Darren Criss first came to fame for his role on “Glee” and earned widespread acclaim for playing Andrew Cunanan on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” which is to say that he’s best known to audiences for playing gay men. The actor himself is not, however, and it’s for that reason that he no longer intends to portray LGBT characters. “There are certain [queer] roles that I’ll see that are just wonderful,” Criss told Bustle this week, “but I want to make sure I won’t be another straight boy taking a gay man’s role.”
He added that it’s been a “real joy” playing queer characters, and it’s “unfortunate” that he no longer feels comfortable doing so. “The reason I say that is because getting to play those characters is inherently a wonderful dramatic experience. It has made for very, very compelling and interesting people.”
“There’s something very twisted about the fact that somebody that I share ethnicity with, a Caucasian-Filipino-American who is famous for doing something absolutely deplorable, is now the reason that I get to sit here and talk to you,” Criss said of his “Versace” role. “That is sort of a bizarre twist of fate.”
GLAAD’s most recent “Where We Are on TV” report revealed that just 75 of the 857 series regular characters who will be appearing on the five major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, the CW, Fox, and NBC) this season are LGBTQ — the highest percentage yet recorded on the report in its 14 years of existence.