was there shooting the pilot for “Scream Queens.” Hearing the name Andrew Cunanan, Mr. Criss responded, “Oh, that’s right! The half-Filipino guy!” Later that summer, he was backstage at “Hedwig” in full makeup and heels when Mr. Murphy called: “‘Do you still want to do the Cunanan thing?’”
Channeling a Killer
In the makeup trailer in Miami, a stylist painted a meth scab on Mr. Criss’s leg and everyone got in a van. The morning’s agenda: a fictionalized scene in which the increasingly desperate Mr. Cunanan tries to swim his way to safety, but quickly turns back. The van stopped near a jetty at the northern tip of Bal Harbour, with the Ritz-Carlton looming in the background. “This is going to be rad!” Mr. Criss said, barely containing his enthusiasm. The first assistant director went over the shot: stare at the water; take off shirt, shoes and sunglasses; zip up backpack; jump in. “Shirt, shoes, sunglasses,” the actor repeated. “I like the alliteration of that.” Mr. Criss gazed at the beach. “Look at these colors, guys. It looks fake!” The waves were crashing hard against the concrete. As the crew shot the scene at the end of the jetty, it was decided that the water was too choppy for Mr. Criss to actually get in, lest they lose their star to sea. Still, by the end of the take he was drenched from ocean sprays, stripped down to soaking white boxer shorts. “That was insane,” he shouted while he walked back, as someone swathed him in a white robe. He smiled into the sun and took stock of his luck: “Just a day at the office. Who gets to do this?” On a break, I mentioned that he seemed to be having fun, and he bridled. “I’m really careful with that word,” he said, his smile dissipating. “This is pretty gruesome material.” During the eight-month shoot, he had been approached by several people who knew Mr. Cunanan. At an event in Los Angeles, he recalled, a Hollywood producer came up to him and said, “Oh, yeah, Andrew Cunanan, I used to hook up with him,” and added that the F.B.I. had warned him to be careful while Mr. Cunanan was still on the loose.
After a few takes, the crew moved to the beach to shoot Andrew’s dejected return to the shore: “my anti-James Bond moment,” Mr. Criss joked. He flung himself into the waves and trudged back onto the sand, kneeling and agonizing for the camera. “Show us your face,” the episode’s director, Dan Minahan, instructed, and Mr. Criss revealed an anguished expression out of “Guernica.” After “Cut!,” he instantly reverted to his sunny self, saying, “I haven’t been in the water since we got back to Miami, so: check!” Sitting down for lunch after the shoot, Mr. Criss described the series as a parable about “the ultimate creator and the ultimate destroyer,” in which resentment turned Mr. Cunanan from aspirant to assassin. “I approached Andrew from a pretty big place of hurt and pain and sorrow and sadness,” he said. “The story doesn’t horrify me as much as it breaks my heart.” “And that’s why acting is such a fun art form to me, again as a bleeding idealist, a bleeding happy-go-lucky dude,” he said, grinning again at his sheer dumb luck. “People casually ask me, ‘How’s the show going?’ And I will say with no ounce of irony or hyperbole, ‘I’ve worked and waited my entire life for this moment, and I couldn’t be happier.’” Moments later, something close to an irony did cross his mind: “It’s the life Andrew Cunanan would have dreamed of, frankly.”
Entertainment Weekly wrote: This Week's Must List: 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace,' 'Paddington 2,' and 'Red Clocks'
January 12, 2018
ILLUSTRATION by LAURA LANNES for EW
1 of 10
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
The second installment of Ryan Murphy’s true-crime anthology series is a visceral, compelling, and disturbing look at the murder of the titular designer — and the man who killed him, Andrew Cunanan, played by a gripping Darren Criss. (FX, Wednesdays, 10 p.m.)
ashleypweston: Darren Criss x NEW YORK TIMES x KIMMEL Saying it was a busy week with this guy would be an understatement #AWerk#DarrenCriss#ACSVersace
ryanpfluger: @darrencriss for the @nytimes up online & out this weekend in the style section. Photographed by the Broad in Los Angeles back in November. Another killer shoot (pun intended) thanks to @lyonse x
She is a senior politics reporter at Vox. She also says "Go Blue" on her twitter page, so I'm guessing she went to U of Michigan?
Some nice quotes from gleekto from the NYT interview (via dcriss-archive):
Darren Criss wrote: People casually ask me, ‘How’s the show going?’ And I will say with no ounce of irony or hyperbole, ‘I’ve worked and waited my entire life for this moment, and I couldn’t be happier.’”
Moments later, something close to an irony did cross his mind: “It’s the life Andrew Cunanan would have dreamed of, frankly.
Darren Criss Plays the Happy-Go-Lucky Killer in the Versace TV Drama
Darren Criss wrote:This is the first time I’ve been No. 1 on the call sheet, so you’re kind of the quarterback,” he said. “You set a tone. I take my work very seriously, but I don’t take myself seriously at all.
Darren Criss Plays the Happy-Go-Lucky Killer in the Versace TV Drama (via gleekto)
Darren Criss wrote: After school, I was raised by gay 20-somethings,” he said of his adolescent years. “These are the people that I loved and looked up to and wanted to be around.”
His early introduction to gay culture helped prepare him for a career in which his best-known roles and a good chunk of his fan base are gay, though Mr. Criss himself is straight. (His longtime girlfriend is Mia Swier, a TV director and producer.) He’s a rare breed: theater geek filtered through California bro, which made an ideal combination for the pop dorkiness of “Glee.
