Darren Criss plays his most sinister role yet as Andrew Cunanan, the serial killer who in 1997 murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
The nine part miniseries debuting Wednesday on FX presents quite a challenge for Criss who’s known from his musical roles on Broadway (Hedwig & the Angry Inch and How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying) and of course as Blaine in TV’s Glee.
“I did as much research as humanly possible,” said Criss to EW. But, “there’s not a whole lot of preparation you can do. The only thing you can really do is being available to all emotions at all times. At any point, he’s ready to fire off in any direction.”
While Criss usually doesn’t play dark roles such as this one, he does share similar traits with Cunanan. Both are half Filipino. Both were born in California and “we both revel in being different,” said Criss to the NY Times.
“I approached Andrew from a pretty big place of hurt and pain and sorrow and sadness,” he said. “The story doesn’t horrify me as much as it breaks my heart.”
The early reviews of Criss’ performance have been good. Newsday called Criss “electrifying.” Reviewer Verne Gay wrote, “Criss turns in a dynamic performance in service of a desperately sad story.”
Edgar Ramírez plays Versace and Ricky Martin is Versace’s companion Antonio D’Amico. Ryan Murphy who worked with Criss on Glee is the executive producer.
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