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.
TV Line wrote:
The Best New TV Shows of Winter 2018
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)
Premieres Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 10/9c
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?: The second installment of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series— which last tackled the infamous trial of O.J. Simpson — focuses on the 1997 murder of fashion icon Gianni Versace, the events leading up to his untimely death, and the effect his loss had on his family, his empire and the world.
WHY WE LIKE IT: True to its subject, this show is about as decadent as television gets. Shot (to so speak) in Versace’s actual Miami Beach mansion, this sumptuous drama is dripping with authenticity, bolstered by powerhouse performances from Emmy- and Oscar-winning actors, as well as a star-making — not to mention barely clothed — turn from Glee’s Darren Criss, who eerily slips into the role of Versace’s bespectacled killer.
Quotable talents in 2017 (Part 2)
December 29, 2017
“(The Fil-Am on tackling the biggest and most challenging role in his career…) This is a moment for me, and I recognize that. I do feel like my ship came in for this one … 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 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 Murphy certainly gave me a good throw.”
By: Ruben V. Nepales - Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:25 AM December 29, 2017
via dcriss-archiveBrinkwire wrote:
New Assassination of Gianni Versace Video Gives Closer Look at the Crime and Cast
Ryan Murphy has made a seemingly permanent home for himself on FX and Fox. The producer has five shows split between the networks, often picking up award nominations along the way. Last year brought the trial of the century back into the pop culture conversation with The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, and the second season of the anthology series will be The Assassination of Gianni Versace. The network has been slowly revealing more information about the show’s sophomore season, and a new video put focus on the crime itself, while also revealing more about the ensemble cast of characters. Check out the video below.
Color me intrigued. Let’s explore what we’re being shown in this newest sneak peek into The Assassination of Gianni Versace, and what we should expect once the highly anticipated new season premiers on FX.
Much of the above video focuses on why the new season is the right fit for American Crime Story. The anthology series will be focusing on crimes that could only function within an American society. This year will include Versace’s assassination, and the missteps in law enforcement that lead to Andrew Cunanan’s spree of murders in 1997. The high profile case revolving around the famed fashion designer swept the nation when the events played out in real time, and FX is hoping for that same spark with the modern version.
The new Assassination of Gianni Versace clip also highlights some of the supporting cast, especially the various detectives working on the case. This includes Orange is the New Black actress Dascha Polanco, who is playing Detective Lori Wieder. Also spotted was Nashville and Stranger Things actor Will Chase’s Detective Scrimshaw. They’ll be just some of the agents attempting Andrew Cunanan’s manhunt in the wake of his various murders.
Speaking of Andrew Cunanan, it truly looks like this could be a game changer for Glee actor Darren Criss. While he’s kept busy with film and stage roles over the years, this role will give him the opportunity to lead a project, and go place far more adult than Blaine Anderson ever could have. He’ll be playing opposite series regulars Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz, and Ricky Martin.
Following The Assassination of Gianni Versace, the series will take yet another interest turn, as it turns its focus on the events of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina is still very much in its early development, but Annette Bening had been previously reported to be joining the case for Season 3. The stakes for both upcoming seasond feel very high, as The People v OJ Simpson was universally acclaimed, receiving 22 Primetime Emmy Nominations and winning nine. But considering how drastically different the subject matter of each season is, there is the possibility that certain stories will be more popular than others.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace will debut January 17, 2018 on FX. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch, and our cancellation list to see if your favorite show got the chop this year.
Last edited by Poppy on Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:09 am; edited 1 time in total
Source: http://ew.com/news/pop-culture-predictions-2018/Entertainment Weekly wrote:
Darren Criss an Emmy winner and other 2018 pop culture predictions we hope come true
December 31, 2017
Ridiculous, far-fetched(?) pop culture predictions for 2018
As the final hours of 2017 tick away, EW editor-in-chief Henry Goldblatt looks ahead to 2018 and makes some predictions for what to expect in the coming year of pop culture.
Emmy winner Darren Criss
- Darren Criss on Broadway Names With Julie James (SiriusXM), Dec. 30, 2017"I play a man by the name of Andrew Cunanan and [Jon Jon Briones] plays Modesto Cunanan, he plays the father of this guy, and I am so happy to say that he knocked Ryan Murphy off his rocker. Ryan was asking me, “Who is this guy? Where is he from? Why doesn’t he get more parts? How come I’ve never heard of him?”… I was so thrilled for Jon Jon… This was a real moment for Jon Jon, it’s a really thick part, I think he did an exquisite job and I hope that this opens up a lot of doors for him. "
Source: https://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2018/1/01/10-things-get-you-through-2018Advocate wrote:
10 Things to Get You Through 2018: 1. A Serial Killer Revisited
Source: https://www.welt.de/kultur/article172064638/American-Crime-Story-Young-Sheldon-oder-Tannbach-Die-Serien-Highlights-im-Januar.htmlWelt wrote:"American Crime Story“, "Young Sheldon“ oder "Tannbach“: Die Serien-Highlights im Januar - WELT
Already the first season of the series anthology, which dealt with famous criminal cases of the American history, aroused enthusiasm. "The People Vs. OJ Simpson “was one of the best season series of 2016 and was deservedly honored with countless awards. After OJ Simpson had a famous shooter in the first season, the new episodes revolve around a prominent victim: designer Gianni Versace.