Darren Criss Plays the Happy-Go-Lucky Killer in the Versace TV Drama
I really like what Ryan Murphy said about Darren in the NYT article. Here are some quotes from Ryan:
Ryan Murphy wrote: It was that chiaroscuro quality that caught the attention of Mr. Murphy, who as a co-creator of “Glee” gave Mr. Criss his breakout role. “Darren was seen by people as being a comedic actor, a Broadway musical star and a sensation: Mr. Charisma,” Mr. Murphy said. “I just knew he had the ability to go dark.” [. . . ]
But Mr. Criss was the linchpin. “He was my first and only choice,” Mr. Murphy said. “I truly wouldn’t have made it without him. I don’t know any other actor who would have been correct.”
[. . . ]
In the show’s early days, he auditioned unsuccessfully for a few bit parts, including a football player, until Mr. Murphy finally took notice of him and cast him as Blaine in Season 2. “I knew he could sing, I knew he could act, and I knew before we shot a frame of it, this kid’s going to blow up,” Mr. Murphy said.
Darren Criss Plays the Happy-Go-Lucky Killer in the Versace TV Drama
Buffalo News wrote: Orth brings Versace murder to TV, recalls night Tim Russert might have talked to his killer
January 12, 2018
She dismissed some criticism here that the series makes Cunanan likable because she feels being erudite, well-read and having good taste made him that way.
"I found that specious," she said. "He was an incredibly charming personality. He wasn’t just simply a calculating evil personality, and that’s why he was able to gain the confidence of really lovely, sort of salt-of-the-earth, Midwestern guys and the people that he hung out with… So he had quite an interesting personality that was apart from the deep evil that lurked underneath."
She praised Criss' performance.
I think Darren did a beautiful job of being both creepy and charismatic at the same time," said Orth.
Regarding when Versacewill air on BBC Two for UK viewers (hopefully a couple of weeks after January 17)
Express wrote: American Crime Story season 2 UK date: When does The Assassination of Gianni Versace air?
Jan. 12, 2018
When will The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story be released?
The Assassination of Gianni Versace is the second instalment of Ryan Murphy’s examination of infamous murder cases that rocked the world.
The second season of the anthology series is officially released on FX in the US on Wednesday, January 17.
It will then air shortly after on BBC Two for UK viewers. An exact date has not yet been set for the BBC Two release but it has been confirmed that it will be early 2018. The show will then stream on Netflix after its initial premiere.
The first season, The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, was released on BBC Two on February 15, 2016 after the initial US release of February 2.
So it’s likely UK fans won’t have to wait too long to enjoy what is set to be one of the biggest shows of 2018.
Vanity Fair wrote: Andrew Cunanan and the Assassination of Gianni Versace, Revisited
January 11, 2018
The author of the book upon which the upcoming season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story is based discusses what has changed in the 20 years since the case gripped the nation, and what has not.
[. . . ]
“Darren Criss, who plays Cunanan, startled me because he looked so much like him. Criss is also half Filipino, just as Cunanan was.”
“Cunanan would have relished being played by Criss, who brings remarkable charisma and creepiness to the role. Still, the actor is cognizant of the pain and terror his victims will relive when the show airs. As he told me this fall: ‘My heart is really sensitive to the people who experienced something so horrible that I’m trying to breathe life into.’”
Premiere of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (1/8/2018, Los Angeles)
Wow, so much material to cover.
From Darren Criss Army:
haha. Darren charming Penelope.
Penelope Cruz & Darren Criss at the ACS Versace LA premiere, Jan 8, 2018.
Photos by Kevin Winter, Getty Images.
Darren with his team (Ashley Weston, Ricky Rollins, Eleni Gianulis and Michael Ormacky) celebrating the Los Angeles premiere of American Crime Story, January 8, 2018, via Ricky Rollins’ Instagram Story
via Darren Criss Army
Edouard Holdener & Darren Criss at the ACS Versace LA premiere
Jan 8, 2018
Photos by Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Darren Criss & “Vulgar Favors” author Maureen Orth at the LA premiere of ACS Versace.
Jan 8, 2018
Photo by Kevin Winter, Getty Images
ETOnline wrote: 'American Crime Story' Cast Reacts to Versace Family Calling Mini-Series a 'Work of Fiction (Exclusive)
January 9, 2018
Edgar Ramirez and Penelope Cruz are standing behind their work on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story following the Versace family telling ET that the mini-series should be “considered a work of fiction.”
ET’s Keltie Knight spoke with the ACS stars and the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, at the FX premiere on Monday night in Los Angeles, California, and they were all adamant about holding Gianni’s relatives in high regard.
“We all feel the utmost respect for the Versace family,” Ramirez, who portrays the slain fashion designer, said. “We all tried to be as respectful and compassionate as possible walking into the show.”
“I really feel a lot of love for them,” added Cruz, who takes on the role of Gianni’s sister, Donatella Versace.
The mini-series is based on Maureen Orth’s book, Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History, which details the late designer’s murder in 1997. Murphy stands behind the story.
“Vulgar Favors was acclaimed and embedded for almost 20 years now so we stand behind Marren and we stand behind the book,” he insisted.
Murphy added, “Penelope never would have taken on this role if in any way if Donatella or anyone in the family was sort of portrayed in a negative light.”
“The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace,” the family said in a statement on Monday. “Since Versace did not authorize the book on which it is partly based nor has it taken part in the writing of the screenplay, this TV series should only be considered as a work of fiction.”
At Sunday’s 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Cruz shared with ET’s Nancy O'Dell that she spoke with Donatella before accepting the part.
“When [ACS creator] Ryan [Murphy] told me, I said to him, ‘This sounds really interesting, but I have to make this call and I have to talk to Donatella,’” she recalled. “I called her and we spoke, like, for an hour. I needed that conversation to say yes.”
The 43-year-old actress further noted that she and Donatella have no bad blood between them. “It was a conversation where, I cannot share everything we talked about, but we have a good relationship,” she disclosed. “She just sent me flowers before I came here.”
