By Alicia Rancilio, Associated Press
Darren Criss isn’t even officially a full-time cast member on “Glee,” but he’s one of the most popular stars on the Fox TV show.
The actor made his debut last fall as Blaine Anderson, a gay student at Dalton Academy where Chris Colfer’s character, Kurt, transfers after being bullied out.
Criss performed a version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” that quickly became one of the show’s most popular performances to date. Viewers were smitten, and the 24-year-old – a former University of Michigan student who received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2009 – was quickly written into most of the season’s episodes. Now, fans can get an extra dose of Criss on the new album “Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers.”
The “Glee” star recently chatted about his “Glee” success, the new album and the possibility of a solo CD.
Your performances are so popular on “Glee.” What’s it like to be on an album?
They’re all incredible songs, so I really enjoyed them all. I worked super hard. If people are enjoying them, I’m glad because it’s not something that I took lightly.
What would you like to see on “Glee” that hasn’t happened yet?
I would really love it to start in the summer, because I want to see what these kids are up to when they’re not in school. I always joke that everyone in “Glee” is, like, family-less. No one has parents, no one has brothers or sisters … like any time they have a concert or something, the parents never come, I guess. No one really cares. No one’s driving them home afterward. I don’t know how they’re gettin’ around. They’re like 15, 16 years old. (Laughs)
When did you realize your first appearance on the show was a big deal?
I don’t watch a lot of TV. I’m really busy, so I wasn’t really feeling it. I was living in my little apartment. It was really dirty. Nothing really manifested itself in an immediate way. I still had laundry to do, bills to pay. Any successes it may have garnered it didn’t hit me (laughs) at all, so it was this very intangible thing. People were like, “It’s doing really well” and I was like, “OK, great.”
Are you getting recognized a lot?
It depends where I go. If it happens, I’m happy to address it, because I consider myself very fortunate. You know, at least I didn’t release a sex tape – that you know of – or I haven’t done anything illicitly terrible where, you know, I’m sort of cowering in shame. It’s something that I’m really proud of.
Do you have plans to release a solo album?
I was kind of at a crossroads right before I started “Glee.” I was literally about to throw in the towel with acting because music was proving itself sort of more mentally, spiritually and financially lucrative. I started a theater company in Chicago, Team StarKid, and my EP “Human” started doing really well (it charted on Billboard) and that was gonna be my life. “Glee” has both empowered and complicated that whole process. Whatever album I was about to put out got put aside for a little bit. It’ll happen eventually.