When rumors circulated earlier this year that Darren Criss had declined an offer to host The X Factor, the Glee star sat back and soaked up the media attention.
“Oh, it made me look awesome! I had nothing to do with it, and it made me look so cool. It was, like, free press,” he told THR at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute Ball on Monday night. He added: “I’m happy to say that that was not actually true.”
The report in question, via E! Online, cited a source as saying that the popular Glee actor said no to Simon Cowell because he was too busy and more interested in being a performer than a host.
“It was a classic example of people running with something that they didn’t bother to check facts with,” said Criss. “But I didn’t want to get in the way. I thought it was so cool.”
Steve Jones was recently sacked as the Fox reality contest’s emcee, along with judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.Cowell then powwowed with producers in an effort to revamp the show amid heavy competition from rivals such as The Voice. According to THR sources, ex-Disney child actress and singer Demi Lovato was nearing a deal to sit alongside Britney Spears on the judges’ panel for season two.
That host spot? Still up for grabs.
“I mean, I don’t have time. But I’m thrilled … flattered that my name was even in that world,” Criss said, calling the speculation a “delightfully misunderstood misunderstanding.”
At Monday’s Met Ball, Criss — who recently starred in Broadway’s How to Succeed in Businss Without Really Trying — joined Glee-mates Dianna Agron, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith for the triple-VIP, Anna Wintour-hosted event. Among the other boldfaced names: Beyonce, Scarlett Johansson, Kanye West, Gwyneth Paltrow and all three Jonas Brothers.
“I can’t believe that I’m here!” said Criss, a guest of Teen Vogue. “I killed a lot of people to be here. I have a lot of blood on my hands.”
Glee star and Broadway alum Darren Criss will serve as the host of the 13th Annual Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards. The ceremony will take place on May 13 at the Allen Room in Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Criss is also a nominee at this year’s event (for Favorite Replacement for his turn in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying). A complete list of presenters will be announced soon.
In an invitation-only ceremony, the Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards will feature the presentation of awards in traditional categories such as Favorite New Musical and Favorite New Play, in addtion to categories unique to the event such as Favorite Diva Performance, Favorite Breakthrough Performance and Favorite Broadway Tour. All awards are decided solely by the voting of theater fans on Broadway.com. To vote for your favorites, click here.
Criss currently stars as Blaine Anderson on TV’s hit series Glee. He made his Broadway debut earlier this year as J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The actor recently finished filming the comedy Imogen opposite Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon. His other screen credits include Eastwick and Cold Case. Criss is a founding member of the production company StarKid, creators of the hit YouTube videos A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel, which starred Criss as Harry Potter. In addition to the Potter musicals, Criss composed the music for the original musical Starship. He will join StarKid for select dates on their upcoming summer tour.
Darren Criss, who is not leaving Glee to host The X Factor, is very excited for graduation. While gleeks sweat it out over who may or may not be coming back next season, Criss is sitting pretty, seemingly unworried about what could potentially be a gut-wrenching send-off, a tearful sayonara, an abrupt peace-out to some of the show’s original cast members.
Yes, Criss’ Blaine is a junior, but the actor says he doesn’t see the finale — which has not yet been written — as a goodbye at all. “This goes back to the beginning of the season where everyone was in a huff about people graduating and leaving, but I don’t think it’s a matter of saying goodbye so much as it is about moving on,” he told TVGuide.com. “It’s about having a departure point and having grown into another person from the person you were when you started high school.”
“[Series boss] Ryan Murphy is a big believer in the idea that high school is a machine where you come in as one person and you exit another,” Criss continued. “This last season is more about growing and learning new things and being a new person and bringing that to the next step in your life. I don’t think it’s a hard-fact farewell per se as it is cathartic change and the beginning of a new chapter. You have every conceivable kind of plot point that could yield those changes between [Finn and Rachel’s] engagement, Quinn’s car accident… so many things that are yielding new life.”
And before we get to cap-and-gown day, there is still Nationals! Disco! Whitney Houston! Prom! We asked Criss to tease the three stories he’s most looking forward to:
Blaine and Kurt get serious about New York. You’d think that Rachel was the only member of New Directions planning to head East given the lack of talk between Kurt and Blaine about Kurt’s post-grad future. Is Klaine’s love so strong that there won’t even be a question about committing to a long-distance relationship? Is Blaine in denial about Kurt leaving Lima to enroll in the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts (NYADA)? Real talk is on its way! “That’s coming up for sure,” Criss said. “Those are the biggest stakes for Kurt and Blaine and that’s something they’re about to learn to deal with.” Needless to say, Blaine will be supportive though, right? “Who knows? I have no idea. It’s going to involve music, I can tell you that!”
Prom, Take 2! Last year, prom didn’t go so well for Kurt, who was unexpectedly voted prom queen by his idiot classmates. This time, things are going to be a lot less dramatic for the couple. “It’s a dinosaur-themed prom because Brittany is class president and she’s managed to get her wacky ways through,” Criss said. “Kurt and Blaine obviously didn’t want a do-over of last time, so they’re going to take matters into their own hands. They’re going to do something very different to make sure it doesn’t happen that way again.”
It’s all about… Finn! Finn? Yeah, Finn! “Whereas Kurt and Rachel have the NYADA thing, which is an exciting next step, I like that Finn’s future is a little bit more uncertain. As a fan of the show, I’m curious to see what happens for him,” Criss said. “He’s pretty interesting. One of my jokes — something that never seems to be acknowledged — is that Finn happens to be an extraordinary percussionist. It’s never addressed! He’s always like, ‘I don’t have any talents,’ and I’m always thinking, well, he’s a really good drummer, he should consider doing that!”
What do you think, Glee fans? Is Criss on to something? Will everyone be back next season on Glee? What do you hope the future holds for Kurt and Blaine?
Former Billboard cover boy Darren Crisshas had an eventful year since we featured him and his breakout role as Blaine Anderson, Lima’s preppy, bowtie-wearing, dreamboat boyfriend to Kurt Hummel. All he’s had on his plate is a tour and new production from his Team StarKid theater company, a 3-week stint as a leading man on Broadway, an international summer arena tour and 3D movie, a film role opposite Kristin Wiig, and, oh yeah, that little show called “Glee.” No big deal.
In this week’s episode, the first back after a lengthy winter hiatus that leads into the final episodes of the season, the former Warbler takes center stage in Big Brother, which focuses on Blaine’s troubled relationship with his “famous” older brother Cooper (played by “White Collar”‘s Matt Bomer). We caught up with Criss to talk about Blaine’s anger issues, what Criss’s solo music might sound like and the most exciting moment in his whirlwind year of fame (Hint: It’s fuzzy and green.)
We’ll get to this week’s episode in a moment, but first — FOX just released stills from the Whitney Houston tribute episode and based on that desk you’re clearly doing “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay,” just minus the leather cuff around your neck from the video.
(Laughs) You’re probably the only person that knows that. I mean, if that’s out there in the world I’m sure people are figuring it out, but I have not seen that picture.
You look fierce. It’s a fierce song.
Well, thank you. I’m not going to confirm that, but that is a crazy desk.