[EVENE/LEFIGARO] Darren Criss, from Glee to Imogene

In Paris for the premiere of Imogene in the Champs Elysées Film Festival, before its release on 7th August, Darren Criss, one of the stars of Glee, gave interviews from the top of the Publicis theater, with views of the Arc de Triomphe. And judging from the queue in front of the theather, Criss’ triumph is inevitable.

Of Darren Criss, many know only his character on Glee: the extrovert Blaine Anderson. Openly gay and best student of the choir, Blaine won the heart of the teenagers around the world. As proves the line in front of Publicis, in front of which the fans hope to see the singer and actor, in Paris during his sold out tour. But Criss didn’t come to talk about Glee or his musical carrier but about his first appearance on the big screen in the independent movie Imogene, directed by the brains of American Splendor, Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini. He shares the stage with the queen of the American comedy, discovered by Saturday Night Live, Kristen Wiig. A romcom about two lost souls who find and help each other. The actor reveals a comical aspect that suits him well, one thing he can add to his many talents: showman, singer, dancer, actor and Broadway star. And good with journalists, because Criss is particularly friendly and likes to talk with the same humor of Glee,  of the role of Lee, of Gene Kelly and of the genius of Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids). Verbatim.

Translation by: icanflymyfriends

From television to movie

"It’s funny because everyone thinks I accepted this movie amongst thousands of proposals. If only it was that simple! This is a project for which I begged, prayed, and I waited impatiently. When you work in a TV show, everyone thinks that you only get a lot of "yes," but I had to endure a lot of rejection. Often, I haven’t been able to do some movies, not because the timing was wrong, but simply because I wasn’t ready and that the role slipped through my fingers. When we shot the movie two years ago, the showrunner of Glee Ryan Murphy, my mentor and my boss agreed to arrange my schedule. I went constantly back and forth between the two sets to make it work. Ryan saw how much I wanted to make this movie and he has done everything to make it work."

A dream team

"I really wanted to work with Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini, I saw American Splendor twice (based on comics of Harvey Pekar) and I’m a fan of their work. And I was of course very pleased to work with Kristen Wiig. I believe that in France she’s not yet widely known, but in the US she’s the female face of comedy. No, actually she’s the face of comedy, everyone loves her. When her name is associated with a project, everyone is excited. I’m not even talking about the pleasure of working with actors who are in Hollywood like Annette Bening, who I’ve always admired. There is also Christopher Fitzgerald, which is incredible for a Broadway fan like me, Natasha Lyonne, Ben Stiller … I could go on with the whole team. I feel like a fan in a masterclass."

A good actress pulls everyone up

"Kristen helped me on the set, because she’s amazing and pulls everyone up. She made ​​me feel very comfortable, she played with such accuracy. Playing comedy allows us a lot of nonsense, you can explore many facets of acting. I like the fact that in France "comedian" is derived from "comedy". No matter if you play a comedy or a drama, it’s all about timing, emotional commitment and to want to get people interested in the fate of the character. Beyond the comedy, Kristen is not only funny, she’s a great actress."

The anti-Blaine

"I love playing the role of Blaine on Glee because I like, as an actor, to play someone completely different. Some people don’t agree, but I feel totally different from Blaine, who is an attention whore who loves fabulous things. For this movie, I wanted to be closer to what I am, simpler, and to be as natural as possible. The character I play in this movie, Lee,  is what you called in the US the « straight guy ». This is what Jim is in The Office: no matter how much things get weird around him, you wait for him to rationalize everything with his famous look-facing camera. Lee is the rational character in the middle of all the craziness of the movie."

From Gene Kelly to Charlie Chaplin

"I admire actors like Gene Kelly, the versatile kind. I wouldn’t compare myself to him of course. He had the talent and control that no actor can have today. I also love Sammy Davis Jr, he was an actor, performer, musician, singer … I would love to be a entertainer. Those who did everything by themselves like Chaplin, Mel Brooks, Chaplin and Nat King Cole. They weren’t crazy, they just loved exploring all facets of acting. It’s my ambition !"


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