Doting on the 62-year-old fashion icon, Cruz continued, “She’s such a loving person, so I wanted to put out there the love and respect I have for her. It’s in my performance for sure, and I hope that when she sees, she will be happy about it.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres Jan. 17 on FX.
WWD wrote: ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ Premiere Draws Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz
January 9, 2018
Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez and Darren Criss, stepped out at the premiere of their new series, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” the second installment of Ryan Murphy’s “American Crime Story” franchise. While the Versace family recently released a statement denouncing the project as “a work of fiction,” Murphy was quick to mention that Cruz had received a kind gesture from her onscreen alter ego. “Donatella Versace sent Penelope Cruz a huge arrangement of flowers yesterday,” he shared.
“It was very nice,” said Cruz, who stars as Donatella in the nine-episode series, which debuts Jan. 17 on FX. “I don’t know if she has seen [any episodes yet], but it’s a personal thing. For me, it really made me smile. It made me happy.” The actress said she admires Donatella’s passion and success in running an empire. “She had to do that in a moment when she was devastated and she proved to be strong. That was a very generous thing to do because I’m sure she did it also for him.”
“Look, maybe it will be too painful for her to [watch], but I think we treat her with a lot of respect and dignity,” added Murphy. “I really admire Donatella — like I really admire Marcia Clark. I think Donatella Versace was a woman who, out of the blue, was asked to carry on a billion-dollar company and keep her family business going and intact and was up against a board of directors and lawyers who were all men and were trying to tell her something contrary to what she wanted to do. I really admire what she was able to do and continues to do.”
Cruz said she spoke with Donatella in advance of filming. “We had a long conversation when Ryan offered me the part,” said Cruz. “I needed to talk to her about it before I moved forward.” Once she accepted the role, Cruz prepared by combing through interviews with Donatella on YouTube in order “to capture the essence of this wonderful woman.”
Ramirez plays the role of Gianni Versace. “It’s such a great opportunity and such a great privilege to step into the shoes of one of the most creative minds of the 20th century,” said Ramirez, who wore prosthetics as part of his physical transformation. “He’s a genius that affected culture and changed it. Gianni was a disruptor. Gianni did things that no one else had done before….He was the designer of his time and for me that’s incredible to play.”
[. . . ]
Criss was tasked with tackling the role of serial killer Cunanan. “I feel like I made varsity,” Criss said of being cast on the show. “I get to be on an FX show, another Ryan Murphy show. The fact that it’s a second season for a show whose stripes are already proven in quality and content. Then I get to be in a project that has a character that is extremely compelling and is an actor’s dream to work on — not because of it’s darkness or the violence that it involves but because of the colors of emotional arcs that he carries with him. And on top of that let’s not forget the bonus that I get to hang out with a bunch of movie stars which is certainly a thrill. My head explodes a little bit [when I talk about it] and it did every day going to work. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Murphy said that the project features his dream cast. “They were all my first choices,” he shared, adding that, despite rumors, Lady Gaga was never in the running for the role. “She was never available. She was doing ‘A Star Is Born’ when we were casting it.” Murphy added, “I always wanted to work with Penelope. I liked that she was friendly with and knew Donatella very well. I’ve been friends with Penelope for almost 10 years and I’ve always wanted to work with her, but we could never find the right piece or the right timing. Finally this worked.”
[. . . ]
Beyond the headlines, Murphy said the project is, at its core, “about something I lived through which was homophobia in the Nineties and the trickle-down effect of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ in our country. I also think it’s about great beauty and great destruction and it answers the question, ‘How does one person become a murderer?’ And how does another person become a creative genius? Both things don’t just happen, so we examine that.”
acsversace-news: [UHQ] The cast and crew of FX’s ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ attend the premiere at ArcLight Hollywood on January 8, 2018 in Hollywood, California. | Source
hollywoodreporter: It was a killer good time with the #ACSVersace crew! The next installment of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series premieres Jan. 17 on FX. @gettyentertainment
bharrisk: The Cast #acsversace The Assassination Of Gianni Versace
This is Maureen Orth's son.
lukerussert: Quite the evening in #LaLaLand celebrating the premiere of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” airing January 17th on FX @americancrimestoryfx based on @maureen_orth book “Vulgar Favors.” Production team and all-star cast did a helluva job bringing my mom’s book to life. Watch it early and often, tell your friends, set your DVR and buy the book which is always better than the show/movie
Actors Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin, Cody Fern, executive producers Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, writer Tom Rob Smith and John Landgraf, CEO, FX Network pose at the after party for the premiere of FX’s ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ at the Hollywood Palladium on January 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Nice to see Edgar and Darren goofing around and having fun at the premiere.
Actors Darren Criss and Edgar Ramirez pose at the after party for the premiere of FX’s ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ at the Hollywood Palladium on January 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
[HQ] Actors Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez and Penelope Cruz pose at the after party for the premiere of FX’s ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ at the Hollywood Palladium on January 8, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | Source
[HQ] Darren Criss, Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez and Ricky Martin, cast members in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” pose together at a special screening of the television series at the ArcLight Hollywood on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) | Source
Actors Darren Criss, Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, and Ricky Martin attend the premiere of FX’s ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ at ArcLight Hollywood on January 8, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
This is a nice pic. No watermark and the colors in the background add vitality to the pic. Again, love Mia's outfit; she looks lovely. And am a fan of Darren's jacket; he looks handsome.
Via Mia Swier’s Snapchat (January 9th, 2018)
Actor Darren Criss and Mia Swier attend the premiere of FX’s ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ at ArcLight Hollywood on January 8, 2018 in Hollywood, California
Darren is really perfecting his interview skills. Nicely done, Darren.