He was gunned down on July 15, 1997 in front of his Miami mansion by homosexual serial killer Andrew Cunanan . Similar to the first season, the series creators around Ryan Murphy work on the real events with much suspense and great actors, shed light on the investigation into the murder and look behind the scenes of the authorities. On the one hand, this creates a painting of the time and homosexual life in the USA at the time. At the same time, “American Crime Story” reveals the failings of the authorities, which could have prevented the murder of Versace actually.
Among the performers of the new season include Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versace and the singer Ricky Martin in the role of Gianni Versace’s partner Antonio D'Amico. Darren Criss, with whom Ryan Murphy has worked with “Glee”, shines as the charming murderer Andrew Cunanan. And his person and history have as many socially relevant facets as those of OJ Simpson.
@Poppy wrote:Hmm. Am really scared I will get nightmares. This is when my technique of closing my eyes behind my hand will be utilized to the fullest extent. I need someone to watch and then post at what points the violent parts occur Can I have someone do this for us scary-cats? If I use the closing my eyes technique, I'm afraid to miss the minute of acting just before Darren as Cunanan become violent. . . this is a dilemma for me.
I can do that for you but you would have to wait a little before watching the episode...
SEASON PASS for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is available for purchase on iTunes.
We are looking to confirm in which countries this is available other than the US. Please comment if you check for your country.
Update: So far we have confirmation that the option is available in the US and Canada, but it does not seem to be in Argentina, Australia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, or the UK.
Sign up or get info here.
Jeremy wrote:Well, you could get a MP from me on Thursday before noon (California time).
Lin wrote:I don't trust Ryan on any sort of detail, but yes, judging by the the episode titles and short descriptions, the murders should be over after episode 4 or maybe 5, until the last episode where Cunanan commits suicide and I assume they'll probably also show Versace's murder again.
Source: https://decider.com/2018/01/03/darren-criss-is-the-next-sarah-paulson/Decider wrote:
Darren Criss Is The Next Sarah Paulson
January 3, 2018
This time two years ago, you probably only vaguely knew who actress Sarah Paulson was, if you knew her at all. So now, let’s go ahead and take a temperature check when it comes to your current familiarity with Darren Criss. Lemme guess…Glee, maybe? Well, we’re just days away from that changing significantly.
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was a career and life-changing role for Paulson. Portraying Marcia Clark put her on the map, on more screens, and on the minds of average television consumers. Before that, her consistent career included appearing in executive producer Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story and picking up critical kudos for her roles in Martha Marcy May Marlene, 12 Years Slave, and Carol (and not nearly enough attention for her excellence in Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, if we’re being honest). But after she transformed into the sympathetic, cigarette-smoking, permed prosecutor, the world finally understood the talent that this woman was sharing with the world. This resulted in Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG statues and roles in this year’s likely Oscar-nominated The Post as well as the highly anticipated Ocean’s 8. She’s straight up unstoppable.
And yet, that Ryan Murphy magic is at it again for the 2018 installment of American Crime Story, and this time it’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace. While Edgar Ramirez is great as Versace and Penelope Cruz as Donatella will spur gifs wide across the internet, it’s Darren Criss who will send shivers up and down and back up your spine throughout the entire series. He’s creepy, he’s precise, and he’s absolutely impossible to take your eyes off of. As spree-killer Andrew Cunanan, he is giving a provocative performance that will have people talking and showering him with awards. Go ahead, just carve the Emmy for him now. It’s going to be hard for any other male actor to come close to what Criss is bringing this year.
Oh, and that’s not just because it’s fantastic. It’s also startling because we’ve never seen anything like this from him. What happened to that kid from Glee who sang his heart out on “Teenage Dream”? Criss brought his charm to the Kristen Wiig rom-com Girl Most Likely in 2012 but has never quite achieved the recognition he’s deserved for the acting, singing, and general musical theater skills he’s bringing to the game. All of that changes with The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
It’s unlikely you thought to yourself, “2018 is the year I want to be supremely creeped the eff out by Darren Criss,” but that wish is about to come true for you anyway. His performance in the FX drama will give you a delightful and exciting whiplash in the way it switches from frantic to controlled, emotional to subtle, and straight up scary to intriguing. Criss will be catapulted to a household name, and one that we’re kind of freaked out by, but mostly in a good way, right?
