%% Entries on this page should focus on Criss's original material; tropes specific to the character he plays on Glee belong there.


->''"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").

He played the character of Blaine Anderson, an openly gay student at the all-boys' school Dalton and [[Creator/ChrisColfer Kurt Hummel's]] love interest on ''Series/{{Glee}}''. Criss'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'”.

Criss made his Broadway debut in the revival of ''HowToSucceedInBusinessWithoutReallyTrying'' in January 2012. Whether CastingGag or just unintentional, he replaces the original [[Film/HarryPotter Harry Freakin' Potter]], Creator/DanielRadcliffe. He then got the lead as Hedwig in HedwigAndTheAngryInch in 2015.

!!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.
* 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''.
* BandOfRelatives: Criss used to play for his brother Chuck's band Music/FreelanceWhales.
* TheCameo: In Music/KatyPerry's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlyXNRrsk4A "Last Friday Night"]].
* CampStraight: He grew up in gay-friendly San Francisco and is a huge fan of musical theater. 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: Criss is famous for his trademark pink sunglasses. He even got them into a scene on ''Series/{{Glee}}''.
* TheCoverChangesTheGender: Usually averted in his songs, whether it's Disney, ''Series/{{Glee}}'' or his own work. Arguably plays with it in the case of ''Glee'', as he plays a gay character. And in the case of this [[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, he explicitly plays it as a gay man to his husband, and some of the lyrics are changed to show Criss's 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.
-->'''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.
* IAmSong: "The Coolest Girl". Written (as quoted by {{Word of God}}) by Criss to be another "Part Of Your World" or "On My Own", sung by Bonnie Gruesen (Hermione) in ''AVPS''.
* IncrediblyLongNote: "To Have A Home", ''AVPS''.
* 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 a very friendly and personable guy.
* 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''. He even attended the ''Deathly Hallows'' premiere in cosplay. He is also a shipper and voted for "[=KurtCoBlaine=]" as the official PortmanteauCoupleName for Kurt×Blaine.
* PerformanceArtist: He was a fan of musical theater growing up, and plays six instruments, sings, acts, and writes his own material.
* PromotedFanboy:
** ''Theatre/AVeryPotterMusical'' became so popular that he was invited to the ''Deathly Hallows, Part. 1'' movie premiere... which he attended excitably in ''full Harry costume''.
** 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 for him and he was cast to play Hedwig in the Broadway revival.
* RewrittenPopVersion: "Not Alone", "Sami" ("Harry"), "Even Though" and "Stutter" all have solo versions.
%%* SelfBackingVocalist
* SimilarlyNamedWorks: His EP shares its title with one of [[Music/{{Death}} Death's]] albums.
* WildHair: He sheared down to a more debonair look for ''Series/{{Glee}}'', but he has naturally curly hair which can become this when he lets it grow out.