“American Crime Story” Cast Talks “Versace” Show Accuracy | Source
via ‘American Crime Story’ Cast Reacts to Versace Family Calling Mini-Series a ‘Work of Fiction (Exclusive) | 9 January 2018
The Stars of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” Speak out (January 8th, 2018) | Source
The Stars of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” Speak out (January 8th, 2018) | Source
Aw, many of Darren's friends attended the Versace premiere. Caitlin Brody (with Glamour), Benj Pasek, Eleni Gianulis (part of Darren's team and a friend), and Jeff Jernigan (who I think also at one time was Darren's room mate in the house, but I could be wrong about that). Did all these folks go to U of Michigan?
cbroday: So many things have changed, but still so much is exactly the same. Love nothing more than being in a room with this dream team (including several not photographed!). We’re all in for an ACS Versace treat.
Duane Mieliwocki was a camera operator with Glee.
kristindossantos: So good reuniting with this sweet soul last night and seeing how incredible he is in #AmericanCrimeStory#Versace. Chills on chilllllsss – this is NOT the Darren Criss you know and I think you will be blown away! (P.S. @leamichele also was there and it was a sweet #Glee reunion.) #NeverStopBelievin ###
@americancrimestoryfx starts Jan 17! KristinDSantos: BLAINE NO MORE! Was completely blown away by this guy in @ACSFX #Versace. Creepy and compelling af. Penelope Cruz is also  as Donatella. Get ready. 1/17. #latertweet#VersacePremiere
Related to Versace(that instagram Darren took about his sunburn . This makes sense to me. I read Darren's caption when he posted that instagram. It was funny.
Just Jared wrote: Darren Criss Shares the Story Behind His Racy Selfie!
Darren Criss broke the internet back when he shared a photo of himself wearing absolutely nothing and just a speedo held in front of himself to stay modest.
Now, the 30-year-old actor is sharing the story behind the picture, which he snapped on the set of The Assassination of Gianni Versace earlier this year.
Darren opened up during his visit with The Ladygang podcast.
“I was wearing this ridiculous red speedo thing and thank god it was for the show because pictures had come out, the paparazzi had caught us. We’re shooting a scene on the beach and it’s Miami. It’s fair game, we’re out in the open so there are photos of me in a scene with Max Greenfield and I’m in this red speedo and I look kind of ridiculous. We’re all kind of giggling about this on set, like, ‘Oh my god, this is getting picked up.’ And I kind of wanted to take it back for myself,“ Darren said.
“At the end of that day, I was completely sunburned and was essentially the same color as the speedo and so I’m looking at myself in the mirror thinking this is too funny. So after those photos went out, I was like, ‘I have a better photo.’ So that was that,“ Darren added.
Darren also said he was very proud of the caption, which "no one read.” It was, “So what’s more red? My sunburn, my speedo, or YOUR FACE??? #ACSVersace.”
She is an entertainment writer.
*And you know who else is there? Darren Criss. A sensational psychopath.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote: 'American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace' Primer: Everything to Know About Season 2
December 21, 2017
After an award-winning debut season, FX's American Crime Story anthology will turn its lens to another major 1990s event: the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace in front of his Miami Beach mansion in 1997. The Assassination of Gianni Versace will follow the events leading up to the 50-year-old’s death through the eyes of the designer (played by Edgar Ramirez), his sister, Donatella Versace (Penelope Cruz), his partner, Antonio D'Amico (Ricky Martin) and the 27-year-old serial killer who shot him, Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss).
Ahead of the show’s Jan. 17 debut, here’s everything to know about the second season of Ryan Murphy’s award-winning series. What Happened
On the morning of July 15, 1997, the fashion designer had just returned from a morning walk when he was shot and killed by Andrew Cunanan, a con artist serial killer who had gone on a cross-country killing spree. The San Diego native had murdered two acquaintances in the San Diego gay community, a Chicago real estate developer, and a New Jersey man whose car he stole. The four other slayings took place between April 27 and May 9, and Cunanan was on the run — but managed to elude authorities until eight days after Versace’s murder, when he killed himself on a Miami houseboat just blocks from Versace’s villa. The Source Material
Much like season one’s People vs. O.J. Simpson was inspired by L.A. Times journalist Jeffrey Toobin’s book about the trial, The Run of His Life, The Assassination of Gianni Versace pulls from Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth’s book about the murder, Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. According to creator Murphy, the second season will delve into Cunanan’s mind and cover the events leading up to Versace’s death. The season will touch on the four other murders, as well as Cunanan’s life in the San Diego gay community, the homophobia present in the culture at the time, and even the ‘90s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell military policy.“We’re trying to talk about a crime within a social idea,” he told reporters during the summer. “Versace, who was [Andrew Cunanan’s] last victim, did not have to die. One of the reasons [Cunanan] was able to make his way across the country and pick off these victims, many of whom were gay, was because of homophobia at the time.” Who’s Who
Darren Criss: Andrew Cunanan
The former Glee triple-threat, who starred on Broadway in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (and in the Los Angeles stop of the national tour), plays the 27-year-old killer, who was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list at the time of his suicide.
Town and Country Mag wrote: Who is Andrew Cunanan, the Man Who Murdered Gianni Versace?
Dec. 20, 2017
12. Darren Criss will play Cunanan in the upcoming American Crime Story anthology.
In the upcoming television anthology, Glee star Darren Criss will portray Cunanan. “At the end of the day, if you think of the worst person that you know, that’s done the worst things ever, you have more in common with them than not,” Criss said of playing Cunanan in an interview with radio personality Elvis Duran. “The fact is, those differences are big, but they’re small in number … So, what’s kind of been a joy for me is to find as many redeeming things as possible in someone that you fathom as something so horrible and to really get the audience to ask themselves, ‘At what point could this have been me?”
michaelarden: Had the best time watching my buddy @darrencriss shine in this tonight. Get ready, cause he’s about to hold a mirror to nature. Fascinating story and great television. Bravo to all! #americancrimestory#versace
maureen_orth: Here they are, the wonderful stars of #ACSVersace , Edgar Ramirez, Darren Criss, Ricky Martin. Debuts January 17, FX. Penelope Cruz plays Donatella. Must see!
