Glee's Darren Criss Talks Broadway, "Unicorn Dust" and Graduation
Is Darren Criss, better known as lead Warbler Blaine on Glee, headed for Broadway? Does he know if Blaine is a senior, and thus headed for graduation? What does he think about creator Ryan Murphy's decision to graduate stars like Lea Michele and Chris Colfer off the show anyways?
TVGuide.com caught up with Criss on the eve of Glee's Sunday Comic-Con panel and attempted to get answers:
Is Darren Criss ditching Glee for Broadway?
Word is you're going to fill in for Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business. Excited?
Darren Criss: I don't know! People keep asking me about it, and it's kind of cool that that's out there in the world, but I cannot confirm anything at all. I mean, yeah, that would be really cool. That's certainly a wonderful role and a great show, and it would certainly be exciting to be a part of it. ... But it's definitely not confirmed by any means. I'm actually more just focusing on trying to get my head screwed back on right now.
Why is it unscrewed?
Criss: I've just been traveling a whole lot and doing a lot of projects. I'm tired. I've been traveling a lot for music. I haven't been home in awhile.
You guys go back in to production on Glee soon. Are you ready?
Criss: Yes, soon. I don't know even know what day it is, but soon. I'm weird, though. I'm kind of a glutton for punishment. I really like working and doing as much as I can... while I have the enthusiasm and wherewithal. I'm kind of abusing that to the bitter end.
I just spoke with one of Glee's new writers, Marti Noxon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. She said you're "made of unicorn dust" and that she can't wait to write for Blaine.
Criss: Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on. I always say that about people. I say "unicorn dust and rainbow farts." Yeah, she and I are going to get along famously. I mean she's here, and she comes from the nerd world, too. They're playing the Buffy musical to wrap [the convention] up. She's a fangirl, I'm a fanboy. These are my people, man. It's great to be at Comic-Con, but it's weird to be on the other side because I've come for the past three years as a fan, and I gotta say, the other side is a lot more fun. I'm happy to be here for Glee, but there are so many panels I wish could be at. I wish I was there with all the fans.
Emmy nominee Chris Colfer on graduating from Glee: It's definitely not my choice
I don't think you'd survive on the exhibition floor.
Criss: I might go to the floor in costume! It's weird, last year I was on a panel for the Harry Potter fandom and we were worried because it was on at the same time as that Glee panel. And here we are a year later, and I'm on the other side. It's a beautiful, beautiful twist of fate.
So Ryan Murphy said everyone's a senior this season except Sam (Chord Overstreet). But he also said Blaine is "ambiguous." How old is Blaine to your knowledge?
Criss: I have no idea how old I am! I truly don't know, and you can call me irresponsible or ignorant or what have you — maybe I don't do my homework — but I remember hearing I was a year older than Kurt. I remember reading that when Ryan was talking about Blaine. So that would mean he's graduated by now but maybe....
Maybe he failed a year!
Criss: Maybe he did! Or maybe he transferred a year! But there's always people in your class who are older, like, "How come you're not a senior?" And then they say so-and-so happened. Or maybe he took some time off. [Or] he had a little bit of trauma at his old school? He is a year older than Kurt, but maybe he's still a junior or senior. I don't know, we'll find out. I'm very excited for Season 3. I think there are so many exciting things that can happen. I think having the extra writers will be a really wonderful thing and add more dimensions to the show. I'm just so excited, I can't contain myself.
Do you know anything about what's coming up for Blaine?
Criss: I have no idea. My guess is as good as anybody's. But the thing I always say about Glee is that I've been invited to this party that was swinging before I got there. So to feel entitled to anything at this party is absurd. I'm just happy that they're having me around. I'm so thrilled they promoted me to a series regular. That was very special. I don't know what that means or entails, but I'm just happy to still be at the party. We'll see.
The Glee Project: Could any of these hopefuls really be the next Lea, Cory or Chris?
You've been a mentor on The Glee Project twice...
Criss: I really love those kids a lot. I really worked with them; they're all really great. I haven't seen a lot of the show yet just because I've been traveling. But it's reality TV, so I'm sure they're cutting things in certain ways. ... I'm interested to see how. All of them were so hard-working, so wonderful, so sweet. I was in awe of their sweetness. I was telling the producers, "Good luck trying to make this dramatic, they're all so nice!" I'm sure they found a way.
The winner will apparently be a nemesis for Coach Sue. What can you tell us about the winner? How do they stick out?
Criss: Not to be Saturday morning cartoonish — but they're all winners of Glee. They all made it there out of a huge number of people, and they all had something very special about them. So, the person who did win just so happened to fit whatever scheme that Ryan wanted at the time. And since I don't know what's going to happen in Season 3, I don't know what that is. But I think when we see it we're going to love it and it's going to be great. This person is going to add a different color to the show for sure.
What do you make of all this graduation talk? On one hand, Ryan wants to keep Glee grounded in some reality. On the other hand, he wants to graduate the stars off the show.
Criss: I don't think it's an end so much as a departure point, literally and figuratively, for the characters and the actors themselves. Ryan has talked a lot about high school as this journey you go on. You go in as one person and you leave as another. So to put a flag at the end, like this is the finishing point, tells me there's going to be some really interesting arcs. That tells me there's going to be really cool developments — that at the end of it, they're coming out as different people, for better or for worse. ... It'll be bittersweet to me personally because I'll miss working with those actors. But for them, I think it'll be good stuff for their stories. And also, for them as actors, it's only the beginning. I mean, they're all superstars. They have massive wings, and I think they're going to take off.
And, of course, Ryan has the right to change his mind.
Criss: And he's been known to!