|Born:||February 5, 1987|
|Occupation:||Actor, Singer, Songwriter|
Darren Criss is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He rose to fame playing Harry Potter in the fanmade hit musical, A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel and soon A Very Potter 3D: A Very Potter Senior Year. He currently portrays the character of Blaine Anderson on the Fox TV show Glee, an openly gay student who transferred from Dalton Academy to William McKinley High School to be with his boyfriend, Kurt Hummel.
Criss was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Cerina (née Bru) and Charles William Criss, a banker and a former director of the San Francisco Opera, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Stern Grove Festival, and San Francisco Performances. Criss is Eurasian – his mother, a native of Cebu, Philippines, is of Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino descent, while his father, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is of Irish descent. He has an older brother named Charles "Chuck" Criss, a musician and member of the indie rock band Freelance Whales. In 1988, the Criss family relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii, where Criss's father started the East West Bank, serving as Chairman and CEO. They lived there until their return to San Francisco in 1992. At the age of five, Criss began taking violin lessons and continued his classical training up through university. He eventually became a multi-instrumentalist, mastering the guitar, piano, cello, mandolin, harmonica, and drums.
Darren Criss first decided he wanted to be an actor when he watched Aladdin and decided he wanted to be a genie. He realized that the genie was played by Robin Williams - an actor, and that's when he decided he wanted to be one himself.
On the Web/Local Theatre
That Media Show
Darren was the original host of That Media Show, a San Francisco short-form web series which discussed Hollywood, filmmaking and visual effects (early episodes are available on iTunes).
Little White Lie
Though often considered a StarKid production, 'Little White Lie' was a webseries Criss was part of two years before Team StarKid was formed. Many of the Team Starkid members are in it. Criss played one of the main character's love interest in the show.
StarKid ProductionsCriss is a major actor in the theater production group Team Starkid, formed by musical theatre students at the University of Michigan. His most popular role with Starkid was Harry Potter in both A Very Potter Musical (which went viral in the summer of 2009) and A Very Potter Sequel (which premiered in May 2010). He is credited with writing half of the songs in A Very Potter Musical and all of the songs in A Very Potter Sequel. The popularity of the musical gained Darren many fans within the Harry Potter fandom. In the fall of 2009, Starkid created an original musical entitled Me and My Dick He was originally cast as one of the main protagonists, Dick, but he was a recurring role in TV series Eastwick during the show rehearsal, so Joe Walker was chosen instead to play the role of Dick. In spite of his involvement in the TV Series, he wrote a few songs and played guitar in the band for the musical.
Darren wrote the music for the StarKid production Starship, an original musical about "a far off world inhabited by a race of giant alien insects" and Bug, who "has never quite fit into bug-society and inside the pus-vesicles that serve as his heart longs for something more." The show was performed live from February 11th to the 23rd at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre in Chicago. It premiered on YouTube on April 30, 2011.
Many StarKid fans are possessive of Darren because they claim to have discovered him before Glee, something that Darren himself has acknowledged, but he says that his fans are the reason he is where he is right now, and he doesn't want to distinguish them as StarKid or Glee fans.
Darren and Starkid also announced that they are doing a presentation of A Very Potter 3D: A Very Potter Senior Year. LeakyCon 2012 will host the first and only presentation on during "A Very StarKid Event II" and take place from 12pm to 3pm on August 11, 2012.
Life of Leopold
Darren Criss uses his voice for the Funny Or Die sensation Life Of Leopold. He is the voice of the title character Leopold Bonar. The pilot and Parts 1 through 5 have been released so far. Life of Leopold
His music career includes his first self-produced EP "Human", which was released during the summer of 2010, and includes five songs. The album is available for download on iTunes.
- Don't You
- Not Alone
He started plans for a full-length album before he was hired for Glee, but still has plans to complete a full album in the near future. He has written several other original songs, and performs regularly at various venues in Los Angeles. He is also featured in Charlene Kaye's songs "Skin and Bones" and "Dress and Tie", and her music video for "Magnolia Wine".
He has also written and performed several times his original song Stutter.
Darren played Josh Burton, a minor recurring character and possible love interest for Mia, on ABC's short-lived drama, Eastwick. He also appeared on an episode of Cold Case, "Free Love" as the '69 version of Reuben Harris.
Darren made his Broadway debut on January 3, 2012, in a three week stint in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying as lead character J. Pierrepont Finch. He took over the role from Daniel Radcliffe who originated the role in this revival of the classic show. Rehearsal for the show took place during the Glee winter hiatus, and Darren was given a three week break from production for the performance.
Darren filmed the movie Imogene during the early portion of filming the third season of Glee. He plays the character Lee opposite the film's star, Kristen Wiig's Imogene. It is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Criss auditioned for Glee a couple of times, including an audition for Finn (with a cover of The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World"), before landing the character of Blaine, a student at a rival school. He cut his curly hair when he auditioned for Blaine.