[LQ] Darren Criss attends the premiere of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: America Crime Story” at the Metrograph on December 11, 2017, in New York
Some nice comments:
Variety wrote: ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’: 6 Things We Learned From FX’s First Screening
December 11, 2017
Darren Criss has taken on a “Shakespearean” role in bringing the tortured life story of serial killer Andrew Cunanan to life in FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.”
So said “Versace” director and executive producer Ryan Murphy on Monday night as he “played Barbara Walters” during a Q&A with stars and producers that followed the series’ first public screening, held at New York City’s Metrograph theater.
“Versace” stars Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin, writer Tom Rob Smith, author Maureen Orth, and executive producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson offered insights into the limited series that has the hard task of following “The People V. O.J. Simpson” as the second installment of FX’s “American Crime Story” franchise.
Here are 6 things we learned from the first look at “Versace”:
Like “People V. O.J. Simpson,” “Versace” takes on larger cultural and societal issues beyond the sensational details of how Cunanan gunned down fashion superstar Versace on the steps of his Miami Beach villa on July 15, 1997. Through the once-and-future prism of a period drama, the first episode raises timely questions about discrimination against LGBT crime victims by law enforcement, disparity in health care for rich and poor, and the sick market for cashing in on grisly celebrity deaths. Versace was one of the first major public figures to live his life openly as a gay man, and the then-and-now perspective on cultural attitudes toward the LGBT community is clearly a major theme, based on the first episode. “We want every season of this show to be about that crime that America is guilty of,” Jacobson said. “We wanted to re-conjure what it meant to be gay in the 1990s.”
Don’t expect a simple linear storyline in “Assassination’s” nine episodes. “We’re telling the story backwards. The first and second episodes are about the assassination (of Versace) and the manhunt, and then we go back in time. In episode eight you meet Andrew Cunanan as a child. The final episode deals with his eventual demise,” Murphy said.
Orth, author of the 1999 book “Vulgar Favors: The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” said Cunanan was product of the modern age with his obsession with achieving a measure of celebrity. He was “besotted” with the idea of fame. “He was willing to kill for fame. He wanted to be everything Versace was, but he wasn’t willing to work for it,” Orth said. She added a harsh observation about the nation’s current political climate: “The idea that he was willing to kill for fame — there’s a line from there to getting famous from a sex tape like the Kardashians down to becoming president of the United States because you’re a reality TV star,” Orth opined.
Crissbecame emotionally invested in playing the emotionally disturbed serial killer. The role is without question a career-accelerator for the former “Glee” star. Murphy noted that Criss is in every episode as the story drills down on the factors that made Cunanan go so wrong.Versace was the fifth victim on a killing spree in 1997. “Stories that bend people’s sense of empathy are what interest me,” Criss said. “We’re trying to humanize somebody who is so conventionally vilified,” he said. Murphy added: “We’re not interested in the killer-of-the-week approach,” he said. “We’re trying to understand the psychology of someone who would be driven to do those deeds.”
Ramirez also got under the skin of Versace, even though his character spends most of episode 1 on a gurney in the morgue. Recreating the scenes of Versace’s murder on the actual site of his villa in Miami was a challenging process, said Martin, who plays Versace’s longtime lover, Antonio. “It was a profound, moving experience,” Martin said. “The crew was crying, the actors were crying — it was very intense.” Ramirez felt he channeled the soul of his character during his big death scene. He believed Versace lived through the trauma of being taken to the emergency room before he was declared dead at 9:21 a.m. “He was there,” Ramirez said. “He wanted to express something, but he couldn’t, about the insanity and the tragedy that (his murder) could have been prevented and it wasn’t.”
Criss also emphasized the importance of the production having access to the Versace villa. “That house — it bleeds his soul,” Criss said. “His creativity exits in every wall and every doorknob in the house. It’s a living vestige of his legacy. I did feel his presence. I had to say a prayer for thanks and an apology for us exposing it. I’m hoping some light can be made from this very, very dark thing.”
Thanks so much, Jeremy, for posting that YouTube video!!
I think it's the white in Matt Bomer's beard. White in one's hair and facial hair of men tends to age a person. But when he's clean-shaven, he looks the same as he did before.
Having seen many of the promos and the preview video, it's clear that Cunanan plays a central role, as well as Versace. And to think, the show will be airing in the U.S. in about a month from now!
Here is the same video--I wanted to include it because of the caption.
He craved attention. He killed for fame. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres 1/17 on FX. | Source
More pics of Darren, Ryan, Matt Bomer, and Nina Jacobson (I believe she also is an executive producer of Versace) and some of the Versace family visiting Jon Jon Briones in Miss Saigon on Broadway. It looks like Darren organized folks to get together to view Mr. Briones in the musical. Everyone looks very happy.
mattbomer I am so excited for the world to see the incredible work of @jonjonbrionesin #americancrimestory#versace you can catch his brilliance for a few more weeks as the engineer in @misssaigonus on broadway. Thank you to @darrencriss for getting the band back together! #acs#misssaigon
Jeremy wrote:I hope we'll see him everywhere in a few months, as they say in the article.
And we don't need to wait the airing of the season to give him his Emmy, the trailer is enough
Yes, I'm sure the cast and Ryan will be doing a promotional media blitz, which will be a lot of fun for us to watch and will tide us over until the show starts in January.
ha! I will be the first to sign the petition to the Television Academy to change the rules.
