The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story - Wed May 30, 2018 11:42 pm
Via Darren’s Instagram Story (May 30th, 2018)
hollywoodreporter #ACSVersace star @DarrenCriss on the powerful impact of #TimesUp: "Anything that affects the cultural landscape at all, whether its Hollywood or in the world, what's interesting is the way it shapes the narratives we're interested in ... we're seeing this wonderful rise of female voices in film and TV, and that's cool." Stay tuned for the Drama Actor Roundtable, coming tomorrow to THR.com.
Darren Criss on Portraying Real Person in ‘Assassination of Gianni Versace’ | Close Up With THR
The full Drama Actor Roundtable, also starring Matthew Rhys, J.K. Simmons, Jeff Daniels and Jason Bateman airs Sunday, July 8 on Sundance TV. I'm interested in watching the full episode of the Drama Actor Roundtable. I thought Darren did well in the Darren-edit that The Hollywood Reporter presented. I saw the other actors nodding their heads when Darren talked at the beginning of the video about how playing a real-life person who caused so much tragedy to real persons --sons, daughters, cousins, husbands and wives--affected Darren. It threw me when he said that weighed on him "a little bit," because it seemed what he just said would lead to us concluding this issue weighed on him more than a little bit. But I understand what he meant when he said this is the type of project that actors really value and strive to be a part of. I loved what he said about the "Me Too" movement and how other social issues affect the stories that Hollywood is telling. Well done, Darren! It must have been a bit intimidating to be taking part of a high profile discussion with respected actors, many of who are veteran actors--and Darren did a good job articulating his views. I also enjoyed THR video focusing on why Michael B. Jordan originally turned down "Fahrenheit 451" (his notebooks that he wrote for his characters also are really fascinating--how he really gets into the head of his characters).
The Hollywood Reporter wrote:
Darren Criss on "Weight" of Portraying a Real-Life Character in 'American Crime Story' | Drama Actor Roundtable
Darren Criss opened up to The Hollywood Reporter on the reality of playing a real-life character, spree killer Andrew Cunanan, in FX’s ‘Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Criss said he couldn’t help but think about, “the sons and daughters and cousins and husbands and wives of people that were affected” by Cunanan.
“That weighs on me a little bit,” he told THR during the Drama Actor Roundtable. Criss said he was able to identify with Cunanan, who died at age 27 by suicide, because, “that’s our job. We’re in the business of empathy. It doesn’t matter what my personal moral spectrum is.”
Criss went on to discuss the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements in Hollywood, being one of the two youngest members of the roundtable at age 31, along with Michael B. Jordan (Fahrenheit 451).
“What’s interesting is the way that it’s shaping the narratives that we’re interested in,” Criss said, comparing the current hot-button issue to the world wars of the early 20th century, and how those stories were reflected on-screen. “We’re seeing this wonderful rise of female voices in film and television. That’s cool. That’s the flip side of all this.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story starring Criss aired in January on FX. The full Emmy Roundtables air every Sunday on SundanceTV beginning June 24 and on THR.com the following Monday. The full Drama Actor Roundtable, also starring Matthew Rhys, J.K. Simmons, Jeff Daniels and Jason Bateman airs Sunday, July 8 on Sundance TV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top shows.
Darren Criss, Michael B. Jordan, Matthew Rhys, J.K. Simmons, Jeff Daniels and Jason Bateman pose for The Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actor Roundtable | Source
This is a very interesting interview. At point 30:20, he talks about representation in film and TV. It's interesting what he said regarding diversity in Hollywood, that he believes the majority of the Hollywood industry have the best intentions and that even in cases of "whitewashing," that it's not as if the decision-makers are intentionally opposing diversity. However, in my view, even if that is true, does that matter? When you look at lack of representation, whether it's in student populations at colleges, in the workplace (especially in management or in certain professions), as well as in Hollywood, lack of representation often is a result of a lack of caring about the issue, about an apathy where representation is not really prioritized or highly valued. Even in the situations where there is no bad motive or clear intentional discrimination against casting a person of color (especially in projects where the original source pertained to characters of color), the impact is still the same: Obstacles are placed. For example, a showrunner may have nothing against persons of color in general, but may feel that it's necessary to continue to cast actors who the "majority" of viewers would relate to or wish to view (an attractive white person) in order to maximize the marketability of the project, and thus make a deliberate casting decision that is adverse to diversity or representation. The impact is the same: There is still a wide-spread practice/pattern of shutting out and excluding persons of color/LGBTQ persons/women from having the same opportunities. It still amounts to a lack of "equal opportunity" for "minority" persons. But I'm glad Darren is proud of being a multi-racial person, and I thought this interview was very interesting.
Golden Globe Awards --HFPA wrote:
HFPA in Conversation: Darren Criss, the Multitalented "Piano Man"
May 30, 2018
HFPA journalist Ruben Nepales met Darren Criss on a busy day at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills. Recently, Criss has been seen on FX's The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story playing a serial killer based on real-life criminal Andrew Cunanan. He is currently touring with his Gleeco-star Lea Michele.
At the beginning of this interview, Criss looks back to his childhood and confesses he didn’t like performing if he was told to do so. “If it was on my own fruition to do a song and dance number, then I’d be happy to. I guess I always wanted to because I enjoyed it, but if you told me to do something, I was like, no way.”
He grew up in San Francisco and Honolulu in a family he describes as very musical. “I grew up in a household where a lot of singing and music was around.”
In high school he was given a choice: did he want to be an Oscar or Grammy winner in the yearbook. “It was polite way to say you did music or theatre. And because I did both I got to choose. And the only reason why I chose the Grammy was because I thought it’d be a fun picture with my friend Michelle because we both played a ton of instruments, so I brought all my instruments and we took like a fun yearbook photo.”
After college, he formed a musical theatre StarKid with his friends and played Harry Potter on stage. In an interesting overlap, later in his life, he’d replace Daniel Radcliffe in the play How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. “When we met, I didn’t bring it up because I think it’s the pink elephant in the room. But this was years ago when I met him right before I did the show. He’s always been very friendly. We see each other around town every now and then and there are more interesting things to talk about than Harry Potter when we’re together for the brief moments we are together.”
Listen to the podcast to learn what he thinks about his stage debut at ten years old, what being a younger brother means to him, why he likes to introduce people to each other, why being part of Glee was like a lottery ticket for him, why he is only a piano man in his and his fiancée’s piano bar, Tramp Stamp Granny’s, how playing Andrew Cunanan affected him and what he seeks from the future - amongst other things.
Darren Criss Talks All Things ‘American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace’
Darren’s episode of Variety Studio: Actors On Actors to air June 19th, 2018 at 7:00PM
The episode will stream on pbssocal.org following the premiere.
You can check here for other dates and times.
DARREN CRISS ON HOMOPHOBIA IN ‘THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE’