The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story - Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:17 am
What has happened to compassion for our fellow human being? These are people with so little, with very little rights, with nothing but each other. And our government takes them away from each other?!!
It seems to me that these "Americans" who support Trump's inhumane persecution of these babies and children and their parents, are not seeing these children and their parents as people; Trump and his followers are dehumanizing these children and their parents, seeing them as a type of pests that they find threatening.
This is exactly why representation matters. This is why it's absolutely critical that minorities--whether those in the immigrant community, those in the LGBTQ community, in racial and religious minorities, those with disabilities, women--need to be present and represented. They is why persons in minority communities need to have their faces seen and have their voices heard: To show their humanity matters, to show that they-- as human beings-- matter and must be valued as much as those in the majority.
Why am I talking about this in this thread and not in the thread for news? Because it's all linked. It's all related. This is the same overriding message of this show. In ACS Versace, the way law enforcement and others regarded gay men in the 1980s in the U.S., with fear, with a lack of understanding and a lack of caring, it's all tragically present in many ways today. And most horrifying is that these misguided, hateful attitudes are present both at the highest levels of government, by our own President, and among his followers. So I want to say, in this thread, where ACS Versace is discussed, that I am thankful to Ryan Murphy for creating a show that brings up this discussion, that shines a spotlight on how tragic is the human toll of hate and intolerance of our fellow human beings. And thank you, Darren, for being an actor who supports representation of minority communities. I cannot express how much that is needed. All one needs to do is look at what is happening to these precious children to know how vital it is to show that we must continue to spread the message over and over again, that we all belong, that we all matter, please see us, please hear us, please do not hate us, please value us.
Ok, I'm falling off my soapbox now.
latimesent: “People always ask, ‘What’s it’s like to play a spree killer?’ If you boil it down to just that, that’s not who he was. It’s what we know him for.“ - @DarrenCriss on playing #ACSVersace’s real-life murderer lat.ms/2tm9L01
[UHQ] Darren Criss, Judith Light, Edgar Ramirez and Ricky Martin in the June 21st issue of the Los Angeles Times
Via Ricky Rollins’ Instagram Story (June 21st, 2018)
Via Darren’s Instagram Story (June 21st, 2018)
Darren's secret weapon are his expressive eyes.
Actor Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” Photographed by Elisabeth Caren for TheWrap | Source
Some items I meant to post earlier but didn't have time (from dcriss-archive):
‘Assassination of Gianni Versace’ delves into the mind of a killer — and societal prejudice | 20 June 2018
kmannmakeup: #bts with @darrencriss@edgarramirez25 @judithlight for @thewrap magazine #darrencriss #styling @ashleypweston #grooming by me #kindramannmakeup @tmgla #edgarramirez #grooming @sascha_breuer #judithlight #makeup @jamiemakeup #hair @lightaaron
I earlier had posted in this thread, the audio for this podcast about actors who Ryan Murphy likes to work with on his projects. Here is their Consequence of Sound website you can go to, where it's easier to locate the point where they discuss Darren (although if you have time, it's fun to hear their thoughts on the other various actors Ryan likes to work with). Go to Point 1:13:50. Link: https://consequenceofsound.net/2018/06/tv-party-rank-and-file-ryan-murphys-most-valuable-players/
And this is a nice article on this same website. Best quote: "He has such an open face and it's such a deep well of emotion in those eyes. But he also can deaden them [Darren's eyes] when he needs to." Also love her comment on his physicality, in terms of the different ways Darren moved as Andrew Cunanan, sometimes a strut, sometimes a glide, sometimes like a shark, sometimes like a cat.
Consequence of Sound wrote:
Assassination of Gianni Versace Proves Two Things: Darren Criss Is a Star, and Ryan Murphy Can Pick ‘Em
January 18, 2018
But now hear this: It can never be said that Ryan Murphy’s loyalty to actors, and theirs to him, has not paid dividends. . .
Now it’s going to make a star of Darren Criss, and Darren Criss in turn makes The Assassination of Gianni Versace a piece of can’t-miss television. His isn’t the only great performance in the second go-round of American Crime Story, but it’s the best and also the most surprising. It’s well past time to call it like it is: Ryan Murphy’s single greatest strength as an artist is his work with actors. He can spot them, nurture great performances from them, earn and retain their loyalty, and identify precisely when to throw them into the role most likely to show them at their best. He did it with Lange. He did it with Paulson. And now, he’s doing it with Blaine the Warbler from Glee.
Like most of Murphy’s recent work, The Assassination of Gianni Versace is every inch an ensemble piece, but only the second season of American Horror Story rivals this outing for the sheer, magnetic pull of one character and performance. Criss’ work as spree killer Andrew Cunanan is so good that it’s perhaps fairest to talk about literally everything else first.
As the Versace siblings, Edgar Ramírez and Penélope Cruz sit on either side of a seesaw so that when one is volatile, the other is vulnerable; when one is triumphant, the other recedes. They’re both excellent, equal parts charismatic and fragile. In the eight episodes provided to critics, Judith Light only seizes the spotlight once, but in that episode, which centers on Marilyn and Lee Miglin, she’s predictably terrific; newcomer Cody Fern is similarly great and with a heavier load. The writing, primarily by Tom Rob Smith (from Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favors), doesn’t dazzle in quite the way that the previous American Crime Story did, but the highs are every bit as high. It’s beautifully shot, tensely edited, and cleverly structured.
It is, in short, a good show, but it centers on a great performance. The show begins with Andrew Cunanan’s murder of Gianni Versace and slowly moves backwards, first tracing the path Cunanan took to Miami Beach and the lives he took along the way, then going back further to look at the young man who became a killer and the boy who became that young man. As a result, we see his lies get better, which get borrowed from someone else, and which turn out to be at least a little bit true. We watch his detachment dwindle. We watch as he checks off, like items on a grocery list, the personas he rattles off in this unsettling little speech from an early episode in the series:
“I’m a banker. I’m a stockbroker. I’m a shareholder, I’m a paperback writer, I’m a cop. I’m a naval officer. Sometimes I’m a spy! I build movie sets in Mexico and skyscrapers in Chicago, I sell propane in Minneapolis. I import pineapples from the Philippines. You know, I’m the person least likely to be forgotten.”
Then the screen cuts to black, and he adds one more to that laundry list: “I’m Andrew Cunanan.”
It’s one of the most chilling, upsetting line-readings in recent memory. Three words uttered in darkness, somehow hugely loaded. They’re truthful and ring with that truthfulness; they’re laced with something that sounds like pride and defiance, but they also hint at something more like despair and defensiveness. That’s in three words. And if that sounds impressive, just wait until you see the terrifying way he eats a ham sandwich.
Criss has always been watchable. In his first appearance on Glee, he played a teenage dream who literally sang “Teenage Dream”, and while it’s not a performance you’d call particularly nuanced, it’s evident immediately that this is a performer with vats of charisma at his disposal. What’s so thrilling about his American Crime Story performance is how much more there is going on and how he wields that charisma like a knife. You get the sense that Criss knows exactly when he wants the audience to believe Cunanan and when he doesn’t — when the lies should be convincing and when they shouldn’t. Sometimes, all that charm emanates from him like body heat, something natural and unconscious, but at others it’s obviously tactical, weaponized, hollow. Cunanan has control at some points and not at others, but Criss knows exactly what he’s doing.
When Murphy first cast the largely unknown Criss in Glee, did he know he’d be making him a series regular? Probably not. He certainly didn’t know he’d be putting him at the center of one of 2018’s most exciting television shows and would have had no way of predicting that the result would be a performance that’s sure to be among the best of this or any other year. But what’s almost certain is that Murphy did what he seems to always do: he found an actor he thinks is good, so he made sure to give that actor work. The work was good, so he got more work. And now, this.
There are many reasons to tune into American Crime Story over the next several months — great acting, good writing, terrific production design, and editing as taut as the best horror movie among them — but the lynchpin is Criss’ performance. It’s one more piece of evidence that sometimes loyalty pays off, not in dollars or trophies, but in remarkable art. Ryan Murphy believes in Darren Criss. Darren Criss did not disappoint him. Television is all the better for it.