Q. The "Glee" episode "Never Been Kissed" hasn't even aired yet and everyone is listening and downloading the songs as well as the Christmas episode songs. Have you been keeping track about the much anticipated buzz?
A. I've been quite busy and haven't heard about it but my most exciting thing is that Perez Hilton has been very kind to me in the past couple months and he has a clip of the "Teenage Dream" performance and I know Katy Perry gave her thumbs up, she tweeted about it apparently, so that made me quite happy. That's my extent to the knowledge of the reaction, Katy Perry said it makes her heart go wee, which is probably the best thing that I could think of Katy Perry to say about it, so I'm glad she liked it.
Q. Have you gotten used to yet seeing yourself in magazines and in upcoming "Glee" merchandise?
A. It's all part of the whole game, it's nothing that I am not prepared for with the onslaught of the "Glee" machine. It doesn't bother me, I am sure it will at some point, but from where I'm standing right now I'm so grateful for the opportunity that any negative just gets overpowered by the unbelievable positives. No, it doesn't necessarily bother me that much. Ask me in a week, I'll be an old jaded hag and I'll just be like I'm over it, for now it's rather delightful.
Q. What kind of reaction to the songs have you been getting from fans?
A. It's really nice, I have been involved in a lot of other things that I think a lot of the Gleeks knew me from so I got kind of a back door entry. I guess I sort have been cheating because a lot of the Gleeks have been supportive because they have been supporting me for years now with my other projects. The fans that we have from my other involvements I really owe to them. If there is any spike in interest in the episode or my character I guarantee you it's because of the devoted lovelies that have been my fans over the however many years.
Q. It's great to have a character and a storyline that is really relevant to what's going on today.
A. Oh yeah absolutely, aside from the fact that this is a hit show and it's a great show at that, the best part for me as an actor is the part itself. Blaine is such a great character and such a cool presence to have on the show, especially with where the show is at and where we're at with American culture. He just has so much to give I think both our society, I mean maybe that may be a little too delusional but you never know, but to give the characters on "Glee" as well especially in light of a lot of the things that are happening and current events. He's a very strong person that I really hope can speak to a lot of teens struggling with anything, gay or straight, I don't think it really matters. I think he's a good character to have for any teen struggling with any issue along with every character on "Glee." Everybody in the glee club is some sort of archetype for struggle whether it be for body image or sexuality or just general teen insecurities. I think Blaine is just another good color to add to that palate so I'm excited and interested to see what the reaction is. I really hope it's a positive one, but who's to say.
Q. What can you tell us about the character Blaine that "Glee" fans may not know?
A. He's about a year older than Kurt so he plays a big double role. A lot of the trials and tribulations that he's gone through has really solidified him as a person and he sees a lot of himself in Kurt. It's really the first time that Kurt has somebody that he can immediately relate to, a fellow gay teen, as opposed to his relationships with other people which have been because everyone is an outcast and he can relate to them but he's never had an as direct and as tangible similarity to someone as Blaine. That's basically who he is, he's a very collected and composed young man who really wants to impart a lot of his knowledge on Kurt and really help him through what he's going through and what he feels. I think he's a really cool presence for Kurt.
Q. Where do you draw from for your portrayal of Blaine?
A. For me we all have our personal struggles in whatever capacity they may be. I don't think it's very necessary to draw directly into the gay thing. I think the underlying seed of the drama is just being different and being an outcast in whatever capacity. If you're anything different or if you've ever felt different or unaccepted, that's really the root of where Blaine can exist as as a character regardless of the fact that he is a young gay teen. For me personally I just can kind of derive any experiences of ever feeling different or insecure and channeling that into someone who has not necessarily gotten over it but evaluated himself through those struggles. I am being vague simply because I don't want to give too much away about the episode. For me I kind of pulled from whatever I've gone through to translate to the show and what Blaine has gone through in the best way that I can regardless or not if they are similar to what Blaine actually has experienced. There are a lot of great things about him, I wish I could say more, I'm not one to say how much of myself ends up going into Blaine or how little of myself goes into Blaine. Only time will tell with how much is allowed and what people who know me say about it. There are definitely a lot of cool characteristics about him that I definitely strive to be. I hope that other people can say that too.
Q. Is there anything about the role that you find challenging?
A. I don't want to say that it's not challenging because I don't want to make it sound like it's easy. I will say that it's very natural to me, I mean everything about Blaine has been very natural. He's so damn centered, he's so put together that as an actor it's almost meditative to sit in his clothes and be this guy for a while. That isn't so much of a challenge as it is a really cool exercise in centering myself. Whether or not that's a challenge I can't really say, but that's definitely one of the most fun things for sure.
Q. How has it been for you tackling the song and dance numbers?
A. It's a lot of fun, I mean who doesn't like to sing and dance around a bit, it's a blast. I'm not on the same schedule as a lot of the series regulars so I have the comfortable position of being able to take a step back and take a breather where a lot of them are worked to the bone and they are exhausted. I'm having fun, I haven't been on a show for a year and a half or two years of my life, I'm still very much the freshman that's got the "Sure, I don't mind" type of attitude. I hope that doesn't ever really go away because I don't ever want to take any of that stuff for granted. I am so happy to be there that my patience is rather large but everybody laughs at me on set like give it a week or two, you'll be done with it. As of now I'm really loving it and I love everybody that I'm working with and everybody has been so welcoming and very warm to the new kid. I couldn't be happier.