Criss has wisely braced himself for this moment. With a new EP released just a few weeks ago, and a schedule clear of any upcoming productions, he’ll be fielding offers left and right — for theater, tours, massive movies, more series TV. He’s already got a fanbase built in, not that they’re ready for what they’re about to see, but it will only expand from here. The key to it all is that he’s just gotta stay on that Paulson path: remain as affable as it gets in real life and on talk shows, remember to thank Ryan Murphy & co. in your awards acceptance speeches, and keep it about the work — and interesting work, at that. But now that we know what he’s capable of, it would be cool if he could just lean closer to the teenage dream than the nightmares he’s able to create.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres Wednesday, January 17, 2018 on FX, and FX+ subscribers can watch the first episode beginning Friday, January 12, 2018.
Source: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/winter-tv-preview-scoop-13-slideshow-wp-140043774/photo-p-strong-1-sentence-pitch-photo-140043714.htmlYahoo Entertainment wrote:
Winter TV Preview: The scoop on 13 new shows
January 2, 2018
‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ (FX, Jan. 17 at 10 p.m.)
The one-sentence pitch: “Like it’s titled, it’s about the murder of Gianni Versace, but what the show is really about is what leads up to that murder,” says ACS executive producer Brad Simpson. “And most people who know about Versace know he was murdered by Andrew Cunanan, but they probably don’t know that he was the final victim in a killing spree.”
What to expect: “This season is a very different flavor. It’s a different mood, it’s a different type of crime, and a different type of storytelling,” Simpson says of the new season, which unfolds Cunanan’s crime in a nonlinear fashion, beginning with Versace’s murder and revealing Cunanan’s other victims in reverse chronological order. “We felt like it was important to not have the audience spend eight episodes waiting for that murder to happen, so we get right to the most famous murder. Then … we’ve all seen stories of the evolution of a killer, where you follow someone as they commit their first murder, climaxing with something bigger. We thought it was more interesting to do it in reverse, tell you the whole story in reverse, go victim by victim into the past and really try to understand not just who these other victims were but also why [Cunanan] ended up on this path.”
Glee-ful cast: Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace, Edgar Ramirez as Gianni, Ricky Martin as Versace’s boyfriend Antonio, as well as memorable performances from Judith Light, Finn Wittrock, Dascha Polanco, Mike Farrell, Max Greenfield, and newcomer Cody Fern pepper the season, but it’s singer and Glee alum Darren Criss, as Cunanan, who is most mesmerizing as the undeniably charming, and disturbed, serial killer. “Versace and Andrew Cunanan were both born into circumstances in which they were gay men with ambition, with taste, and who people genuinely liked,” Simpson says. “Andrew was very well-liked until a certain age. … We wanted to explore what sets one off on the path to becoming this great creator, and what sets the other on the path to being this destroyer.” — KPWinter TV Preview: The scoop on 13 new shows
Source: http://www.vanityfair.fr/culture/series/articles/qui-est-darren-criss-qui-jouera-le-tueur-de-versace-dans-american-crime-story-saison-2-the-assassination-of-gianni-versace-/59177Vanity Fair - France wrote:
Darren Criss, l'espoir du petit écran américain à surveiller de près
Darren Criss, the hope of the small screen to watch closely
Although Darren Criss may have left the Glee choir, he is not finished with Ryan Murphy. The 30-year-old actor is featured in season 2 of “American Crime Story”, titled “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”. Based on Maureen Orth’s book, “Vulgar Flavors,” the series will focus on the story of serial killer Andrew Cunanan, played by Darren Criss.
In France, he is still little known - if not a fan of Glee. Almost all Glee fan fell under the spell of the Californian when he played the young Blaine Anderson. Playing, singing, dancing, and even writing - since he’s also a songwriter - everything seems to be within Darren Criss’s reach. As he prepares to demonstrate the extent of his talents in what could be the role of his life, Vanity Fair has conducted an investigation into Ryan Murphy’s protégé .
“MOST LIKELY TO WIN A GRAMMY”
Darren Criss was born in 1987 in San Francisco, California, but spent his early childhood in Honolulu, Hawaii. From an early age, he was immersed in music: at the age of five, he began his violin lessons, which he continued for fifteen years. On top of that, he taught himself guitar, piano, mandolin, harmonica and drums. No wonder, then, that his classmates chose him as a Grammy contender, even though he was only in high school. He still hasn’t won that grammy, but the nomination took place in 2012 with Glee. At only 15 years old, Darren Criss was already a musician, singer, and composer: He wrote his first song, Human, in 2009, which is on his first EP of the same name. However, music isn't enough for this lover of the arts: in addition to his songs and the half-dozen instruments he’s mastered perfectly, Darren Criss wants to act. In parallel with music, he has been acting since the age of 10, when he joined the youth program of the famous American Conservatory Theater - which has among its alumni, Nicolas Cage , Winona Ryder, Elizabeth Banks and Brie Larson .
