Darren Criss in the Michigan Alumnus magazine.
— Darren Criss | Interview with the Michigan Daily (November 2010)
Darren Criss & University of Michigan pride.
“It’s a pride that gets my ass out of bed in the morning to fly to Michigan this morning to be at the game and the pep rally, it’s the kind of pride that makes you walk around Los Angeles or New York City with this (Michigan) shirt on all the time.”
Darren Criss, star of the Fox hit “Glee,” surprised the University community last week with an appearance at the Maize Out, Lights On pep rally. Criss is one of the founding members and co-owners of StarKid Productions, a musical theatre company based in Chicago. He made his Broadway debut in January 2012, starring as J. Pierrepont Finch in the revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” After the pep rally, he talked to The Michigan Daily about his time at the University.
How does it feel to be back?
It’s good. I come back a lot — it’s just I’m never here with, like, a big red arrow over my head. It’s just weird to be walking around the same streets that I used to walk around having this other thing that has nothing to do with me everywhere.
What are your favorite memories of your time at the University?
Same as everybody else: the friends you make, all the kind of typical, clichéd things that are timeless. For me, of all the things I’ve ever done thus far with the entertainment industry, I think my most favorite work I’ve ever done in my life has been here.
Do people still ask you about “A Very Potter Musical?”
Honestly, I think I get asked about that more than I do “Glee.” When there were no stakes, I guess, when no one is really paying attention that’s kind of when you create your best stuff. Not to say that “Glee” is any better or worse — it’s just different. The stuff I did here was all about just doing stuff with your friends and really having fun and learning and growing together.
How has being a University alum affected your career?
The summer before my senior year I was taking meetings, and I met people because I went to Michigan … I almost feel bad when people ask me where I went because I almost feel like I’m bragging. It has been a profound effect on me — it’s a clichéd sentence, but there’s no other way to say it: I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t gone to Michigan.