Jeremy wrote:Well, I expected him to have less social life and I also didn't know he met Versace before the murder.
I think some of the interviews talked about how Cunanan was not what one would expect, because he was a spree killer who could be likeable, and charming (this is part of the reason why Darren is perfect for this role, beside being half Filipino like Cunanan, Darren is so good at networking and is naturally charming). I could be wrong about this, so take this with a grain of salt, but I believe it hasn't been confirmed that Versace actually met Cunanan, although Cunanan boasted he had met Versace a couple/a few times.
And yes, the trailer was a surprise for me, because of how much focus Cunanan received. I am very pleased about this!
Here are a couple of more articles that I thought added something other than what was already covered by other media articles:
Vanity Fair wrote: The First Look at Versace: American Crime Story Goes Inside the Mind of a Murderer
November 15, 2017
The first trailer is showing viewers the dark world of Gianni Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is going deep into the mind of Andrew Cunanan, the serial killer who fatally shot fashion designer Gianni Versace in front of his Miami home in 1997. FX has released the first trailer for the dark, glittering series, executive produced by the impossibly busy Ryan Murphy, and it quickly hones in on Cunanan’s grim world.
Bright-eyed star Darren Criss plays the killer, going into full American Psycho mode as he leans into the role of a hustler who embeds himself in Versace’s world. There’s a near-perfect montage of Cunanan’s dark evolution, with shots of Criss screaming into the ocean, wielding a pair of deadly scissors over a potential victim, and standing alone in a room, his face and body covered in blood.
The trailer also offers glimpses of the rest of the high-profile cast. Penélope Cruz plays a beautifully heartbroken Donatella Versace, Gianni’s sister, as she promises to maintain her brother’s legacy. “I will not allow that man, that nobody, to kill my brother twice,” she vows. Donatella would go on to run her brother’s empire, maintaining Versace’s reputation as a high-end fashion brand. She’s still a power player to this day, currently preparing to co-host next year’s Met Gala with Rihanna and Amal Clooney.
Ricky Martin also makes an appearance, playing Antonio D'Amico, a model and designer who was also Gianni’s longtime partner. Then, there’s Édgar Ramírez as Versace himself, fully inhabiting the luxe role of the high-flying designer. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story will premiere on Jan. 17.
This article mentions the Broadway work of Darren and Ricky Martin (although they also should have mentioned Hedwig and the Angry Inch), as well as Ryan Murphy's Broadway project, The Boys in the Band.
Playbill wrote: Watch Darren Criss Become a Murderer in Trailer for Versace; American Crime Story
Nov 15, 2017
Darren Criss stars as Andrew Cunanan, the man who murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997, in the trailer for FX's upcoming series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
The series co-stars Ricky Martin as Versace's partner Antonio D'Amico, Penélope Cruz as his sister Donatella Versace, and Edgar Ramirez as the assassinated designer himself.
Versace is set to feature several Broadway artists. In addition to Criss and Martin, who have appeared on Broadway in revivals of How to Succeed and Evita respectively, the series is headed by executive producer Ryan Murphy, who will bring a production of The Boys in the Band to Broadway this spring.
HarpersBazaar wrote: The First Trailer for 'Versace; American Crime Story' Is Incredible
FX has released the first official trailer for its second season of American Crime Story, and it's a chilling mix of '90s glamour and blood-spattered horror. This season, titled The Assassination of Gianni Versace, chronicles the murder of fashion designer Versace on the front steps of his Miami home, the culmination of serial killer Andrew Cunanan's three-month murder spree.
The trailer focuses on Cunanan's dark obsession with Versace, opening with a gunshot and Versace's partner, Antonio D'Amico (Ricky Martin) screaming for help before zeroing in on Cunanan (Darren Criss) and his social-climbing aspirations. As he closes in on his murderous rage, his voiceover declares, "This world has wasted me, and yet this world also made you, Mr. Versace, into a star. You're not better than me. We're the same. The only difference is you got lucky."
[. . . ]
Criss' eerie portrayal of Cunanan might surprise longtime fans with such a stark departure from the actor's Glee days. The series also marks Cruz's first television role.
Vulture wrote: The First Trailer for The Assassination of Gianni Versace; American Crime Story is Bloody and Opulent
You’ve seen the neon-soaked clip of Darren Criss in his murder Speedo. You’ve seen the stills of the cast luxuriating in high fashion “Miami Medici Chic.” Now you can see the first extended look at footage from The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Everyone is serving face. Everyone is beautiful. And the way Criss says, “I know people,” should be an Emmy for Your Consideration clip on its own. Versacepremieres on January 17.
Out wrote: Watch Edgar Ramirez as Versace in First American Crime Story Trailer
Also watch it for Darren Criss looking like the hottest murderer of all time.
“Murder but make it fashion” might as well be the tagline for the upcoming season of American Crime Story. After an award-winning first season that focused on OJ Simpson, Ryan Murphy Series #451 has moved to South Florida for The Assassination of Gianni Versace and judging by the new trailer, we’re in for a top-quality, glamorous murder story.
In the new season, Murphy will focus on the murder of Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who killed four people before the fashion designer, and committed suicide eight days after his death. It’s a shocking story and yeah, we’re here for it, but let’s talk about how glorious the cast is for a second.
Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez look flawless as Donatella and Gianni, respectively, and Ricky Martin looks very Ricky Martin as Gianni’s lover Antonio D’Amico. Then there’s Darren Criss a long, long way from Glee Club as the murderous Cunanan. Somehow, even as he’s murdering people, he looks high fashion.
