Darren Criss Interview: "I don't want Blaine to Join McKinley"Friday, September 16, 2011
Isn't it weird to think that Darren Criss only joined Glee last season? Fans of the show have certainly taken him to their hearts and it's tough to imagine what Lima, Ohio would be like without Blaine now. With the third season just around the corner, Darren chatted to reporters about Glee, so read on to find out what he had to say about Blaine's "bizarre dictatorship" over Dalton, what he wants for Blaine and Kurt, and why he doesn't want to transfer to McKinley...
How was joining Glee for you?
"I have a very unique perspective because I've only been on the show for several months, whereas they've been at this for almost three years straight. I was an unemployed struggling actor watching this Glee thing do well and so quite often I'll slip outside of my body and be like, 'You're on Glee? Like, you?' So it's very humbling, it's very strange, it's surreal, it's bizarre, it's very fun. But I don't ever get jaded by it - I still wake up every morning and take pictures of people doing stuff, like, 'Oh, sorry!' Even though they are colleagues and they're friends now.
"I had an interesting entrance to the show because I wasn't thrown into the school and, 'Here, make nice with people'. I kind of started from the ground level with a new group of people, the Warblers. The only person I really interacted with was Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt. It was very organic and new for all of us so the only time we ever came into contact with the other Glee kids was like Regionals or any time the plot would take us together. I never really saw anybody or got to know anybody until relatively recently. That's why I was looking forward to tour - that I could go out and get to know the guys a little better. It's been really fun."
Dalton Academy is unlike any other school ever in the world, isn't it?
"Here's the thing. Glee is based in surreality inherently, so you kind of take everything with a grain of salt initially - or I hope you would, for your sanity! But no, it hearkens back to more East Coast, very Anglo Saxon prep schools, Dead Poets Society and stuff like that.
"It's funny. Because it's this very suspiciously like utopian society where everybody loves each other and everything's perfect and we're all cool with all sex, race, age, type anything. Anything goes, we're cool, and we all wear blazers and sing in perfect harmony. We're literally the most harmonious school on the face of the planet.
"The only way that I could rationalise that was that I thought Blaine - he admits to having his left his old school to go to Dalton. I think it's like Lord of the Flies - there's no adults anywhere, it's just the kids and Blaine seems to have this bizarre dictatorship over everything and everybody. So I can only rationalise that Blaine is a mad scientist that left his old school to found, like - are you familiar with Stepford Wives? Dalton's sort of the Stepford Boys.
"He built robots, just really handsome guys to surround himself with that believe in his ideals, that sang the songs that he wanted, sang in perfect harmony, did everything that he said, and so he runs the entire school He is the principal, creator and master of all that is Dalton. And he just programs them to do his every will. The reason why he falls in love with Kurt is that he's a human being."
Is it going to be happy ever after for Blaine and Kurt?
"I don't know. I think as of now it is quite happy ever. I don't know about after, but it's happy ever right now. They're definitely in the honeymoon phase and we've all gotten I think what we've wanted, which is to see the two characters together.
"[Executive producer] Ryan Murphy said that if and when they get together he wanted to make it as flawed and delicate as any relationship is and should be, and I hope they continue with that. I hope they continue to learn from each other, I hope they laugh together, cry together, love together. The cool thing about that relationship is that yes, yes, it's a gay teen relationship, duh, obviously.
"However, that is kind of like a footnote to the fact that it is a rather ordinary relationship with two people that you're rooting for which is, I think, the most beautiful part about that relationship. What's really going on there is not necessarily what people are thinking about.
"I hope that can just continue in a very normal way. I don't know what that would entail. I think it's also time to focus on other people, other relationships. The show's not four or five people in an apartment, it's 14 to 15 students with very interesting stories with a lot of potential. And as a fan I want to see that, I want to hear about that. Blaine has had his time. He's been lucky. I've been lucky, and I don't feel like I deserve anything more."
Have you had any feedback from young gay people?
"Certainly. It's to be expected, I would say, which doesn't make it any less touching or any less valuable. Obviously the gay community has been very receptive towards it for obvious reasons. But the cool stuff is when you get letters or emails from people who come from parts of the world that are not as exposed or influenced by certain ideals, that have expressed their change in perspective.
