"Darren Criss starred in a fan-made musical based on what wizarding boy wonder?" [OP Credit]
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.
fortressrowley: Chatting up @darrencriss about his amazing Harry Potter musical. Expert photobomb by @wendecrowley
Many years ago, I lived with Darren for a summer. Basically, I started telling him about our ideas for The Very Potter Musical; a musical about Harry Potter. This was a year before we actually did it. And Darren starting saying like, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah that’s pretty cool, I was thinking about writing two Harry Potter themed songs.” And he wanted to write one where Harry Potter was just a metaphor in the songs that he was writing. And one was a song called ‘Goin’ Back to Hogwarts’ that was about, you know, going back to your childhood and going back to your friends and stuff like that.
And then he was like, “Then I want to write a song called ‘I Was Harry Potter’. Where it’s about you losing everything and about how you used to be a cool guy and now you’re a loser”. Those were his two ideas for Harry Potter themed songs.
And then when we were doing the first one we were like, “Hey let’s use your idea for that song ‘Goin’ Back to Hogwarts’ and that’ll be the beginning of the show”. And he was like, “Yeah sure okay”.
And in this one, we were like, let’s use the ‘I Was Harry Potter’ idea. This was also when we made up the show, right after the sequel was done; we assumed that Darren would be writing music for it, but he ended up not being able to."
— Nick Lang on Darren’s ideas for Harry Potter themed songs (via starkidspacetourvideos)
The Independent (The I) - UK