#SquadGoals: Darren Criss

When I sat down to think about who I would want in my “squad,” as we now refer to it (thanks T-Swift). I knew that I would want to have my friends from childhood, my friends from high school, and then of course my sorority sisters, but I had to think long and hard about which celebrities I would want in my elite group. So I set out on my quest to pick my favorite girls (and guys) from fashion, TV, movies, and music.

Close after Keltie Knight is my “big brother” Darren Criss. Darren first found fame playing Harry Potter in the Very Potter Musicalfranchises, followed by huge success on the hit TV show glee, after finishing his run in Hedwig and the Angry Inch he is on to his next project producing a new show for Fox called Royalties. Just announced this week, he will be back with his glee alumni Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist to play the villain in a Supergirl/Flash crossover.

Some of you maybe wondering why I refer to Darren as my “big brother”, well I say this because we have the same birthday, we were both born in Northern California and now live in LA, and both times I have met Darren I have felt a special connection with him that I don’t with a lot of other celebrities. My friends are whole heartedly convinced that I will one day fall in love and marry him, but I must reassure them that the way I feel about Darren is strictly platonic. Honestly if he could be my best friend that would be the greatest thing to ever happen.

I wanted to use this blog post as a way to tell my story about the first time I met Darren Criss. I have never written about this before and only a select few really know the true story of everything that happened that day. I have waited so long to post about this because I didn’t want to spoil anything for the show, but now that glee has been off of our TV screens for almost two years, I thought now would be the perfect time to share.

It basically started when I was a sophomore in high school and I went to NYC for the summer, while I was there I went to see Jane Lynch in Annie. While waiting for the show to start I met someone who to this day I call a great friend. Throughout getting to know each other we found out that we both lived in Northern California and decided to stay in touch.

Fast forward almost a year when he contacts me asking if I want to go to the glee set, and if you know me that resulted in almost a full blown panic attack of pure joy. After a couple long days of convincing my mom we were off to LA.

So we pull up to the guard gate and get our drive on pass for Paramount Studios, we wait and are told where to go to get to the building that houses the one thing I love most in the world. The most butterflies I have ever had in my whole life was waiting by the door to stage 14 to be let in.  

Once we were inside we were taken to sit behind the monitors to watch them film they were on a cut from. They had chairs waiting for us, when I sat down in the chair left for me I looked in front of me and there was Ian Brennan, then to my right was Michael Hitchcock, and in front of him was Joaquin Sedillo. So being the crazy fangirl that I am I almost had a heart attack just being in the same room as these people. As this was a working film set I sat quietly and let them film and only spoke when I was spoken to. While on the set I was introduced to many behind the scenes people, including Cory’s Stand in, and I couldn’t be anymore grateful for all the hard work the crew puts in to make a show like glee come to life every week.

After they had finished shooting the first scene we were there to see, we were on the move to another set. While we were walking the prop department offered us some popcorn that had been used in the previous scene, because Darren and Chris had been eating from said popcorn I had to eat some. As I was putting the popcorn in my mouth I said, “It’s a little early to be eating popcorn.” when a voice from be hind me spoke up, “I know, I’ve been eating it all morning.” as he said this I turned around and I became face to face with the voice. He said, “Hi I’m Darren.” while extending his hand to me. As we walked between sets we made idle chit chat and I remember hearing him saying shit and me being completely thrown through a loop, because the only time I’d heard him speak was on a TV show where you can’t use language like that. Once at the new location he was off to wardrobe and my friend and I were alone again. Luckily for us a special tour guide showed up, to show us around. Michael Hitchcock took us all around the set, everything from McKinley High’s locker room (where the infamous Finn shower scene took place) to the choir room and the auditorium, but also to Kurt and Rachel’s New York apartment and the Starlight Diner. As I walked down the halls of McKinley high I was greeted with the locker of Brittany S. Pierce and ended up in the office of one Principle Sylvester.

Once we were done with the tour we went back to the shooting location and sat back in our chairs from earlier when they called a cut to fix lighting, and break for a snack. I was just sitting there when Darren walked up and sat down next to me. He was so genuinely kind and just wanted to get to know me as a person. We talked for probably a good forty minutes about life and he mostly wanted to know all about me. While we spoke I had told him I was stage managing my high school’s spring musical, he asked what we were doing and I replied, “Little Shop of Horrors.” To which he replied, “I don’t think we have done a song from that show.” and of course I said, “You haven’t, but I think you would make a great Seymour.” Well the first episode of the next season the song that he and Lea sang together was Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors. Now I’m sure this was just a weird twist of fate, but I like to think, either Ian overheard me, or Darren liked the idea so much he asked to sing the song, but either way it made me feel special.

That’s the thing about Darren Criss, he treats every moment with his fans as one that is special and just between him and that fan. His kindness is what makes him perfect to be in my squad. I only like to surround myself with people who are genuine and good people

Darren is one of the best dressed men in Hollywood. He rocks a suit like no one else on a red carpet, but don’t count out his street style because he knows how to turn the side walk into a runway.

Here are some of his looks for inspiration:

Comment down below with your favorite look Darren has worn.

So wherever you go next Darren, know that I will be cheering you on no matter what. You have brought so much joy and happiness to my life, there are no words to thank you, but I hope that one day I will get a chance to tell you that.

Originally posted on January 29, 2017