Darren Criss says he’s done playing gay roles, despite the fact that doing just that is arguably what made him famous. Criss first got our attention playing Blaine Anderson on Glee and later adopted a much darker persona as Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace. Criss also took a trans turn on Broadway as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Criss told Bustle: “There are certain [queer] roles that I’ll see that are just wonderful. But I want to make sure I won’t be another straight boy taking a gay man’s role.”
Criss added that he felt it was “unfortunate” because “getting to play those characters is inherently a wonderful dramatic experience. It has made for very, very compelling and interesting people.”
Criss spoke with Seth Meyers shortly after Versace aired about the process of getting into Cunanan’s head: “People tend to forget that people’s lives are much greater than the worst things they’ve ever done…He was a famously likable guy early in his life…I’ve met so many people that have met him throughout his life that really were quite fond of him and he was famously affable…And that’s when you go, ‘okay, we’re playing a person who has gone down this destructive path and how does something so promising become something so horrible?”
Criss was also asked during his Glee days if feels the need to externalize his heterosexuality because he was playing gay on TV:
Said Criss: “No. I know who I am. I feel bad for guys who have to flex their muscles. But hey, if that’s the way to make yourself feel comfortable as a man—as long as it isn’t antagonizing anybody—go for it. I’m okay with your getting a Miata to feel like a dude; just don’t be a dick about it.”