Darren Criss may have just dominated award season, but he’s still having a bit of trouble embracing another career milestone.
Fresh off multiple wins for his role in FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” the “Glee” alum also rocked his recent “Lip Sync Battle” performance honoring Mariah Carey and was even joined onstage by the pop icon herself. However, Darren admitted to Access this week that he isn’t quite ready to relive the moment to its fullest.
“I’m too scared to watch it,” he said of the episode, explaining how his longtime experience as a song-and-dance man initially gave him the ultimate confidence – the key word being “initially.”
“It happens very quickly,” Darren said of the “Lip Sync Battle” experience. “And after having done this stuff on ‘Glee’ for years, dressing up in something fun, lip-syncing a song you know and doing these ornate numbers, I was like, ‘I got this in the bag.'”
Despite thinking at first that he had an “unfair advantage,” the 31-year-old soon realized that shooting “Lip Sync Battle” was very different from “Glee’s” longer production timeline with multiple rehearsals and takes. When he arrived for his segment on the Paramount Network series, Darren said the whirlwind schedule threw him for a bit of a loop.
“It all happened within a handful of hours … that’s sort of terrifying to me,” he said, before joking that he “barely knew we’d begun” by the time it was all over.
The multi-threat added that his “artist mind” also caused him to second-guess certain decisions and avoid watching the final product in its entirety.
That doesn’t mean he’s totally in the dark about how things turned out, though.
“I saw some clips, and I saw a picture of me and Mariah,” Darren told Access, referencing an Instagram photo he posted of him and Mimi grinning together during the show.
While Darren said he’ll “probably” take a peek at the full episode at some point, the memory itself is still a surreal, pinch-me moment.
“Man, never in my wildest dreams,” he said of the chance to team up with Mariah.
Darren is used to bringing his talent to a variety of audiences, but the SAG, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner is also giving back behind the scenes. The actor and musician has continued his partnership with Clorox to launch the What Comes Next project, an initiative that celebrates young adult leaders and organizations that have helped strengthen communities through “the transformative power of clean.”
“It’s really demonstrative of the good these kids have done through very simple things that we take for granted,” Darren said, noting one honoree who set up a free laundry day in their neighborhood after a homeless resident was having trouble getting clean clothes for a job search.
“Having access to cleaning supplies really augments people’s realities in a really positive way,” he added, saying it brings him “joy” to spread awareness about the efforts being taken.
Learn more about Clorox’s What Comes Next and how to nominate a project here.
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