->''"I'm Harry Freakin' Potter, and I'm the man!"''
-->-- '''Harry Potter''', ''AVeryPotterSequel''

'''Darren Criss''' started out in the surprise Website/{{Youtube}} hit and AffectionateParody ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical'', as the title character. He banded together with a few fellow UsefulNotes/UniversityOfMichigan students and formed Creator/TeamStarKid, a theater production company that is now Chicago-based. Among the [=StarKid=] projects that he's been in are ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical'', ''AVeryPotterSequel'', and ''LittleWhiteLie''.

Even though he's been quoted as wanting to be an actor who sings and not the other way around, he's inseparable from music. He wrote part of the music for ''AVPM'' and ''MeAndMyDick'', and all the music for ''AVeryPotterSequel'', as well as for the new musical ''Theatre/{{Starship}}''. In the meanwhile, he put out his own 5-song EP, “Human”. He loves singing live; give this guy a mike, a guitar, and a stage, and he's a happy man.

After graduation from U of M, he had a role in the short-lived series ''Series/{{Eastwick}}'', and made [[http://coldcase.wikia.com/wiki/Reuben_Harris an appearance]] in one of the final episodes of ''Series/ColdCase'' ("Free Love").

Fangirl screams reached glass-shattering levels when it was discovered that Ryan Murphy had cast him to play [[Creator/ChrisColfer Kurt Hummel's]] love interest on ''Series/{{Glee}}''. He played the character of Blaine Anderson, an openly gay student at the all-boys' school Dalton. Blaine handed out encouragement to Kurt, along with a giant side of UnresolvedSexualTension and a massive helping of HoYay.

Darren's start on ''Series/{{Glee}}'' made a huge splash, as his version of “Teenage Dream” featuring the Dalton Warblers (a.k.a. the Tufts University Beelzebubs) became the highest-selling ''Glee'' song overnight, easily beating out “Don't Stop Believin'”.

Darren made his Broadway debut in the revival of ''HowToSucceedInBusinessWithoutReallyTrying'' in January 2012. He replaces the original [[Film/HarryPotter Harry Freakin' Potter]], Creator/DanielRadcliffe. Whether CastingGag or just unintentional, it's still awesome. He is now set to perform as Hedwig in HedwigAndTheAngryInch, setting off yet another tsunami of fangirls {{Squee}}ing.

He's 100% MrFanservice.