Blaine is an "out-and-proud student" and serves as a mentor to Kurt as he struggles through being bullied at McKinley. It was rumored his character would be a love interest for Kurt Hummel, and this has now become fact in the episode Original Song when Kurt and Blaine began a relationship. Glee creator Ryan Murphy stated, "Darren has a major, major arc... He sort of becomes Kurt's mentor and then maybe love- he had to leave his own school because of bullying and goes to an all-boys academy and finds acceptance because that school has a no-bullying, zero-tolerance policy. Kurt really admires and respects Blaine. He plays someone who's one year older than Chris' character, so he's the old pro." Although in the third season episodes he has been recognized as a junior in high school, a year behind Kurt.
Criss is a series regular for season 3  and has had quite a significant storyline so far. In the episode The Purple Piano Project, Blaine transfers to McKinley claiming he "Can't stand to be apart from the person he loves." Blaine joins the New Directions. His relationship with Kurt is taken to the next level, presumably, as at the end of they are seen laid on a bed together exchanging Eskimo kisses.
Darren's first song on Glee (which was arranged and backed by Tufts University's Beelzebubs), Teenage Dream, hit number 8 on the Billboard charts, selling 214,000 singles in its first week. It surpassed "Don't Stop Believin'" for the highest first-week sales of any Glee song. The show's rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" landed at #2 last May when it sold 177,000 copies. Source Many of his other songs sung in later episodes also reached the top ten on iTunes.
- A Very Potter Musical Act I Part I
- Darren's youtube page
- Team Starkid's Official Page
- Darren Criss's Official Page
- His full name is Darren Everett Criss.
- His trademark accessory is his hot pink sunglasses.
- His name on twitter is @DarrenCriss, and his picture is pink glasses.
- His height is between 5'6" and 5'8". (There is some conflict on this matter.)
- He is straight, though growing up he had a lot of gay friends and he himself was into "girly things" like musical theater.
- He went to a college-preparatory high school, is a San Francisco native.
- He went to University of Michigan and graduated in 2009.
- Darren has a Bachelor in Fine Arts in performance and acting from the University of Michigan.
- Darren's brother, Chuck Criss, is a member of the Freelance Whales.
- He used to live in Hawaii.
- His vocal range is a tenor. (Source)
- Darren can play the piano, guitar, digeridoo, panflute, violin, cello, drums, mandolin, ukulele, kazoo and harmonica.
- He can speak and sing in Italian. Video
- Darren can speak many languages, such as Italian, which was his major in college, and some Japanese (was his elective language in college), German, Portuguese and French (his three European Language electives at the University of Michigan) and Filipino (specifically, Cebuano) since he's Half-Filipino.
- He notoriously forgets the lyrics to his own songs.
- He "swears like a sailor".
- He claims that he can't cook very well, and pretty much lives on Hot Pockets and takeout.
- He created his own cartoon character as a child, who he named Iclemyer.
- Didn't go to his senior prom because he was grounded.
- He describes himself as a ho-hum random guy, and 'not just some floozy'.
- He considers himself to be an actor who attempts to sing, as his degree is in acting.
- During interviews he can't keep his hands still (he always moves them).
- When he meets people he doesn't forget them.
- He got sorted into Hufflepuff by the sorting hat when he went to the Warner Bros. Museum.
- When he was a teenager, he wrote a song for a girl he had a crush on and sung to her from the street below her window, he received a hug in return. (Which in Philippines, famously known as "Harana")
- His fictional crush is Hermione Granger.
- His favorite Filipino dish is Tocino.
- Likes good people that play evil characters.
- His favorite baseball team is the San Francisco Giants.
- His biggest fear is turning into an inanimate object.
- Once he had a dream that he was in a concert, but the concert sounded like his alarm clock.
- One of his favorite colors is purple.
- If he could see the world in one color, it would be pink, because then mean people wouldn't look so mean.
- He loves the fans of Starkid and Glee equally.
- Likes to use the words 'beautiful', 'organic' and 'genuine' a lot.
- He likes to put Campbell's Mushroom Soup onto chicken and rice.
- He used to perform every Thursday at an Italian restaurant called Maggiano's.
- His animagus would be a chameleon like Pascal in "Tangled".
- He likes green apples.
- He likes beaches, sushi, and small animals... who are nice.
- He doesn't change the lyrics of songs as he sings them to make them gender-appropriate. (as shown by Coolest Girl)
- He's "not into labels".
- He says his favorite songs from his brother's band, Freelance Whales, are Kilojoules and Starring.
- He's a huge fan of Hanson.
- He loves Avatar: The Last Airbender and the succeeding series, the Legend of Korra.
- He originally auditioned for the role of Finn.
- Darren won the 2010 Greggy Award for the role of Blaine on Glee.
- Darren has a "cool crush" on co-star Heather Morris.
- First guest mentor of "The Glee Project".
- He was a guest star on The Glee Project twice in the episodes Individuality and Pairability
- Before the Glee audition for Blaine Anderson, he cut his hair so he would have a better chance of getting the part.