His adolescence is punctuated by the plays in which he plays: The Music Man, The Diary of Anne Frank, Fiddler on the Roof, Pride and Prejudice … He even left the US, in 2008, to study at the Accademia dell'Arte, in Arezzo in Tuscany. “No one is supposed to know what to do as a kid” , he said in 2013 at the LA Times . “I’m one of the lucky ones. I always worked towards my goal, it did not happen by chance. It takes a lifetime of work to become a phenomenon overnight .”
Success comes a year later. In 2009, when Darren Criss graduated from the Beaux Arts, he decided to go with a few friends to a production company specializing in musicals: StarKid Productions . By performing, with his troupe, the role of Harry Potter in a musical adaptation of JK Rowling’s work, Darren Criss made a sensational entrance into the world of American entertainment. “It was overwhelming, it happened by accident: it was right when the viral videos appeared”, He testifies years later. The first clip of the show, posted in 2009, almost ten years later, reached 14 million views on YouTube.
“ SINGING… ”
With the triumph of A Very Potter Musical, Darren Criss began to get noticed. Moving from boards to television, he appeared in 2009 in five episodes of Eastwick , a fantastic series then broadcast on ABC. The following year marks the beginning of glory for the young artist: after a flash passage in an episode of Cold Case , the young man won a role in the second season of Glee , the musical series of Ryan Murphy , then in full swing . He makes a sensational debut in the series as Blaine Anderson , an openly gay young man who will become Kurt’s future love interest (Chris Colfer). In his first episode, he sings Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. - the single is immediately at the top of sales.
Hair cut and full of gel, tailored suit: he abandons, for the needs of the series, the arts student look for a preppy, neat look. “I was a clumsy actor with long hair, a little nerd . When I had an audition for Glee , I said to myself: “It’s important, I’ll cut my hair” “ , then says Darren Criss at the LA Times . ” Glee has really been a turning point in my career . “ In five seasons, the young man goes from a secondary character to fan favorite in a flash: in season three, Ryan Murphy modifies his character’s journey to become part of McKinley High School, where most of the plot unfolds. Thus, Darren Criss attained the status of regular actor.
Despite persistent rumors, including seeing him play a gay character on the screen, Darren Criss has repeatedly said that he is heterosexual. He confided in 2010 to Vanity Fair that it is still a subject close to his heart: “I grew up in a very open community, including through the theater in San Francisco - it’s difficult , if we stick to the clichés, to be more gay. I was raised in the “gay community” . My parents were straight, but I spent a lot of time very young with gay folks in the theater world.
Quasi-omnipresent in the series, the prodigy still finds time for multiple projects, as usual. After playing a Harry Potter singer in his musical, he loops the loop by replacing Daniel Radcliffe on stage in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying . He lends a helping hand for three weeks, which then became the most lucrative of the production. He also plays in a movie comedy unnoticed on this side of the Atlantic: Imogene , where Darren Criss starred with Kristen Wiig , and even made a brief appearance in the video for Katy Perry , Last Friday Night- that he will resume, too, in Glee .
THE VERSACE KILLER
If there is one thing that can not be removed from Ryan Murphy , it is his loyalty. In his multiple projects from year to year (Nip / Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story , Scream Queens, American Crime Story , Feud and soon 911 and Pose ), the director never drops his favorite actors. When Glee comes to an end, Lea Michele (Rachel in the series) finds her place in the first two seasons of Scream Queens. Same thing for Jessica Lange , who goes from American Horror Story to Feud , or Sarah Paulson, which seems to assert itself as the essential muse of the director in any of his projects. For Darren Criss , the situation is more or less similar: once you set foot in work with Ryan Murphy , you do not leave. After Glee , the young man makes a quick appearance in the fifth season of American Horror Story , Hotel , where he plays Justin, an arrogant hipster who will end up stabbed. This flash passage is actually nothing compared to what Murphy is preparing for him: a leading role in the second installment of American Crime Story , whose first season on the OJ Simpson affair, has already conquered audience and criticism. This time, the production is interested in the murder of Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez) by the serial killer Andrew Cunanan , played by Darren Criss - who is finally offered a role complex enough to show the extent of his talent.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, starts January 17 in the United States, and soon on Canal +.
Btw, I found this video. I find it intriguing that Ellen says "I haven't even realised that the bad guy was the bad guy" or something like that (the talk about ACS begins after five minutes).
