One of those moms -- who I assume really was excited to meet Criss on behalf of her children -- is former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. The Republican is known for her opposition to gay rights, so it's surprising she would approve of a show with several gay characters, including that of Criss. "I never let my politics supersede my manners," Criss — who's straight in real life -- notes. "She came up with her husband and was sweet as can be. She was like, 'My kids love the show. I don't watch it myself, but I'd love it if you could sign these postcards.' It dawned on me that she didn't know what the hell 'Glee' was."
However, plenty of so-called Gleeks do follow the weekly adventures of the New Directions. "Glee" averages more than 10.3 million viewers in its third season, and the cast has produced a dozen albums, many of them chart-toppers. Between that and being cast in his first Broadway show, taking over Daniel Radcliffe's role in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," Criss admits that life has been a whirlwind for him lately. "Hollywood is a strange, strange thing," he says. "I feel like I've been invited to a very exclusive ball and I'm just trying to make nice with everybody and hope that if they kick me out they'll at least give me a ride home."
In one very surreal moment, Criss describes meeting not one but two big-name singers. "I never thought I would meet Mariah Carey, but I really never thought I'd be introduced to her by Whitney Houston. She's like, 'Hey, baby, this is Mariah,'" Criss explains. "I'm like, 'I know. I'm Darren. I don't know what I'm doing here.'"
Read more about Darren in the new Details magazine, on newsstands January 17.
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