Darren Criss Interview with MCV

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Darren, from your perspective, is the movie an extension of Glee the TV show?
It is a great extension of the show, but it’s very real and it’s celebrated in real time with real people. There is a live catharsis that occurs that is just amazing. I think the film will be able to capture that for audiences who didn’t get a chance to make it to the show.

The concert tour must be quite different from doing the TV shows?
I come from theatre and in some ways working in TV is very impersonal, although I love it. There is a camera and a lens and a box and lights. When we shoot the live numbers on Glee it is a façade, even though you are putting in a lot of energy, you are still filming it. It is not like a theatre where you’re experiencing everything communally. So the fact that for the movie we are filming what would be a real live Glee show is cool.

What will we see of the Warblers in the movie?
The Warblers come out and we get to do a small mini set within the McKinley High Glee Club set, and it’s a blast. I give it everything I’ve got [laughs]. And by the end of it I collapse, I’m so tired. But I hope that it’s not all in vain because I’m having a blast each time.

What is your personal favourite song that you perform?
I get to do three songs, ‘Silly Love Songs’, ‘Raise Your Glass’ and of course ‘Teenage Dream’ and they are all very special. I don’t know if the movie will catch this but when I’m singing ‘Raise Your Glass’ there is a moment when I can see the audience and it is something I will keep in my mind forever: when the lights go up and I can see everyone jumping up and down, it is an awesome thing to behold. It has nothing to do with me or the song, it has everything to do with the celebration and the joy of Glee. It is so much bigger than the sum of its parts and just to witness that is a thrill. Get back to me in maybe five years and I’ll probably be a jaded old soul. But right now it’s so nice to be doing this thing that people have responded to.

What was it like joining a show that is so popular?
I have a very unique perspective because I joined the show after it had become successful so I still have those moments when I step outside my body and say to myself ‘You’re on Glee?’ [laughs]. It is surreal and continuously humbling and bizarre that I am a part of this show. I never thought I would be part of it in my wildest dreams. The cast is lovely and I lucked out. It is a great show, I play a great character, the songs are amazing, the storyline is interesting and the socio political theme attached to my character happens to be something I believe in.

Why does everyone love your character and The Warblers?
I think they wanted something different. I joined in the second season when people were looking for something new and fresh, new characters, and I think a lot of things about The Warblers fed into a natural appetite that grew following the first season. Everyone was wondering whether Kurt would get a boyfriend. I like Blaine a lot, he’s a very cool guy.

Would you like to ditch the Warbler blazer and join The Glee Club?
Absolutely not [laughs].

Can you discuss your on-screen relationship with Chris Colfer who plays Kurt?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with the amazing Golden Globe Award winning Chris Colfer and that is fantastic. I get to work with him on a day-to-day basis and he is such a generous talent. Chris and I like to play. He always throws me things and I ping them back to him and it’s really fun. We definitely have a very lovely rapport personally – I think on screen too – and I hope you can see that in the characters.

'Teenage Dream' was the most successful Glee cover to be released. Were you surprised by that? It must have been exciting.
Well, rather objectively, when I listen to the song I love it. But honestly, I think it has very little to do with me. I think the popularity of Blaine and The Warblers is due to the awesome elements like the blazers, the hair, the setting and the potential relationship between Blaine and Kurt. All these things are so cool that when people really responded to that song I was not surprised. I was thrilled and I didn’t think I was entitled to that response, but as a fan of the show I would be watching myself and thinking ‘Yes, I’ve got to buy this’ I would feel the same way. I am on the show but I am also a fan.

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