Last edited by Poppy on Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
Take care and feel better soon!@Poppy wrote:My cold has moved into a sinus infection, so I am feeling worse. Hopefully the antibiotics kick in and I will feel better by the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, Sunday. Anyway, just temporarily, I may not post quite as much until I feel better.
BBCidontknowwhichnumber@Poppy wrote:At the end, the article mentions that Versace can be seen on Canal +. I assume this is in France? I know I read that Versace is available to watch in England, but forgot what Channel.
Take care and feel better soon!
Meanwhile I kind of peeled my finger instead of the potato I was aiming for, so now I can't bend it and typing is a bit of a bother. I shouldn't be allowed around sharp objects.
Thanks for the info, Lin. I think I will keep a log of the release dates for the various countries and the channels when I find out. Lin, on what channel will folks in Germany be able to see Versace? And what is the release date? Thanks so much!Lin wrote:BBCidontknowwhichnumber
I saw people from England and Australia complain that they still don't have a release date, so it's all the more surprising to me that Germany already has one and it's less than three weeks after the official premiere. Not that I could wait that long or even have the channel, but still exciting! It usually takes several months at least for most shows (that aren't Game of Thrones).
Darren Criss Army wrote:NOTE: This article has a few spoilers about the storyline.
A few quotes from the article:
The Sun wrote:
Gritty BBC thriller examines the murder of Italian designer Gianni Versace
Some think his showbiz lifestyle is what drew Cunanan to him. It is unknown if the two men had met before the day of the murder.
[. . . ]
Cunanan's first two victims were his friend Jeffrey Trail, who he battered to death with a hammer, and his ex-lover David Madson, who he kept hostage then shot.
Cunanan, who worked as a prostitute, then went to Chicago and beat tycoon Lee Miglin, 72, to death in the garage of his luxury home.
He made his getaway in Miglin's car and drove to New Jersey where he met his fourth victim, William Reese, a caretaker at Finn's Point National Cemetery.
By the time Cunanan got to Versace's home, he'd been evading capture for two months.
Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth, who has published a book, Vulgar Favors, about the murder, believes he murdered Versace for the notoriety. “He was willing to kill for fame. He wanted to be everything Versace was, but he wasn’t willing to work for it,“ she said.
"He was willing to kill for fame. He wanted to be everything Versace was, but he wasn't willing to work for it," she said.
Meanwhile, the show’s director, Ryan Murphy, said: "We’re not interested in the killer-of-the-week approach. We’re trying to understand the psychology of someone who would be driven to do those deeds.”
The series will premiere in America on January 17, 2018 on FX. A UK date is yet to be announced but it’s expected in early 2018 and will air on BBC Two.
Source: http://ew.com/tv/2018/01/04/the-assassination-of-gianni-versace-ryan-murphy-darren-criss/?utm_campaign=entertainmentweekly&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&xid=entertainment-weekly_socialflow_twitterEntertainment Weekly wrote:
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: Ryan Murphy says he knew Darren Criss was 'capable of great darkness'
January 4, 2017
Cover your eyes, Gleeks. Darren Criss, who played squeaky clean, bow-tie aficionado Blaine Anderson on Fox’s Glee is about to shed that image.
The actor has his darkest and most challenging role to date as serial killer Andrew Cunanan in FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, premiering Jan. 17 on FX. Cunanan not only killed the titular designer, played by Edgar Ramirez, but also four other men in 1997. Portraying the sociopath, Criss vacillates between being charming, pathetic, ruthless, and psychotic.
“I did as much research as humanly possible,” says Criss. But, “there’s not a whole lot of preparation you can do. The only thing you can really do is being available to all emotions at all times. At any point, he’s ready to fire off in any direction.”
Executive producer Ryan Murphy was adamant that Criss play Cunanan after seeing the actor on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. “I just knew he could do it,” reveals Murphy. “More than that, I knew that he was super hungry and ambitious. I think people thought of Darren as a musical comedy star first. But, when I saw Hedwig, I knew he was capable of great darkness.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres Jan. 17 at 10 p.m. on FX.
Source: https://live.washingtonpost.com/tv-chat-1400000104.html?clsrdWashington Post wrote:
What to Watch: TV chat with Hank Stuever
Jan 04, 2018
Post TV critic Hank Stuever talked about what's bad, good and so bad it's good on TV.
Here's what Hank would watch if he wasn't paid to watch TV: "Game of Thrones," "The Americans," "The Amazing Race" and "Shameless" Lately he's been digging "The Chi" "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "The Crown" and "Below Deck."
Q: American Crime Story
Do you think The Assassination of Gianni Versace has the potential to be as big as The People vs OJ Simpson? Or is 90s gay politics too niche for audiences?
A: Hank Stuever
Is it political, though? What principles did Andrew Cunanan stand for?
