Darren Criss is currently tearing up the stage in New York City during his debut Broadway run, but the "Glee" actor will still appear in the gigantic upcoming Michael Jackson tribute episode. Criss tells E! Online that he filmed his MJ scenes in just four short days, and since he'll only be gone for three weeks, he'll only be missing from one episode of "Glee." Two, tops.
"I thought that before I was going to leave, they might write Blaine out just to make things easier on everybody," Darren tells E!. "Nope! Right before I left, Blaine had a lot of really cool things to do for the Michael Jackson episode. When you see that episode, I shot all my stuff in four days. It was quick! It was a shotgun of crazy, exhausting stuff and it was both a thrill--because you really wanna do justice to these awesome songs--but frustrating, because I wanted it to be perfect and amazing."
One of those songs is a Criss solo, "Wanna Be Startin' Something," which he got a kick out of recording. "Wildest lyrics ever! It's cool because it's Michael Jackson," he says. "But at one point he's like, 'You're a vegetable. You're a vegetable. They eat off of you. You're just a buffet. You're a vegetable.' [And it's like], 'Whatever. Michael Jackson's singing it. It's cool!'"
As for his Great White Way debut -- taking over Daniel Radcliffe's lead in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" -- Criss was actually sought out by producer Craig Zadan. "We asked Darren if he was interested in doing a limited run in the show, and he got on a plane and snuck into the theater one matinee to check out the part," Zadan tells Entertainment Weekly. "He called when he got out and said, 'I have to play this role!'"
Criss, who was a theater major at the University of Michigan, is mostly excited for his first performance -- but a little nervous. "Everyone's like, 'Oh, I gotta go to your opening night!,'" he tells EW. "But I'm terrified. I'm like, 'No! See it at, like, two and a half weeks.' Theater is a living creature. It takes a while to break in, like a new pair of shoes."
"Glee" returns Jan. 17, and Criss performs in "How to Succeed" until Jan. 22.
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