Known as an incredibly goofy, extremely nice guy.
!!Tropes that apply to this actor include:
* AlbumTitleDrop: "And that just makes me a dumb human, like you."
* AffectionateParody: ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical'' and ''AVeryPotterSequel'' are among the most affectionate.
* AscendedFanboy: With "Theatre/HedwigAndTheAngryInch" He discovered the movie as a teenager and if you want proof of his fan-love for the show, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j9SjGcOXIw just pick a recent interview, any recent interview.]] He describes it as his dream role, and has apparently been lobbying to play the part for a long, long time, until the stars finally aligned and he was cast to play Hedwig in the Broadway revival.
* AttentionDeficitCreatorDisorder: Averted. The guy has ''Glee'', writing songs for Creator/TeamStarKid, performing live shows for either ''Glee'', [=StarKid=] or himself, tons of photoshoots, and a Twitter feed to maintain, as well as side projects like voicing "Life of Leopold" for ''Funny or Die''.
* AwardBaitSong: "Not Alone"
* BandOfRelatives: Darren used to play for his brother Chuck's band Music/FreelanceWhales.
* ButNotTooForeign: He's also half-Filipino, partly with Spanish and Chinese heritage from his mother's side.
* TheCameo: In Music/KatyPerry's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlyXNRrsk4A "Last Friday Night"]].
* CampStraight: He doesn't ''act'' camp, but he is the first one to tell you he is obsessed with musical theater, and grew up in gay-friendly San Francisco. When asked about playing a gay character on ''Glee'', he often mentions that he had to "come out as straight" to his theater friends. Taken UpToEleven with his [[http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljv35omXrB1qegfeco1_500.png attire]] from the Coachella music festival, where he walked around shirtless covered in multicolored body paint and wearing clip-on earrings and rainbow nail polish.
* CompanionCube: Darren is ''never'' without his trademark pink sunglasses. He even got them into a scene on ''Series/{{Glee}}''.
* TheCoverChangesTheGender: Averts it in virtually every song he does, whether it's Disney, ''Series/{{Glee}}'' or his own work. He notably keeps the female POV in "Teenage Dream" and "Bills, Bills, Bills" on ''Glee'', and has sung "The Coolest Girl" at concerts without modifying the lyrics.
** "Teenage Dream" and "Bills, Bills, Bills" make the aversion work all the better given that he plays an openly gay character.
** He ''fabulously'' does a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7ZwxUgh7pg cover]] of "Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm", a song sung by a woman who dreams of being the ultimate housewife. Not only does he sing the song as a gay man to his husband, he also changes some of the lyrics to show his support for gay marriage.
* CoverVersion
** Has an old Website/YouTube account under the name of Iclemyer, where he does covers of Disney songs. Included are "Belle", "I'll Make a Man Out of You", and "Part of Your World".
** Lampshaded in ''AVPS''. "I make weird covers of Disney songs. Who does that?"
** His cover of "Teenage Dream" is widely considered to be far better than the original.
* DeadpanSnarker
** He and Creator/ChrisColfer were snarking jointly on Twitter after "Original Song" aired, in which their characters kissed. Oh, ''boys.''
-->'''Darren:''' [[http://twitter.com/DarrenCriss/status/47927342139588608 Looks like we finally did what everybody was waiting on for so long... A Hey Monday song! Boy, I sure hope people liked it!]]\\
'''Chris:''' [[http://twitter.com/chriscolfer/status/47929266268147712 I fo' sho' thought "RIP Pavarotti" would be trending before "They Kissed". Tisk tisk. He is rolling in his bedazzled grave.]]
** He does this all the time, really.
-->'''Reporter:''' How has your life changed since ''Glee''?\\
'''Darren:''' How hasn't it changed?!... I bought a new sweater.
* DuetBonding: "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
* MrFanservice: His photoshoot for [[http://www.out.com/slideshows/index.asp?slideshow_title=Darren-Criss-The-New-Kid-on-the-Block&theID=1 Out Magazine]] caused one hell of a mess on the Internet. Not to mention fans' reactions to his [[http://www.gq.com/style/wear-it-now/201106/darren-criss-summer-wedding-style-men?slide=1 GQ Magazine]] photoshoot.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'': Auditioned for the part of Finn when the show was originally being cast. Is there actually anyone out there who isn't glad he got Blaine instead?
* IAmSong: "The Coolest Girl". Written (as quoted by {{Word of God}}) by Darren to be another "Part Of Your World" or "On My Own", sung by Bonnie Gruesen (Hermione) in ''AVPS''.
* ImportantHairCut:
** He got one right before he started playing Blaine on ''Series/{{Glee}}'', making his hair look less [[WildHair wild.]] Decidedly unpopular with his {{Estrogen Brigade}}, though.
** Also unpopular: Whoever it is in hair and makeup that keeps attempting to [[BerserkButton MURDER HIS HAIR WITH GEL]] each episode.
* IncrediblyLongNote: "To Have A Home", ''AVPS''.
* IntercourseWithYou: "When I Get You Alone", from Glee. Kurt is not amused, as it's not sung to him.
* IWantSong: Most of his songs, of the romantic variety.
* LoopedLyrics: "Don't you want the way I feel/Don't you want the way I feel/Don't you want the way I feel for you".
* LoveNostalgiaSong: "Sami"; "Don't You"
* LyricalDissonance: "Jealousy", a sunny and energetic song about {{Envy}} so consuming that he can't stand looking in the mirror, and he tries unsuccessfully to [[DrowningMySorrows drown it out with alcohol.]]
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: Harry Potter is, by his own admission, a total douchebag. Darren Criss, on the other hand, is running neck-and-neck with Creator/TomHiddleston for the title of "nicest human being on the planet".
* NerdsAreSexy: Likes Disney, ''Harry Potter'', ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', showtunes, and pink sunglasses. Has [[WhatBeautifulEyes hazel eyes]] to top off his pale skin/black hair, and an Adonis-like build.
* ObsessionSong: "The Muse"; "Jealousy"
* OneOfUs: Admitted fanboy of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', Music/FlightOfTheConchords, musical theatre, comic books, Disney movies, and of course, ''Franchise/HarryPotter''. The vids of the [=StarKids=] nerding out at ''Infinitus'' and ''Wizarding World of Harry Potter'' are some of the cutest things ever. He even ''cosplayed'' to the ''Deathly Hallows'' premiere (well, he cosplayed to others too, but this one was ''after'' he got famous). Oh, and he's voted for "[=KurtCoBlaine=]" as the official PortmanteauCoupleName for Kurt×Blaine.
* PerformanceArtist: He plays something like six instruments, sings, acts, and writes his own material. And he's talented at all of it. Subverted in that he's straight.
* PromotedFanboy: ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical'' became so popular that he was invited to the ''Deathly Hallows, Part. 1'' movie premiere... which he attended in ''full Harry costume'', and then spazzed out about being there.
* RewrittenPopVersion: "Not Alone", "Sami" ("Harry"), "Even Though" and "Stutter" all have solo versions.
* SelfBackingVocalist
* SimilarlyNamedWorks: His EP shares its title with one of Death's albums.
* WildHair: The curls just CANNOT BE CONTAINED. He sheared down to a more debonair look for ''Series/{{Glee}}'', but they're making something of a comeback anyway as of "Blame It On the Alcohol." Some witty person even listened his trademark as "his outrageously curly hair" on his [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2023050/bio IMDb profile]].