Criss Goes From Guest On 'Glee' To Heartthrob

Darren Criss attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2011 in New York City. Darren Criss attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2011 in New York City.

Darren Criss isn’t even officially a full-time cast member on “Glee,” yet he’s one of the most popular stars on the Fox TV show.

The actor made his debut last fall as Blaine Anderson, a gay student at Dalton Academy where Chris Colfer’s character Kurt transfers after being bullied out.

Criss performed a version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” that quickly became one of the show’s most popular performances to date. Viewers were smitten, and the 24-year-old was quickly written into most of the season’s episodes.

Now, fans can get an extra dose of Criss on the new album “Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers.”

The Associated Press: Your performances are so popular on “Glee.” What’s it like to be on an album?

Criss: They’re all incredible songs, so I really enjoyed them all. I worked super hard. If people are enjoying them I’m glad because it’s not something that I took lightly, so I’m really happy that, you know.

AP: What would you like to see on “Glee” that hasn’t happened yet?

Criss: I would really love it to start in the summer because I want to see what these kids are up to when they’re not in school. … I just want to see a little bit of summer jobs and it kind of opens up a whole lot of things. I always joke that everyone in “Glee” is like family-less. No one has parents, no one has brothers or sisters … like any time they have a concert or something, the parents never come, I guess. No one really cares. No one’s driving them home afterward. I don’t know how they’re gettin’ around. They’re like 15, 16 years old (laughs).

AP: When did you realize your first appearance on the show was a big deal?

Criss: I don’t watch a lot of TV. I’m really busy so I wasn’t really feeling it. I was living in my little crappy apartment. It was really dirty. Nothing really manifested itself in an immediate way. I still had laundry to do, bills to pay. … Any successes it may have garnered it didn’t hit me (laughs) at all so it was this very intangible thing. People were like, “It’s doing really well” and I was like, “OK, great.”

AP: Are you getting recognized a lot?

Criss: It depends where I go. … If it happens, I’m happy to address it, because I consider myself very fortunate. You know, at least I didn’t release a — that you know of — a sex tape, or I haven’t done anything illicitly terrible where you know, I’m sort of cowering in shame. It’s something that I’m really proud of and I should be so lucky and if someone wants to talk to me about it, “Hell yeah.”

AP: Do you have plans to release a solo album?

Criss: I was kind of at a crossroads right before I started “Glee.” I was literally about to throw in the towel with acting because music was proving itself sort of more mentally, spiritually and financially lucrative. I started a theatre company in Chicago, Team StarKid, and my EP “Human” started doing really well (it charted on Billboard) and that was gonna be my life. … “Glee” has both empowered andcomplicated that whole process. Whatever album I was about to put out got put aside for a little bit. … It’ll happen eventually.

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