- Has been made a full-time series regular for season 3. Source
- He unexpectedly kissed co-star Chris Colfer at their last stop on the Glee European Tour in Dublin.
- He won a Teen Choice Award for Breakout TV Star in 2011.
- The Glee Cast voted him as the Biggest Nerd alongside with Harry Shum Jr.
- In the episode "Blame It On the Alcohol" Blaine says to Kurt "Best Party Ever!" and in Katy Perry's music video for "Last Friday Night" his character Aaron Christopher says to Kathy "Best Party Ever!"
Non-Glee Related Trivia
- Wrote his first song, Human, when he was fifteen.
- He wrote every song for Team Starkid's 'A Very Potter Sequel' and Starship. He co-wrote with AJ Holmes on A Very Potter Musical.
- Had a small cameo role in Katy Perry's Last Friday Night music video, playing a character named Aaron Christopherson (a parody of his own name) along with fellow Glee co-star Kevin McHale. Video
- He played the role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the Broadway Musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" from January 3, 2012 through January 22, 2012. His 3 week stint set box office records for the highest grossing 3 weeks of the entire run.
- He is the voice actor for Jann Lee in the video game Dead or Alive: Dimensions.
- He guest starred in the animated show "The Cleveland Show" as Hunter, a churchaholic.
- He hosted the 13th annual Broadway.com Audience Choice awards.
- Subsequently, he won the the "Favorite Replacement Award" for his role as J. Pierrepont Finch.
- Has sang for US President Barack Obama and guests at Obama's LGBT Fundraiser in Beverley Hills in June 2012, this was originally supposed to be pop singer, P!nk's event but she had to drop out.
- He is the second member of the cast to sing for the president, the first being Amber Riley.
- "People fall in love with a person, not a gender."
- “If you are not insecure as a teenager, then you are not a human being – which has not to say if you’re confident that you are inhuman. We all have insecurities”
- "I'm kinda on cloud nine, actually I'd say cloud ten. Cloud nine was old news."
- "I'm not just some floozy!"
- "The cool thing about music is no one can take music away from you. You know, if you play the kazoo, no one's gonna be like, unless you're hanging with really terrible people, like take your kazoo and be like 'You can't play that anymore."
- (At Deathly Hallows Premiere) "There's been a terrible mistake. Someone really screwed up and let my nutty ass in here."
- “When I look back on Glee and on this album, it’s like I was offered to live in a golden marshmallow house in the sky. It’s like, ‘Sure! I’ll take it!’ I never thought that it would ever happen, that I would get a magical marshmallow castle in the sky, but my God, thank you.”
- "There's nothing more badass than being who you are."
- "If I wear gold shorts, can I look like you, Chord Overstreet?"
- "That which makes you different is what make you strong. Whether you're gay, straight, orange, purple, dinosaur, I don't care."
- "No one's tried to stab me. That's cool. I enjoy not being stabbed."
- "At the end of the day, I'm a fanboy."
- “My big… sorta… hobbit hair, you could’ve found certain species that could cure cancer in there.”
- "The Kardashians have a book? What the fuck?"
- "This is the most crazy romantic thing I've ever done in my life, this is going to be amazing, we're gonna run off and love each other forever and ever until we DIE!"
- "Buy my album because... it's the kind of music you can be friends with. And it's the only way that *pause* aliens won't come to Earth and destroy us. I am sure of this."
- "Be nice people, cause nobody likes an asshole."
- [Interviewer: What does your song writing process look like?]"It looks like a mess! It's like someone went into a room, took a dump, then grabbed a blowtorch and sprayed it all over the wall."
- "Please don't kill me, I'm nice."
- [Interviewer: If you could see the world in only shade of one color, what color would you choose?] "Pink. Cause it would be really funny. Cause really mean people wouldn't seem so mean anymore."
- “I would say yes, Joey has a girlfriend… and she’s a nine foot tarantula with 100 legs and her eyes are made of lasers…and if anyone was to try and kill her they would perish.”
- "I think if I met Dan [Radcliffe] my head would explode, so I think I'll avoid him cause I like my head not exploding."
- "Well with that attitude let's do it! Huzzah!"
- "I would be the worst president in the history of the United States... unless you want the apocalypse to happen really soon... then yes, I'll run for president."
- "I hope their food is as delicious as they are cool,"
- "I'm a bum. I am a bum. Oh my God! You guys are interviewing a bum."
- "More like supermegafoxyawesomehot!"
- "Blaine has recently been bitten by a radio-active turtle. Blaine is running off to Argentina to start a zoo. Blaine then is hanging out with Rambo and moves to Mars. Then on Mars they start a glee club. The first intergalactic glee club! And that’s what you missed on GLEE!”
- "Stick to your friends, love what you do, love who you are, and just go with that."
- [Excerpt from song, 'Not Alone'] Baby you are not alone, 'cause you're here with me, and nothing's ever gonna bring us down, 'cause nothing can keep me from lovin' you.