Darren Criss commits ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Darren Criss of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” Wednesday on FX

Q: What is it like for you to play Andrew Cunanan, the person who committed the crime, in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”?

A: It’s been probably one of the most exhilarating characters that I’ve spent time with, because he is so all over the place, and he’s capable of truly great things. (There’s been talk) about the sort of similarities between somebody like Gianni and someone like Andrew. And on paper, you go, “No, that’s insane. You know, you can’t possibly compare the two.” And of course, in many ways, they’re very different men.

But I think we try to find as many common denominators not only between these two men, who had different levels of brilliance that were guided in very different ways, but we hopefully find the common denominators between the people watching. I think when (they’re) watching Andrew, my goal is to have people really exercise their sense of empathy – because from the get-go, we all know that he’s capable of something truly horrendous, and there’s no debate about that. However, I really hope that we can find that we all have more things in common with some of the worst people we can think of, than we do differences. Those differences are small, but huge in content.

Q: Did you have much rehearsal time?

A: The pace (of making television) is breakneck. Penelope (co-star Cruz) was telling me how there is a different pace, and for me, I’m numb to it. I’ve been doing it for a while now, and my mind is calibrated to that way of working. She was like, “You really have to be prepared, and you just get thrown right into it.”

And that is a logistical truth. We really do have to just get on in there. It would have been a luxury for all of us to have gotten together. I don’t have much with these (other actors), I think for obvious reasons.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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