The new season starts on January 17th, so if you’re one of the 10 people who haven’t wanted the first season of the show, you’ve got a great excuse to ignore your family this holiday season.
Wait, folks are talking awards before they have seen an episode? Um, maybe we should wait until we see an episode before we start talking awards? No pressure, Darren. But at the same time, I can't blame people for showing their Darren-love. I understand!
Hypable wrote: 'American Crime Story: Versace' trailer is a sizzle reel for Darren Criss' inevitable Emmy
Will Darren Criss earn his first Emmy for American Crime Story: Versace? Judging by the trailer, the odds are in his favor.
[. . . ]
The trailer for the second installment in the American Crime Story series showcases what appears to be Murphy’s second Emmy submission sizzle reel. And instead of the Sarah Paulsons and Jessica Langes of the Murphy catalogue, another person steals the spotlight this time around – Darren Criss.
[. . . ]
There is no shortage of Darren Criss footage in the trailer,. . .
Last we saw Darren Criss on television, he was manipulating space-time on The Flash and Supergirl as the Music Meister. Before that, he was eating cat food and being cut to pieces by Kathy Bates’ AHS: Hotel character.
Cast as Andrew Cunanan in February, Criss’ transformation into the serial killer who, like Criss, was half Filipino, caught the eyes of social media as he filmed on location in cutoff shorts, his hair free from gel. But fans of Criss know that those shorts are nothing new. The actor wore much less during his turn in the Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Which is the exact production that led executive producer Brad Simpson to see Criss as the only person for the role. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in June, Simpson recalled, “Once every night he jumps into somebody’s lap and makes out with them…It was very charming and a very Cunanan thing to do, to be a little devilish. Cunanan charmed people and then turned them off. We’re talking about a serial killer people liked.”
In the same interview, Criss noted, “Actors are only as good as the parts they get. You can only be as good as those moments you get. This is one of those ship-coming-in moments where Ryan has really given me this massive opportunity, and I’d like to think I am up for the challenge. There’s zero anxiety.”
And Criss showed up to work. In the minute and half we see his character go to work, lying, seducing, coming unhinged, and murdering Versace. He is truly captivating. You hang on his words, find the slight shifts in his facial expressions. Note the moments he is working hard to get someone right where he wants them. The see how quickly it switches to a scene where he is alone in the aftermath.
Just as he took you inside Marcia Clark’s personal trial as she prosecuted O. J. Simpson, Murphy prepares to take you into the world of a killer that earned a smile and a nod as he slipped under the radar of a manhunt.
It’s going to be an exciting and wild ride to watch Criss explore this character. It will be even better in the fall watching Criss smile at the camera as the nominees for best actor in a miniseries are announced at the Emmys.
4YourExcitement wrote: Trailer for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story has Arrived
The wait is over, we have the first full trailer of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story and boy is it action-packed.
The series stars Edgar Ramirez as the fashion designer, and Glee alumnus Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, the spree killer who murdered Versace on the steps of his Miami mansion 20 years ago. The cast also includes Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace and Ricky Martin as Antonio D’Amico.
The trailer shows Cunanan infiltrating the Miami scene in order to get close to the fashion designer, but it also shows his darker side when we realise that Versace was not his first victim. In reality, Cunanan killed four men before he slayed the fashion designer. Although the series is centered on the murder of Versace, it is clear that we will get to see a fully rounded view of the man who pulled the trigger, given that the manhunt for Cunanan ended with the killer committing suicide.
If the trailer is any indication, the full series which will premiere on FX on January 17 is going to be full of exceptional acting and drama, with Ramirez, Cruz, and Criss all perfectly embodying the real people they are playing. Criss in particular as Cunanan is chilling as we see a fantasist who is convinced he is somebody he is not, and no one can deny the resemblance between Criss and the real-life Cunanan.
The series was written by Tom Rob Smith and is based on the book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. Historyby Maureen Orth. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are returning as executive producers and are joined by Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson.
The first season of the show, The People vs O.J. Simpson won a multitude of awards including Golden Globes, Emmys, and a BAFTA, and it would not be unexpected to see The Assassination of Gianni Versace do similarly well, with fingers crossed nominations for Criss.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story will premiere on January 17 on FX, with FX+ subscribers being able to watch on January 12.
I'm surprised they are already marketing the show, but I'm not complaiining!
Versace: American Crime Story: BTS Of Highly Anticipated Series | Cover Shoot | Entertainment Weekly | Article
edgarramirez25: The House of #Versace is back! Enjoy our first official look on the cover of @EW at Casa Casuarina in #SouthBeach
First look at The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story | Source
[size=16]How Ryan Murphy Plans to top 'People v. O.J. Simpson' Phenomenon with 'Gianni Versace'[/size]
June 21, 2017
How do you top a phenomenon like last year’s The People v. O.J. Simpson? Opulence, sex and Ricky Martin, naturally. Those are just a few of the elements viewers can expect whenThe Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres in early 2018, focusing on the tragic killing of the fashion titan (Martin plays his long-time love Antonio D’Amico). FX’s follow-up to Simpson, featuring the same team of executive producers including Ryan Murphy, Brad Simpson and Nina Jacobson, won’t premiere for months but EW was exclusively on the set in May as the cast shot in Versace’s former home, Casa Casuarina. “It was very moving, sometimes disturbing,” says Penelope Cruz, who plays Gianni’s sister Donatella, of shooting in the house. “We all felt a very powerful energy. It just made me have more passion to tell this story.”
