Darren Criss Opens Up About Playing Andrew Cunanan

What is it like for the actor to play a serial killer?

If you are a fan of former Glee Star, Darren Criss, you’ve no doubt heard about the much discussed docu-drama series he is in on FX called The Assassination of Gianni Versace. In case you don’t know, Criss plays the part of serial killer, Andrew Cunanan.

We’ve written about the show before, including why the series itself is so terrifying and compelling, all wrapped up into one. As part of our water cooler conversations around the virtual office, the question has come up repeatedly that goes something like this: What is it like for Darren Criss to play this role?

Well, it appears we now have the answer. That’s because the hunky star gave a super revealing interview to the folks at Vulture.

And let me tell you, we read that whole thing with great interest because it was super fascinating.

Here are the highlights from the interview, conducted by Alex Jung. We are paraphrasing the questions a bit but at the end of this article, we will provide the link to the original piece.

Cunanan always wanted to create different personas, different backstories. Did this resonate with you as an actor?

“Well, first of all, we all do it to different extremes. He’s at the extremist end of that spectrum, but we all curate our lives within the realms of acceptable protocol. You’re a different person to your parents than you are to your lover, to your teachers, to your authorities, to your colleagues. His was much more heightened and followed more sociopathic tendencies because he could. It was possible. You couldn’t get away with that now.”

On what it is like playing the part of a sociopathic serial killer.

“We have so much more in common with the worst person we can think of than not. Which sucks. We hate to admit or want to think about that. What are you talking about? I would never kill five, four people. I wouldn’t do that! Yeah, but do you know what it is to feel like you’re not good enough?”

Did you feel warmth for Andrew in your role?

“Oh, yes. I can’t help but have affection for Andrew. And again, I’m coming at somebody like Andrew from the full spectrum of a human life and human capacity. The show I think does a good job of not only showing the worst parts of Andrew, but the best. A lot of people would find me and say, “I knew Andrew back in Hillcrest, and he was the life of the party. We loved him. We were mortified when we found out.” And most of them would say nice things. I met somebody who went to high school with him and hung out with him at prom, and she said something that really stuck with me.”

What is it like playing a queer character?

“That’s a great question. God, we need like an hour. Sure, yes. Absolutely. It definitely has. I think being queer in general evokes more self-questioning than somebody who’s cisgender straight, because you really have to explore a lot of things about yourself that are meeting resistance on conventional social levels.

So you have to go, “Okay, cool. Is this really how I feel?” There are questions that arise within yourself that doesn’t have to happen if you live in a hetero-normative universe. So in that sense, I think the journey of questioning oneself, which everybody does anyway — and should do— I admire that narrative.”

You can find the entire interview on Vulture. You absolutely will want to read this!