A few days ago (February 26th) Darren attended a press day for “American Buffalo” with his fellow cast mates, Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell. Check out interviews and photos from the photo call below!

Labels: american buffalo, appearances & events, interview, video

Over the course of a few months in 2018 and 2019, Darren Criss won the Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award for his portrayal of serial killer Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story—and checked off nearly every red carpet best dressed list, to boot.This spring he might have to brace himself for an even busier season. In May he will star in and executive produce Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood series for Netflix; he is the star, executive producer and writer of Royalties for Quibi, which launches April 6; and beginning March 24 he will return to Broadway for the revival of David Mamet’s 1975 play, American Buffalo, alongside Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne, with direction by Neil Pepe.

Criss will play Bobby, the youngest of a trio of petty thieves who conspire to steal a rare coin collection. Last seen on the Broadway in 2015, dancing on top of a car in six-inch metallic heels in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Criss is itching to get back on stage. “I’m excited to get my hands dirty and put all the pieces together,” he said on a recent phone call while driving around Los Angeles, where he’ll spend another few weeks before moving to New York to start rehearsals on the hustler drama. “It’s all speculation until you really get there and see the characters on the page and how they live in the world.”

Criss has had his sights on American Buffalo for a while now—eight years ago, he first did a reading of the Obie winning play, but nothing came of it. “I’ve always wanted to do this,” he says. “When I found out about the revival, my tail was wagging off of my body.”

American Buffalo opens April 14 at Circle in the Square Theatre.

What is your relationship to American Buffalo?
I always say that American Buffalo is an American standard, in the same way that we have jazz standards. If you’re a musician, you have a pretty comprehensive familiarity with Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, and if you’re studying theater, American Buffalo is a really big fixture in a drama student’s upbringing. It’s a heavy-hitter play.

How were you cast?
I did a reading of American Buffalo around eight years ago. It was put together by Jeffrey Richards, who is now the producer of this play. Being in that room was wildly exciting to me. I remained in and out of touch with Jeffrey, and I remember reading an article online that Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne were going to star in a limited run of American Buffalo, produced by none other than the same Jeffrey Richards. Within three minutes, I emailed Jeffrey and asked, ‘Hey, do you guys have a Bobby yet? Did my window of opportunity close eight years ago?’ I thought that ship had sailed, but they were very receptive of my enthusiasm and we made it work. It was hot and heavy very quickly.

When did you first meet David Mamet?
We all met for the first time a few weekends ago while we were doing a photoshoot. I was thrilled to be able to connect the dots between the playwriting voice and the human voice. He was very lovely to me and I was thrilled to have the support to be in his play.

Have you ever seen a production of American Buffalo before?
I’ve read it two or three times in the past, and I’ve seen people do scenes, but I’ve never actually seen a full-blown production of it. That’s neither a good or bad thing. There’s this learning curve of how the play exists in time and with audiences now—you have to work the piece itself as you work on your character. Getting to put my own DNA and fingerprint on these notes is a really cool assignment. And getting to do that at the highest level possible with Neil Pepe, who is the Broadway Whisperer, and with an American master writer and two American master actors is a real honor.

Did you know any of your co-stars prior to being cast?
Well, I have a lot of great memories of dancing with Sam at the Vanity Fair party the night he won his Oscar [in 2018 for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri]. I’m a massive fan of Sam’s—we’re both from the Bay area and he has always checked all of the boxes for me. He was a character actor who wasn’t necessarily mainstream, but was widely respected by his peers, and he was always working on cool projects that were wildly different than the last. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve and have been profuse about my admiration for him. And of course Laurence Fishburne is no slacker, either. He’s a hugely magnanimous actor that has influenced a lot of people, much less actors.

How do you feel about heading back to Broadway?
I do a play every two or three years and find any excuse I can get to be back on stage—it’s an opportunity I relish. I’m all about taking hard left turns and hard right turns, and versatility, dexterity and unpredictability is kind of the name of the game for me. When I found out that they were doing the play, I couldn’t believe it. It was just too perfect.


Labels: american buffalo, article, gallery update, interview

Fresh off presenting at the Tony Awards, Darren Criss stopped by the Elvis Duran Show to talk his new trailer AND single for Taco Bell, his night at the Tony’s and more!

The Emmy and Golden Globe winner recently filmed a trailer-style commercial for a fake film called “Chasing Gold” for Taco Bell. In the commercial, Darren plays a parking attendant and singer, Zack Collins, who becomes a pop star by singing about his love of nacho fries. “The melt of your cheese brought me to my knees / You got me begging baby, please don’t leave,” Criss serenades as his character Zack Collins, is being showered by the fries.

When asked in the studio with Elvis Duran, whose idea it was to have the fries raining down on him Criss replied, sarcastically, “Well let’s just say when they say ‘Darren here’s some fries do whatever you want,’ it’s just gonna happen.”

Criss continues saying, “What’s fun is I love Taco Bell, I’ve got no skin in this game, they didn’t pay me to say that there’s nothing like I objectively loved Taco Bell and I if I could tell my college self that I would be sitting on the Elvis Duran Show talking about Taco Bell like that’s – that’s hilarious to me.”

If you didn’t know Taco Bell has been filming high production trailer commercials, “So yeah, they came to me with this idea that was so funny they I don’t know if you saw the other commercials they did during the had some during the Super Bowl where they have these really high production level like trailers for fake movies that I’m a sucker for a good you know silly pun it was like with a web of fries like this conspiracy thriller and then James Martin did one, but they’re so well done and they they kind of just oh that really great line between just taking the pests and being so silly but also like it looks amazing.”

He reveals to Elvis that when he found out he was doing the commercial, he “couldn’t believe it,” and he, “was so happy, it was everything that I love.”

Check out a photo of Darren visiting Elvis Duran in the gallery below!

Labels: gallery update, interview, taco bell, video