Warning: Spoilers! Please visit the site to give the article a number of "clicks" (for Darren!).
Such an interesting interview, where he spans several topics, from his view of portraying Andrew Cunanan, to his need to feel different since he was young, to his philosophy about acting, to his engagement to Mia, to his gratitude for the opportunities granted to him by Ryan Murphy, to what the future holds for him as an actor. I thought his choice of words was interesting, at the end of the article, when he talked about his future in acting, he used the word "abyss," which often has a negative connotation of darkness and falling, instead of using a more positive word or imagery (a wide open meadow full of various trails to explore). I wonder if the possibility of more fame inspires some trepidation in Darren (such he values his privacy so much). (Or haha, I could be just reading too much into it, since he did use the word "precipice" before using "abyss.")
Darren Criss Has Never Wanted To Be Ordinary
[Feb. 7, 2018?]
Darren Criss has never killed anyone. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the 31-year-old actor so much as raising his voice at anyone given how disarmingly kind and solicitous he is in person. When he arrives for his photoshoot, he immediately learns the names of everybody on set; as various editors drop in, either to check in on the shoot or to gawk at the celebrity in our midst, Criss goes out out of his way to make introductions—impressively listing off everyone’s name in the room. But Criss has found more in common with Andrew Cunanan, the social-climbing narcissist turned serial killer he plays in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, than he expected.
“People always ask me, ‘What’s it like to get into the mind of a killer?’” Criss says, slipping into a gravelly Movie Trailer Voice as we talk over coffee. “But you’re not doing that! I mean, a killer doesn’t get into the mind of a killer—they’re just existing. We boil it down to killing somebody and go, ‘I’ve never done that, so that’s definitely as far from me as possible.’ But the things that inform those decisions can be very close to who we are. We all have access to the same variety of emotions. You just ride them at a certain frequency, and it takes you to a certain place.”
[. . . ]
There are, Criss says, “a lot of similarities between us that I like to remind myself and other people of,” beyond the striking physical resemblance and biographical parallels (both Cunanan and Criss are half-Filipino and California natives). “What it is to want what you can't have—that I get. Who doesn't know what it's like to feel unloved, or want to rise above your station, or just on a very simple level be liked?”
It’s the latter that comes through most powerfully in Criss’s mesmerizing, profoundly unsettling performance: the sense that Cunanan needs to be not just liked, but adored. Underlying all of his tall tales—the lies about his wealthy upbringing and influential friends, the personas he adopts and discards—is a kind of naked desperation that puts the audience on edge even when nothing overtly bad is happening. He is, to put it generously, extra. And as the lies stop working for him, and more and more people begin to see through him, that neediness turns vicious.
[. . . ]
[Criss states,] “I really reveled in being different,” he tells me. “I didn't want to be normal. I didn't want to be put in a corner. I know what it's like to want to stand out. Andrew had that too, but we had different reasons. He used it as a social statement, where I just liked the feeling of not being like everybody else. I think he did it to lord his status over other people; for me, it was a way to connect with people.”
I bring up a standout moment from this week's episode, “House by the Lake,” the fourth of the season. . . . The pair stop at a roadside bar, where Aimee Mann sings a mournful cover of The Cars’ “Drive.” While Madson goes to the bathroom—and considers trying to escape through a window—we stay with Cunanan, in a rare moment of honesty. In an unbroken 90-second shot, we slowly pan in on Criss’s face as he begins to cry, watching Mann sing the song and taking in its lyrics (“Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?”). It’s an unsettling scene because of how moving it is, despite coming moments after we’ve seen Cunanan beat a man to death with a claw hammer.
[. . .]
For all the commonalities he’s found with Cunanan, Criss is not remotely method, and he has no trouble getting out of character even on the darkest days of material. “Some people need to scream into a pillow and run off and do their thing and live with their character non-stop,” he says. “I am not one of those people, and sometimes I feel like a bad actor because I'm not. But I think for me, things live and die between action and cut, or lights up and lights out. I feel like if I live with something too long, then I cheat the immediacy of the moment.”
[. . .]
Two days after Versace's premiere, Criss announced his engagement to longtime girlfriend Mia Swier via Twitter and Instagram. “It was a long time coming,” he says. “We’d waited a while before we announced it. I had a whole thing written, like, ‘Usually I don’t like talking about my private life...’ which I really don’t—I was really allergic to it for a while. Eventually I got over myself and realized that it’s just the best way to let people know.”
So 2018 is a banner year for Criss on many levels; though it’s early to start talking Emmys, it’s hard to imagine him not being a frontrunner for his revelatory performance. “We’ll see,” he says, downplaying awards buzz. “The success for me is that people are talking about it. But this is a moment for me, and I recognize that, because I've had one before. The fact that I've gotten another one from Ryan Murphy is not beyond my understanding, and I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can. I feel like I'm very much on a precipice, so I'm excited to see who or what is in the abyss.”
Please visit the site to give the article a number of "clicks." Source: http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/amp16674052/darren-criss-interview-assassination-of-gianni-versace/