In an EXCLUSIVE chat with Darren Criss, he tells HollywoodLife how he was able to get into the mindset of Gianni Versace’s murderer, Andrew Cunanan.
Darren Criss, 30, had to find a way to make murderer Andrew Cunanan a relatable being while portraying him for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. When HollywoodLife asked him EXCLUSIVELY at the FX’s presentation for the Television Critics Association how he was able to get into the mindset of “crazy” Andrew, he immediately corrected us by saying, “See that’s the trick right there, I don’t look at him as a crazy person. We do. But I can’t. It’s my job to not think of him that way. It makes it too simple. I guess with any character, anybody, you have to approach everything from common denominators. This is very eyeroll-y actor jabber, but you find the primary colors.”
“The very basic things that aren’t so complicated. We’re all 1’s and 0’s so the first couple 1’s and 0’s are things like, everybody knows what it feels like to want something that you’re not allowed to have, wanting to rise higher than your station,” Darren added, talking to HollywoodLife. “Then you add on the other layers of what was happening in his home life, what was happening in his social economic situation, what was happening with his own sexuality and that kind of adds the other colors. I think you start with the things that you can relate to and then you let the script and the world around you, at least the one that Ryan [Murphy] is curating, to kind of do the rest of the work. It’s not as hard as it would seem. And any time you’re doing things that seem extreme and hard to relate to, these extreme acts of violence, if you go far enough back in the 1’s and 0’s you remind yourself that these acts come from places of pain, places of hurt and places that I can relate to. I don’t relate to the execution of said emotions, but I can relate to the emotions. I’m not saying it makes it easy, by any stretch of the word, but it makes it more accessible.”
HollywoodLife pressed for more information, asking Darren what some of the more relatable aspects of Andrew’s life were for him as a person. “Well, we both went to Catholic school, that’s a big one. There’s like basic things,” Darren shared. “I think we both had a desire to stand out. His was for sort of social gain, mine was because I just didn’t want to be like everybody else. So, they were kind of routed in different places. He did something very interesting where he was the kind of kid they said would put dimes in his penny loafers. To not put pennies. And I thought, ‘Hell yeah, I would have put dimes in my penny loafers!’ Our motivations were different, but I understand the desire to not be ordinary.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres on January 17, 2018 on FX.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What do YOU think about Darren portraying Andrew for American Crime Story? Comment below, let us know!