"I'm not even making that exclusive to sexuality or spirituality - just things in general. It's an incredible feeling to know that we work on this TV show and it's somehow changing someone's way of evaluating other people and human relationships. That to me is the cool stuff, because that reaches a whole lot farther than where it's trying to reach. No, maybe I take that back. It just accomplishes more than just a TV show, which is the best part about being on the show. It's so much greater than the sum of its parts."
Do you learn from your cast mates, like Matthew Morrison?
"I don't learn anything from Matt, he's an idiot. No, I'm just kidding, I love Matt! Not sort of proactively learning, but just general osmosis of being around such talented people. It's very inspiring. I am the newest cast member, I'm still the newbie, and these kids work so bleeping hard."
Were you always meant to be on the show for this long?
"I don't know. I literally did an episode and they call me when they need me. And that is more than I can ever ask for. Hope for everything, expect nothing - that's generally my attitude towardsGlee. I don't feel entitled to anything. Once you get this lucky, to feel like you deserve anything more is absurd.
"It's not my party - I've been invited, I'm trying to not look like an idiot and just trying to enjoy myself and be polite to the people who invited me and hopefully they don't kick me out any time soon. But no, I had no idea. Everything has just been a continual surprise and joy."
Do you think we'll ever see Blaine as a McKinley student?
"I certainly hope not. As a fan of the show, I think Dalton is a really cool dynamic to have and people respond to it so well that why would you get rid of that? Once again, I'm biased. I love being a Warbler. I think it's time to let the other Warblers shine - I mean, those guys are stars waiting to happen. They're so talented.
"It drives me nuts that I can't hear them sing because they are incredible singers and dancers and actors. I think it would be really cool if we could give them a chance to be in the spotlight for a little bit and I'd be happy to step back and let them go for it.
"Yeah, I don't know. That just seems so obvious. I think keeping him there around just to have this other function of this world they've created of Lima, Ohio - there's another school, there's other people - the more you can explore the worlds the better. And yeah, I don't want to go to McKinley."
You just like the Dalton uniform, don't you?
"Of course, yeah. I love it."
And you don't get slushied at Dalton.
"Yeah, I guess I haven't! That's a good point! Like I said - utopian perfect society. I didn't program them to slushee me!"
How do your own musical influences differ from Blaine's?
"I don't know. I don't know what Blaine likes to listen to, I only know what he sings! As a composer and as a musician I'm a true believer - and this is not to be overly diplomatic - I'm a believer that there's artistry in everything from a lawn gnome to a desk chair to a symphony to an Andy Warhol painting. There's art in absolutely everything. So people who aren't familiar with the complexities of music will kind of cheapen the value of pop music because of its commercial appeal. But I think there's an incredible amount of work in there.
"I truly love all kinds of music - it's my job to. As a musician, I hear the harmonic value of everything - I just enjoy music. My personal sentiments growing up, I listen to a lot of oldies, in particular British invasion pop. All the stuff that's been recycled over and over. And I love Motown and a lot of American Songbook standards. So just older music but that isn't exclusive.
"We're the iPod generation, that's why Glee's successful. We work on playlists - it's not weird to have Barbra Streisand, Tupac, Lady GaGa and Nirvana on a playlist because we can gravitate to many different things, and the more eclectic you are, the cooler it is. Now you don't have to compartmentalise yourself into anything.
"We are an ADD generation and I don't mean as an age gap - all of us are a part of this thing, no matter if you're 5 or 50, because of this access to so many different kinds of music. We can listen to '50s music, wear '60s fashion, be into '70s movies, be into '80s art. We can define ourselves by so many things. Anyway, I'll spare you from that quasi-intellectual stuff. Let me try and wrap it up. What was the question?"
Do your musical influences differ from Blaine's!
"They can't be that different because I certainly enjoy what I get to sing."
What would be your dream number?
"I'm so lucky that I've been given songs that I like that beggars can't be choosers. I can't believe they even give me songs - that is crazy enough. So no, there's no dream song. I would love to sing some old Motown stuff but I don't really care.
"The Warblers' arrangements are so different you can take any song and it's already its own unique thing. So if they keep giving me songs that's cool enough."
What about performing your own music on Glee?
"If they ask me, sure. If they ask me, I'll be happy to. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there!"
Is he trolling or something..?