Spring is here, which means high pollen count and the return of Glee. Tonight’s episode, “Big Brother,” is heavy on the Anderson brothers — Blaine (Darren Criss) and Cooper (guest star Matt Bomer). Cooper “comes to town to kind of pester Blaine a little bit and just to remind Blaine how much he sucks at everything,” says Criss. “It’s kind of a fun little window into the home life of the Andersons.” EW talked to Criss about Glee‘s big return, his musical numbers, including Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and what’s next for Blaine.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Had you met Matt Bomer before?
DARREN CRISS: No, we had never met each other. But Matt and I had such a lovely time together because we both went through similar acting training. We both got our BFAs in acting from universities, so there’s a lot of similarities there and just a lot of common ground. I was very jealous he got to play the part that every actor wants to play, which is the bad actor. He was equally as enthusiastic as I am, so that was really fun.
I loooove your Duran Duran medley.
Oh cool, yeah! I’ve seen sections of it. I was peeking through [Glee director] Eric Stoltz’s laptop when he was on set the last time.
Let’s talk about your number “Fighter,” which finds you boxing. Do you box? You were hitting that bag pretty hard.
Oh, does it look like that? Yeah, I hit pretty hard, but I’m also really terrified because I think my friends who box will be like, “Ugh, this guy doesn’t know what he’s doing.” As they should because I don’t and I’m not a boxer. A while back when I found out Blaine was gonna be a boxer, I went to this famous Hollywood boxing club and I kinda got put through the ringer, literally.
It was really funny when I went the first time, I just said, “Hey, I just kinda need to know what I’m doing so it looks effective on camera.” Then towards the end of it my hands were hurting pretty bad and I was like, “Is there any way I can take any precautions? I use my hands — I’m a musician.” The guy was like, “You’re a musician? Professionally? What do you play?” I said, “A little piano. A little guitar.” He just looks at me and goes, “Yo man, you can’t be boxing!”
I feel like Darren Criss fans will go nuts during that little shower scene in the number. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Gleeks, you see Darren’s back!]
Oh, my back!
There will definitely be screen grabs of that tomorrow.
Oh, I’m holding back the joke!
Was it fun to do the Gotye song, “Somebody That I Used to Know?”
Yeah. There are so many songs that I get to do. I’m very lucky because of the kind of places they hold in my heart. Gotye is one of those artists that’s been around for a while. I’ve been a Gotye fan for awhile. When you see the songs on the second page of the script — you open up and you’ll see five or six songs and it doesn’t say who’s singing what — so when you see a song like that, you’re like “Oh my God! Please! Please! Please!”
Me and Matt and Eric Stoltz went through like nine different combinations of who would sing what. We were trying to change it around so it would make sense contextually. So like I sang everything on it and Matt sang everything on it and then right before we shot it we kinda decided what would be the best usage of words. So it’s not an exact copy. Somewhere in some vault there’s a recording of Matt Bomer singing the whole thing.
Tell me about The Cleveland Show. You’re doing a voice on the April 29th episode?
Yeah, it’s funny when people say that and I’m like “Yeah, I did it! I did it a year ago!” The turnaround is so long that I recorded that, I think it’s safe to say, almost more than a year ago. I’m a big fan of animation and of the Seth [MacFarlane] and Mike [Henry] umbrella. I’m opposite of Fergie. For a while, we were kind of passing in the night and we were supposed to record our song together. But since then we’ve seen each other a lot. We sing like church songs together and stuff. My character is in conflict with Cleveland Jr. and we’re both vying for her. I also specifically requested that my animated character resemble the long-haired Darren. I was like “Can I have my long hair back because I can’t have it on Glee anytime soon?”
What can you say about these final episodes of Glee?
For Blaine, after “Big Brother,” he rightfully so takes sort of a backseat in the sense that we have these main characters, some of whom are about to take a really big step forward. I think Blaine will mostly be a support for those people and obviously for Kurt. So nothing huge or crazy for Blaine.
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