That said, I think you’re onto something. Make the subject gay (either a little bit or a lot) and you still lose some potential audience (dude bros, mainly), though not nearly to the degree that you once might have. Plus, I think everyone wants to tune in to see if this one is as good as the last one. Versace is nowhere near the true-crime mania that accompanies the subject of O.J. Simpson. Minus the crazed gay serial killer angle and debaucherous gay luxury angle, he Versace murder is hard sell as a work of nostalgia or revisionist drama.
I have seen two episodes at this point, but I have a feeling I’ll be bingeing a lot more of it tonight in advance of FX’s presentations tomorrow. What I can say, so far, is that this series hits the same sweet spot that the O.J. series did, between fact and sensation. Darren Criss goes all out as Andrew Cunanan.
[. . . ]
Q: Darren Criss
Is that the Street Magician guy?
A: Hank Stuever
No, it’s the guy from “Glee.”
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Source: https://nypost.com/2018/01/04/versace-miniseries-is-the-first-great-show-of-2018/New York Post wrote:
‘Versace’ miniseries is the first great show of 2018
January 4, 2008
[TV Review:] AMERICAN CRIME STORY: THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE Wednesday, Jan. 17, 10 p.m., FX
The second installment of Ryan Murphy’s “American Crime Story” franchise is the tragic tale of a globally famous gay talent and an obscure gay parasite.
Based on Maureen Orth’s “Vulgar Favors,” “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” is also a glamorous and frightening portrait of a certain kind of modern monster — the entitled kept boy who snaps when he loses the keys to what he imagined was his kingdom.
In her book, Orth describes Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) — who shot Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramirez) at point-blank range on the steps of his Miami villa in July 1997 — as a “narcissistic nightmare of vainglorious self-absorption, a practiced and pathological liar who … was clever enough to pull off his deceptions.”
The nine episodes of Murphy’s series, all carefully crafted by British screenwriter Tom Robb Smith (“London Spy”), track the disintegration of a spoiled child who demanded the maximum payoff for the most minimal effort — and, unable to develop any real relationships with his peers, cruelly targeted older, wealthy gay men who were willing to satisfy his endless needs.
Smith tells his story in reverse, heightening the central mystery of how a scruffy drifter with a baseball cap, backpack and gun approached Versace as he was returning from a stroll to a neighborhood cafe. Was this a random shooting, or did the younger Cunanan know the celebrated Italian fashion designer, recovering from illnesses brought on by a suppressed diagnosis of HIV? Cunanan, already infamous after landing on the FBI’s Most Wanted list following a spree that left four men, including two of his friends, dead, was bumming around Miami for two months to the apparent indifference of the local police. He then killed one last time.
As the mystery unfolds, Murphy, who directs the pilot, and Smith invite us to witness the extremes of gay culture in the 1980s and 1990s. We meet Versace’s boyfriend Antonio D’Amico (Ricky Martin), and Cunanan’s companions (and ultimate victims), former naval officer Jeff Trail (an excellent Finn Wittrock) and rising young architect David Madson (Cody Fern). We get glimpses of the Versace fashion empire with his unimaginative, controlling sister Donatella (Penelope Cruz) watching enviously as her brother silences his detractors with one ravishing creation after another. And we get a ringside seat at the twisted Cunanan home in San Diego, where Andrew’s con-man father, Pete (future Emmy winner Jon Jon Briones), sold the family home from under his wife and four children before fleeing the country on an embezzlement charge. All the tools Andrew needed to embark on his trajectory of murder and menace he learned at his father’s feet.
The performances of the leads are outstanding, but special mention must be made of Criss, who beautifully captures Cunanan’s ability to tell the biggest lies anyone has ever heard and literally charm the pants off anyone he sets his sights on. He’s a lot like Patricia Highsmith’s Mr. Ripley, but Ripley was a fictional creation. Cunanan, who committed suicide after murdering Versace, was sadly all-too-real.
Murphy’s ability to showcase well-known performers in surprising cameos continues apace with gems from Mike Farrell, Max Greenfield and even Cathy Moriarty as a wily pawnshop owner.
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” is more personal and heartfelt than Murphy’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and proves that when it comes to seductive allure laced with menace, no one in TV is Murphy’s match.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement are currently looking for Andrew Cunanan. He’s expected to be extremely dangerous and armed at this time.
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I'm okay, it's just so silly and annoying. Thanks for your advice! I had to google what a mandoline is, but yes, I'll be staying far away from those medieval torture devices.@Poppy wrote:Thanks so much, Lin. Oh my, I'm so sorry about your injury, Lin. I hope it's not too much skin. I've done that before. I hate it when I hurt myself in the kitchen. Cooking is dangerous! Whatever you do, do not buy a mandoline. I knew someone who used it without the guard and he literally cut a chunk of the tip of his finger off. Poor man was uninsured, so he didn't go to the doctor, but at the very next opportunity, he signed up for the Affordable Care Act. Sorry, I'm digressing. I'm guessing you hurt it on the knuckle? Keep it loosely bandaged in the day if you are using that hand to prevent it from getting re-hurt. I hope it heals soon, Lin.
