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Get to Know the Broadway Stars of Netflix's HOLLYWOOD: Darren Criss!

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Get to Know the Broadway Stars of Netflix's HOLLYWOOD: Darren Criss!

This Friday, May 1, Netflix will debut their new limited series from Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, HOLLYWOOD. The series follows a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Hollywood as they try to make it in Tinseltown - no matter the cost. Each character offers a unique glimpse behind the gilded curtain of Hollywood's Golden Age, spotlighting the unfair systems and biases across race, gender and sexuality that continue to this day. Provocative and incisive, HOLLYWOOD exposes and examines decades-old power dynamics, and what the entertainment landscape might look like if they had been dismantled.

Darren Criss stars in the limited series as Raymond Ainsley, and we are taking a closer look at Criss' career up until this point!


Darren Criss has been involved in the arts since a very young age. When he was 10, he was he was accepted into the American Conservatory Theater's Young Conservatory program to study theater performance. He then attended the University of Michigan, where he majored in Theater Performance.

Criss made his professional stage debut at the age of ten as Cesario in 42nd Street Moon's production of Fanny in 1997. He then played Mauro in the Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim musical Do I Hear a Waltz? in 1998 and Beauregard Calhoun in Babes in Arms in 1999.

Criss also appeared in a number of the American Conservatory Theater's plays and at the University of Michigan he performed in stage productions such as Pride and Prejudice, A Few Good Men, and The Cripple of Inishmaan.

After graduating in 2009, Criss co-founded StarKid Productions with some friends and classmates. StarKid Productions, a the musical theater company, created the the musical comedies A Very Potter Musical, A Very Potter Sequel, and A Very Potter Senior Year. Criss starred as Harry Potter in all of the productions and he also co-wrote the music and lyrics for A Very Potter Musical and wrote the music and lyrics for A Very Potter Sequel.

In January 2012, Criss made his Broadway debut, replacing Daniel Radcliffe in the role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for a three-week engagement at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. He returned to the Broadway stage in 2015, when he took on the role of Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theater. He subsequently headlined the national tour of Hedwig in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Criss is probably best known for portraying Blaine Anderson, on the FOX television series Glee. Criss was introduced in the second season and starred on the show through the end of its run. He also composed the song "Rise" for the episode "The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester" and the song "This Time" for the series finale. Criss was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for writing "This Time".

In 2017, Criss starred in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: AMERICAN CRIME STORY playing serial killer Andrew Cunanan. This role reuinited Criss with Glee creator Ryan Murphy, who created the anthology series American Crime Story. Criss was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his role and he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television.

Criss currently serves as an actor, executive producer, and writer for Royalties, a new show on the streaming service Quibi that will be released on June 1, 2020.

See some highlights from Criss' career below!

A Very Potter Musical Act 1 Part 1:

Darren Criss' Debut on Glee - ''Teenage Dream'':

Unplugged | Hedwig and the Angry Inch National Tour:

The Assassination of Gianni Versace | Inside Season 2: Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan | FX:

Watch the Hollywood trailer:


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