Darren Criss celebrates milestone win: 'Roles are few and far between for someone of my ethnicity'
Darren Criss has won an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Critics’ Choice Award, and now a SAG Award for playing the serial killer who murdered famed fashion designer Gianni Versace in the second installment of FX’s American Crime Story. But the 31-year-old admitted after accepting his trophy Sunday that it hasn’t been easy to find leading roles like the one he snagged in Ryan Murphy’s anthology series.
Asked about being the first Filipino-American to pull off such an awards sweep, Criss told reporters backstage, “It’s a shame that I’m the first. It should have been a while ago, but that’s not the conscious fault of anybody.” He added, “The roles are few and far between for someone of my ethnicity.”
Criss, who is half-Filipino, went on to say that “while that’s a tragedy, the winds are shifting and I’m very excited. It’s an honor, and it’s been the coolest year for representation across film and television and culture in general, and I think what’s really exciting about it is that it’s not just some kind of Hollywood agenda. I think consumers have shifted what they want to see; they want to see themselves, they want to see their stories told by new faces and serve that appetite. So to have been a small part of that is a extraordinary privilege that’s much bigger than myself.”
Before American Crime Story and American Horror Story, Criss was best known for his musical run on Fox’s Glee from 2010 to 2015. Before that, he appeared on TV series like Little White Lie, Eastwick, and Cold Case. In 2012, he made his Broadway debut by replacing Daniel Radliffe as J. Pierrepont Finch in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. His three-week run was deemed a huge success.
This year, he’s set to appear in the Roland Emmerich-directed film Midway, about World War II. He’ll star opposite Woody Harrelson, Patrick Wilson, Ed Skrein, Aaron Eckhart, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, and Nick Jonas.
Criss’ win Sunday represented his first solo SAG Award nomination. He was previously nominated in 2012 and 2013 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series alongside his fellow Glee cast members.
With reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy.
[Editor’s note: This story and its headline have been updated to correct a transcription error.]