January 29 on Sky Atlantic!@Poppy wrote:Thanks for the info, Lin. I think I will keep a log of the release dates for the various countries and the channels when I find out. Lin, on what channel will folks in Germany be able to see Versace? And what is the release date? Thanks so much!
@Poppy wrote:Nicely said, Ryan. One tiny correction: I think the writer meant when Ryan saw Darren in the Hedwig and the Angry Inch (tour) production in Los Angeles, unless anyone knows that Ryan did see Darren in Hedwig on Broadway?
Jeremy wrote:I wish both of you a quick recovery
Canal+ is indeed a French channel.
I feel the same way when I hurt myself in the kitchen. But it's never silly when you hurt yourself. Hope you heal soon, Lin. You're welcome. Yes, mandelines are evil medieval torture devices. Those blades are super sharp. Thanks for answering my question Lin.Lin wrote:I'm okay, it's just so silly and annoying. Thanks for your advice! I had to google what a mandoline is, but yes, I'll be staying far away from those medieval torture devices.
Yes, it's totally possible Ryan did see Darren in Hedwig on Broadway, but no one noticed him. Yup, that part where Ryan talked about how great Darren was in Hedwig on Broadway confused me. I just assumed his comment was based on reviews he read or talking with Jane Lynch, who did go see Darren in Hedwig on Broadway. Yes, Ryan is like Darren, they both seem to favor juggling a lot of various projects at once. haha. You're funny, Lin. I get what you're saying.Lin wrote:
Maybe he also saw Darren on Broadway and no one noticed him? I had wondered about this before because Ryan sent the other producers to see him in LA despite only seeing the show on the very last day himself. And when Darren guest starred on AHS, Ryan said "The thing with Darren is he left Glee and went off to Hedwig, and it was such a sensation and he was so great", which does sound like he had seen it at this point - but then if you read the rest of the quote, what he's saying about the AHS role being "incredibly sexualized and violent" doesn't make any sense with what was seen on screen (it sounds much more like the Andrew Cunanan role actually), so I just never put too much weight into anything he says because he always seems to have lots of different things going on in his head. Who knows!
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Hollywood Life wrote:
‘ACS: Versace’: Darren Criss Explains How He Was Able To Relate To Killer Andrew Cunanan
January 5, 2018
In an EXCLUSIVE chat with Darren Criss, he tells HollywoodLife how he was able to get into the mindset of Gianni Versace’s murderer, Andrew Cunanan.
Darren Criss, 30, had to find a way to make murderer Andrew Cunanan a relatable being while portraying him for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. When HollywoodLife asked him EXCLUSIVELY at the FX’s presentation for the Television Critics Association how he was able to get into the mindset of “crazy” Andrew, he immediately corrected us by saying, “See that’s the trick right there, I don’t look at him as a crazy person. We do. But I can’t. It’s my job to not think of him that way. It makes it too simple. I guess with any character, anybody, you have to approach everything from common denominators. This is very eyeroll-y actor jabber, but you find the primary colors.”
“The very basic things that aren’t so complicated. We’re all 1’s and 0’s so the first couple 1’s and 0’s are things like, everybody knows what it feels like to want something that you’re not allowed to have, wanting to rise higher than your station,” Darren added, talking to HollywoodLife. “Then you add on the other layers of what was happening in his home life, what was happening in his social economic situation, what was happening with his own sexuality and that kind of adds the other colors. I think you start with the things that you can relate to and then you let the script and the world around you, at least the one that Ryan [Murphy] is curating, to kind of do the rest of the work. It’s not as hard as it would seem. And any time you’re doing things that seem extreme and hard to relate to, these extreme acts of violence, if you go far enough back in the 1’s and 0’s you remind yourself that these acts come from places of pain, places of hurt and places that I can relate to. I don’t relate to the execution of said emotions, but I can relate to the emotions. I’m not saying it makes it easy, by any stretch of the word, but it makes it more accessible.”
HollywoodLife pressed for more information, asking Darren what some of the more relatable aspects of Andrew’s life were for him as a person. “Well, we both went to Catholic school, that’s a big one. There’s like basic things,” Darren shared. “I think we both had a desire to stand out. His was for sort of social gain, mine was because I just didn’t want to be like everybody else. So, they were kind of routed in different places. He did something very interesting where he was the kind of kid they said would put dimes in his penny loafers. To not put pennies. And I thought, ‘Hell yeah, I would have put dimes in my penny loafers!’ Our motivations were different, but I understand the desire to not be ordinary.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres on January 17, 2018 on FX.
