Darren Everett Criss
5' 8" (1.73 m)
Part of StarKid Productions. Played Harry Potter in A Very Potter Musical (2009) and had a principal role in a mini series they did while in University called "Little White Lie".
Went to University of Michigan and graduated in 2009.
Grew up in San Francisco.
Has one older brother.
Darren's brother, Chuck Criss, is a member of the Freelance Whales.
Wrote every single song for Team Starkid's A Very Potter Sequel (2010) and their fourth Production Starship.
Graduated the University of Michigan in 2009, a month after the premier of A Very Potter Musical (2009).
Made his professional stage debut at age 10 in the 42nd Street Moon production of Harold Rome's Fanny 1997.
Darren's mother is from Cebu in the Philippines, and has Filipino, Chinese, and Spanish ancestry. Darren's father is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has English, and some German and Northern Irish, ancestry. Darren's patrilineal line can be traced back to Johanne Jorge Nicholas Crist, who was born, c. 1690, in Germany.
Before the show Glee (2009), he sang his own rendition of some Disney songs at a Maggiano's restaurant every Thursday.
His signature pink glasses were a replacement for a pair of red sunglasses he lost.
Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who wrote the scores for The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992) and many more, once handed a hundred dollar tip to Darren Criss doing an acoustic medley of his songs at a coffee shop.
Speaks Italian fluently.
Lived in Arezzo, Italy for 6 months.
Lives in Los Angeles with fellow Team StarKid member, Joey Richter.
Los Angeles, CA: Filming "Glee" [September 2011]
Living in Los Angeles, CA [August 2010]
New York, NY: Playing J. Pierpont Finch in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" on Broadway. [January 2012]
Appears in the music video for Katy Perry's single, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)", alongside Rebecca Black, Corey Feldman, Kenny G, Debbie Gibson, Kevin McHale, Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson and Zac Hanson.
Became engaged to his long term girlfriend Mia Swier in January 2018.
There's not a damn thing that I do on my own that's not for my fans or for people that have supported me. So, I don't really care about my agenda, I wanna be on yours.
That which makes you different is what makes you strong. Whether you're gay, straight, purple, orange, dinosaur, I don't care.
No matter what, I will always prefer a live performance. Whether it be a play or a musical, or playing music live. As long as it's live, it's the best because there's sort of an immediacy to connection between an audience and a performer, whereas where you do film or television, you're at the whim of so many different forces.
Pink. Because it would be really funny. 'Cause then really mean people wouldn't look so mean.
There's nothing more badass than being yourself.
[on his Glee (2009) character] As an actor you play different parts and this one happens to be a gay character - and a strong one, so really I lucked out.
[on his breakout fame] I wish I could say it's a dream come true but, quite frankly, my dreams weren't that good as a kid. I didn't have that big an imagination.
[on his success in Glee (2009)] What's happened to me is not normal. When you're an artist you have to hope for everything and expect nothing.
I was fighting a bear in Canada. I was on the verge of death and looked him straight in the eye, and the bear took pity on me before I took my last breath. "Is there anything you want before you die, I'm a bear of honor," he asked. And I said, "I really want to go out for Glee." And he said, "it just so happens I know the casting director, I'll get you over there right now. But I'm going to kill you if you don't get it." So I went into the casting office, and I said, "I really want to do this part, and if I don't get it, the bear's going to kill me." So they gave me this part. And the bear let me live. And now he's a good friend of mine and a big fan of the show.
It's a subject that's very near and dear to my heart, simply because I grew up in such an open community-doing theater in San Francisco. I mean, it doesn't get much, stereotypically, "gayer." I was inadvertently raised in the "gay community." I had straight parents, but I spent massive amounts of time at a very early age with gay, theater-hopeful thirty-somethings. And those were the people I spent time with early on, so my whole perception of "sexuality" just wasn't there. It just...was. It even got to the point where, later in life... I had all the components in place. I was, well, not super effeminate, but I was into girly things-I liked musical theater, all the stereotypical things. I had to come out and say, well, I'm sorry, but I think I'm straight. And people were like, say it ain't so! And I would say, "It's been a secret too long, but I'm actually a straight male."And so for the longest time when people asked me about Blaine, I wanted to say It doesn't matter. And it doesn't. But I don't want to devalue it, because it's a very earnest question, and I can see why people would want to know. And I realized that if I said, It doesn't matter, that immediately means that I'm gay. So I do define myself as a straight male, but it really doesn't come into play with me in this role. As an actor, your objective is always to play the scene. And this case, he happens to be a gay teen.