Darren Criss has a lot going on these days.
Fresh off starring in “Glee,” Criss, 28, now playing the lead role in the Broadway show “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” He also just celebrated the fifth anniversary of The Motley, a California-based men’s grooming service, in which he is an investor and partner.
We caught up with Criss and chatted The Motley, “Glee” and, of course, starring in “Hedwig.”
How did you become involved in working with The Motley?
Founder Matt Ruggieri was a videographer in California and we had mutual friends in the entertainment world. I’ve always had an interest in men’s grooming and fine men’s products. I checked out the company and they’ve been very kind to let me contribute any way that I can. It’s truly been Madison Ruggieri’s baby, who is the editorial director of the company. I’ve been extraordinarily supportive of the product. This is very much something I believe in. Buckler’s is one of The Motley’s own brands, and I use that particular line’s products daily. And a lot of women’s stores have picked up the products, too, which is cool.
“Glee” wrapped up in March. Talk to me about your time on the show.
It’s wild to be talking about the show in the past tense. It was a wild ride. It was a great part of my life. I have nothing but fond memories from “Glee.”
Who do you think you’ll keep in touch with the most?
I don’t know. It’s like going to college with a group of people who you spend so much time with. No matter what happens, you’ll always have that experience together. “Glee” was so extraordinary for everybody. I’ll always be friends with those guys.
How does it feel to be starring in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway?
As a teenager, since seeing the film, I had always wanted to do ‘Hedwig.” It’s the ultimate fantasy. It’s the most fun thing in the world and I’ve been lucky enough to do it.
Do you prefer being on stage versus on TV?
Always. It’s more gratifying. There’s an immediacy to it; you’re creating something, and what you see is what you get. There’s a realism to it.
What are some of your favorite New York City spots to check out on your days off?
I’m a big Hudson River Park guy. I love biking around and go on long, long walks, anywhere downtown to the top of the High Line. As cliche as it is, walking through Central Park is beautiful and timeless. I love Vanguard and the other jazz clubs in the West Village. Oh, and Grimaldi’s. And then I walk off the pizza.