Why Ryan Murphy & The ‘American Crime Story’ Team Tackled ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace’ – TCA
January 5, 2018
However, The Assassination of Gianni Versace is not all about Versace as it follows serial killer Andrew Cunanan and the victims he disgraced.
“It was the largest FBI fail of all-time,” asserted EP Tom Rob Smith.
“We wanted to explore between Versace and Cunanan the story of a creator, who is an authentic, honest person drawing on his history, heritage and family and creating from the inside out and another person who goes on a path of destruction because he’s on the outside without the work or the talent, and can’t tell the truth about who he is,” said EP Nina Jacobson.
“It was a political murder. This was a person who specifically went out of his way to shame and out people,” said Murphy about Cunanan, “He was having a form of payback for a life he could not live.” In addition to Versace, some of Cunanan’s victims include Chicago real estate developer Lee Miglin and architect David Madison, who actually was the murderer’s lover.
[. . . ]
After watching Darren Criss on Glee, viewers will be gobsmacked at the 180 he takes in portraying the slithery Cunanan. What’s affecting the actor is the fact that after 20 years, the real victims both on and off screen in American Crime Story have to relieve it. “That weighs heavily on me,” says the actor . . .
Commenting on the thrulines between the seasons of American Crime Story, Murphy mentioned again how the series will deconstruct major crimes that went beyond its victims and impacted society. Sexism and racism were the themes in The People v. O.J. Simpson which still were pertinent to today. In Versace “the homophobia of the day is topical” mentioned Murphy were as his next iteration of American Crime Story, Katrina tackles the medical conditions and global warming in our country and when they collide “who has the right to decide who lives and dies,” said Murphy.
Said Murphy, “Every season of this show will have a different tonality.”
Source: http://variety.com/2018/tv/news/american-crime-story-versace-andrew-cunanan-terrorist-1202654859/Variety wrote:
‘Assassination of Gianni Versace’ Team on Exploring ‘What Went Wrong’ That Made Andrew Cunanan Kill
January 5, 2018
While Simpson pointed out that Versace is a “thread that goes all the way through” all nine episodes, the show is designed to be an ensemble, and they wanted to pay respect to all of Cunanan’s victims, including Lee Miglin (Mike Farrell), David Madson (Cody Fern) and Jeffrey Trail (Finn Wittrock). “Each victims were tragic in their own way,” he said.
Although the show follows Cunanan as he dips in and out of these other men’s lives (and ultimately takes their lives), Simpson noted they didn’t want to put his name in the title because it felt like it would have been “elevating him to a place we didn’t want to put him.”
Jacobson points out the title of the series really points to the contrast between Cunanan and the high-profile victim who made him famous. “Some of the themes [in the series are] the contrasts between Cunanan and Versace in the destroyer and the curator. One character is an authentic, honest creator drawing on his heritage, his background his family… and the other goes on a path of destruction because he wants the fame without the work or the talent,” she said.
Jacobson also felt strongly that Versace did not have to die but the homophobia at the time allowed the prior victims’ cases to be mishandled or under-investigated. “Cunanan was going out clubbing right across the street from the police department. The neglect and the isolation and the ‘otherness’ in the way the police handled the deaths of gay men, with the exception of one of the victims, [made Versace’s death] a death that didn’t have to happen,” Jacobson said.
The distinction between victims is an important element not only for the way their cases were handled but also for the way the murders occurred and the motivations behind them, per Smith. “When Andrew’s life fell apart, he murdered his closest friend and his lover, but those murders are different from Lee Miglin and Gianni Versace,” he said. “Once he crossed the line and became a killer, he began to kill to pursue ideas.”
Those ideas, according to Murphy, included targeting people “specifically to shame them and out them and have a form of payback for a life that he felt he could not live.” And Smith was adamant about calling Cunanan a “spree killer” whose pathology more closely mirrored terrorism than that of a “serial killer.”
“This is someone who had a [great] education and was brilliant and was witty and had the world at his feet. Why does this person end up killing five people? You have to explore the intellect. You have to explore what went wrong,” Smith said, noting that Cunanan was a man who felt invisible who was desperate to find a way to be seen.
“Once he realizes he lost everything, either you build something that impresses someone which takes a lot of work, or if you don’t want anonymity, you can try to rip something down,” Smith continued. “Andrew ripped down the success of Lee Miglin and Versace.”
Orth, as well, felt Cunanan’s desperation was what drove him — and ultimately what doomed him. “He was willing to kill to become famous. Now you can be an Instagram star or a YouTube star. If he had been born later, maybe that’s what he would have gone for, but he wanted to be famous that he was willing to kill for it,” Orth said.
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” premieres Jan. 17 at 10pm on FX.
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