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Darren Criss, the Only 'Glee' Kid Who Sleeps

Mitchell Nguyen Mccormack

We caught up with the 'Glee' star as he prepares for the premiere of his first feature film, 'Girl Most Likely'

Photograph by Mitchell Nguyen Mccormack

When Darren Criss landed on our March 2011 cover, his Glee-crooning, Broadway-conquering "Teenage Dream" charm offensive had barely begun -- and it hasn't slowed down since.

"Anytime I have free time, I try to fill it up, as much as humanly possible, as quickly as possible," says the actor, who's played Blaine in the hit series for three seasons and scored a lead role last year in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. With Glee on summer break, Criss, 26, recently struck out on a sold-out 16-city tour, where he tested out new songs from an album in progress. He's also preparing to unveil his first feature film, Girl Most Likely, in which he helps a failed New York playwright (played by Kristen Wiig) get her groove back. We checked in.

Girl Most Likely opens July 19.

SLIDESHOW: Darren Criss

...Backstreet's Back
"My Girl Most Likely character, Lee, is in a novelty act at one of the casinos in Atlantic City. There's a Britney Spears character, and I'm in a fake Backstreet Boys group. He's surrounded by all this absurd caricature, but serves as -- and I mean this in the comedic sense--the straight man. You want to be funny, but your job is to look at the audience and go, 'Is this really happening?' "

...He's With the Band
"My new tour ain't no Glee tour -- that was a massive stadium tour. I got treated like a prince. Now we're sleeping on the bus and showering at the venues -- it's, like, 16 guys on the bus together, doing it old-school. I quite like it, actually. I never wanted to have my name on the marquee. I was always a band guy."

...Only in His Dreams
"Chris [Colfer] and I are both very passionate about our own personal projects. I don't know how he does it. Chris is always busy on set, in the corner with his computer, writing down the next chapter of his next book. I just sleep a lot. That's when I have a lot of good ideas."

...Team Klaine
"People reacted in positive ways to a recent earnest storyline about Kurt and Blaine's relationship. The only thing I'm surprised about was the lack of any kind of backlash. I think that's the greatest trick Glee has pulled off: normalizing the subversive. I'm always happy to be on the show. I think it would be cool if they pulled a Saved by the Bell and we all got summer jobs at the same place."

READ: Darren Criss: The New Kid on the Block

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