Q. You get to work a lot with with Chris Colfer who plays Kurt, did the chemistry come naturally or did it take some time to develop?
A. It's developing as it goes, I mean Chris is such a lovely guy, he's been very kind to me. Whatever is happening on camera is what happens and I hope you can get behind it. I haven't really seen the full episode yet so I don't know. I am just as excited as anybody on Tuesday to watch the full thing. It's very easy working with Chris, he's a marvelous actor and he's a very generous talent. I certainly feel connected to him and it certainly is a warm connection and I think that will definitely read. The greatest part about the relationship between Kurt and Blaine right now is that of a real, true friendship and that Kurt has someone to relate to and that's the most important thing right now.
Q. How many episodes can we expect to see you featured?
A. I don't know. I am at the whim of the creators and the writers. I'm happy to do whatever they want of me. I trust their instinct and their discretion. I certainly hope to stay around for a while. That'd be a great time! However long they intend to keep me I respect them and look forward to hearing what they have to say.
Q. Are there other projects you've been working on recently?
A. My greatest involvement in my life has always been my production company, StarKid Productions. I started it with my friends from the University of Michigan and we have a number of musicals. I am a composer so I do a lot of composing and lyrics for musical theater. We have a number of YouTube musicals that have been doing rather well for us. Those have been pretty big. That's been a very big force in my life. We have just recently started legitimizing ourselves as a theater presence in Chicago. I'm in LA and I write from here, but I go back and forth from Chicago and New York to work on the next show we're working on, which is "Starship" and it will be out in 2011. I am doing the score and the music for it. "Glee" takes precedence, but when I go home or I'm in my trailer I'm working on music and developing the next musical we're doing. It takes up a lot of my time and a lot of my love and passion but "Glee" is of course so much fun and I am so happy to be working on it as much as I am. Obviously "Glee" is a huge thing, an arguably much bigger one than the StarKid stuff. The StarKid stuff is near and dear to my heart because it's my own personal thing and they are my best friends. I am trying to balance both of those right now. Before "Glee" I was auditioning quite a bit and I was on a show on ABC for a bit called "Eastwick" and I've done little spots on film and in television before. I have had a good introduction into that world and with "Glee" I auditioned and it stuck and it's been unreal because not only is it a great part but it's a great show. I consider myself so blessed. A lot of good things are happening, I'm knocking on wood right now
Q. Is there a place online where those interested can go to keep up with you or learn about your other projects?
A. Absolutely! The cool thing is if you Google me most things that will come up are my musicals not "Glee," but that will change soon. A lot of the fans from a lot of the musicals are Gleeks so whatever spikes or peaked interest that goes into Blaine that has already happened I can immediately tip my hat and attribute to the lovelies that are fans of StarKid. They have been so wonderful to us for the past year, year and a half, and they have just been so wonderful about "Glee." They just have been posting things everywhere so they know about it. There are definitely one of those sites that will try and connect "Glee" with the musicals that we have done. If you just type in Team StarKid or StarKid Productions you can find it. One of our big musicals that has kind of changed the game for us is called A Very Potter Musical and they can find that online.
Q. You're a part of the social networking site Twitter, why is it important for you to connect with fans and be a part of this site?
A. To me it's almost like a rhetorical question, you answered the question in the question, it's important because you can connect to your fans. That's it right there, I mean, it's important because you get to connect to people who are supporting you. We live in such a bizarre and interesting day and age where there is this immediate connectivity to people who as little as five to six years ago you didn't have. Man, growing up if I knew Kurt Cobain had Twitter, holy crap, I would have been following every little thing he did, anybody that I grew up really admiring and being interested in. It's such a cool way to get this immediate access to things that seem otherwise so far away. It's very important and a lot of the fans we've already garnered from the StarKid stuff and the cool thing about them is it is all through YouTube and it's very accessible and immediate, there is no separation anymore, it's like they're there and I'm here. It's just a click of a button on a screen and you feel like you can be connected to each other. It's very important because the fans really run everything. I don't do things for me, I do things for the fans. I think at my core I guess I am, or strive to be, an entertainer and I am here for everybody else. Not to say that I am a monkey here to dance for you, but I really cherish and I do not take for granted the fans because they've really given me a leg up in a lot of things. If Twitter is just another way to express my thanks and give them something a little more than I am all for it. I love it, I think it's a wonderful mode of communication.
Q. What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?
A. My thing with the StarKid fans, and I'll probably tweet about this, is that a lot of them feel very mixed feelings about "Glee" because they're like, "Oh no, now everyone is only going to pay attention to this Darren because of this 'Glee' show and we've known him for a while." It's the same way, I mean we hear a band or something and then you feel kind of possessed about it and then they hit the big time and you feel like I liked them before everybody else. My whole thing is that I am not going anywhere. I still love and am appreciative of all support, who am I to pick and choose, this is not a competition as to who is more important. Who am I, I'm just some dude who got a little lucky. Any message to my fans would be thank you for the support, I really hope you don't turn on me, unless I do something terrible God forbid. If I have any fans that are upset or perturbed about anything I have done I hope it's for a good reason and not because I am on a mainstream show now. I hope that they can look at it as a good thing and as a positive event.