On July 15, 1997, Gianni Versace had left to go on his regular run to Miami Beach’s News Cafe. As he returned home and was opening his front gate, Andrew Cunanan, a sociopath who had become fixated on the designer after reportedly meeting him years earlier, walked up behind Versace and shot him twice in the head. The openly gay Versace was one of the most exciting and provocative designers of the moment, famous for his bold skin-baring designs. “Gianni was a disrupter,” says Edgar Ramírez (Joy), who plays the colorful figure. “He was doing things at the time that no one else was doing. He had this rock-star vision of couture and was the master of combining fashion, celebrity, and fame in a way that had never been combined before.” But his future was snuffed out by Cunanan (Glee’s Darren Criss), an intelligent, handsome, and highly disturbed young man from San Diego. Versace, based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth, hopes to show how these two men’s paths crossed and ended so violently. “Here are two men from comparable backgrounds that had all kinds of similarities,” explains writer Tom Rob Smith (London Spy). “They came from parents who were striving but not wealthy. They had the Italian-heritage connection. This feeling of being an outsider. The sexuality connection. Why does one go on to become this incredible creator and great life force? And the other young man ends up destroying so much?”
The tale haunted Murphy, who pitched doing it even before Simpsonaired. “I kept going back to Versace because it was different from O.J.tonally,” says the executive producer, sitting on the back patio of Casa Casuarina. “It was a manhunt and it takes place all over the country.” And just as the O.J. Simpson trial was a lens through which to examine racism, Murphy sees the Versace murder as a chance to do the same with sexuality and homophobia in the ’90s. “The more I had read about it, the more I was startled by the fact that Cunanan really was only allowed to get away with it because of homophobia,” says Murphy. “There was this great apathy about it, and I think part of that was because it seemed like gay people were disposable in our culture.”
The ACS team now not only has to live up the legacy of Simpson‘s success but also a glut of other true-crime scripted series. “I would only feel pressure if we were doing, like, the Menendez trial,” says Murphy. “But this is so dramatically different, and it’s about fashion and celebrity. Everything feels like you’re jumping off a diving board for the first time because there’s no template.” In this week’s cover story, EW has your exclusive deep dive on how Murphy brought together an Oscar winner, aGlee favorite, and a music superstar for one of 2018’s most anticipatedtelevision events.
haha! I had no idea this happened. So funny! Way to go, Darren!
[size=16]Darren Criss Made Out with His American Crime Story Producer During Hedwig[/size]
June 21, 2017
Now that’s how you get the part! Everybody is talking about Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz’s splashy new Entertainment Weekly cover for American Crime Story, but our attention is on a hilarious anecdote about Criss and executive producer Brad Simpson’s, erm, close encounter during his stint in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway.
“Once every night he jumps into somebody’s lap and makes out with them,” said Simpson. “In the middle of the show, he jumps in the audience and rips my glasses off and makes out with me. It was very charming and a very Cunanan thing to do, to be a little devilish.”
Criss jokes: “I casting-couched the s— outta that!”
A spontaneous lip-lock resulting in us getting to watch Criss star in an ultra-addicting Ryan Murphy series? This is a win all around.
As previously announced, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Darren Criss is slated to star as twisted serial killer Andrew Cunanan in the next highly anticipated season of FX's American Crime Story. This installment of mastermind Ryan Murphy's anthology series, which will dive into the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace, is scheduled to air early next year.
'American Horror Story' Star Finn Wittrock Joining 'Assassination of Gianni Versace'
June 21, 2017
Wittrock will play Jeff Trail, a friend of Andrew Cunanan but also the serial killer’s first victim. Cunanan is played by Darren Criss (Glee).
ricky_martin: Ready for another week working with this gang. Great days ahead. #ACSVersace
edgarramirez25: Ready for another week working with this gang. Great days ahead. #ACSVersace#versace • Listo para otra semana de trabajo con esta pandilla. Grandes días por delante. #ACSVersace#repost from my blood brother • #repost de mi hermano de sangre @ricky_martin
May 15, 2017
nelsoncragg: Dusk dinner in Miami with our amazing Versace cast and creators!!!!
sarastelwagen: Current vibe courtesy of our Gianni
May 13, 2017
Note: Nelson Cragg is a Director and DP on ACS Versace. Sara Stelwagen is Ryan Murphy’s assistant (gleekto)
Darren had so many red carpet events in the past week or so, I wish he had given an interview at at least one of them. Not that he ever gives much away anyway, but someone please just make him talk a little.
Yes, he's been busy this week. I agree, it would have been nice to have an interview. But knowing Darren, as you said, he wouldn't have spoiled much info. So good at keeping secrets!
I'm a bit behind in posting, but better late than never.
On the red carpet for the premiere of Feud. I'll post a few pics. More pics at dailydarrennews.
endlesslyklaine: [72 UHQ] Darren Criss at the premiere of FX Network’s ‘Feud: Bette And Joan’ on March 1, 2017. dailydarrennews
fallenjunkie: Darren Criss and Mia Swier arrive at ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’ Los Angeles premiere on March 1, 2017.
@MiaVonGlitz #TBT to last night. What an honor to be a part of this stunning show. Cannot wait for the world to see it Sunday March 5th! @FeudFX #FeudFX
rubenvnepales Who kissed you, Darren Criss? With Darren, @janetrnepales, @drtessmauricio and Dr. James Lee. At Oscars 2017 and after-party.
It's great to see Darren with both Alan Cumming and Michael Feinstein together. What a cool group of people. I have to laugh at the caption that Michael Feinstein wrote, though. Ha! 4 am and Darren is still going strong. Michael and Alan are probably thinking, "when are we going to be able to sleep?!"
Michael Feinstein:#TBT This is what happens when you stay out until 4:00am with Alan Cumming and Darren Criss. A crazy FUN night!!! dailydarrennews
Some more nice pics from the Feud premiere.
More from the Feud: Bette and Joan red carpet 3/1/17
Darren on the red carpet at the premiere of Feud: Bette and Joan 3/1/17