Comic-Con 2011: 'Glee's' Darren Criss On His Crazy Car Accommodations and Surviving San Diego (Q&A)

The actor shares memories of his first convention weekend plus tips for the annual pop culture confab.
Dave M. Bennett
Darren Criss

With hundreds of thousands of people attending San Diego Comic-Con every year and the July 20-24 event quickly approaching, The Hollywood Reporter chatted with the big names in television to discuss their favorite memories and tips for attending the annual event. THR’s Live Feed will talk Comic-Con with actors, writers and producers in the days leading up to the event so check back soon for interviews and the latest news on panels and screenings.

Darren Criss
Geek Cred: Glee, A Very Potter Musical
Comic-Con panel: Glee, Sunday, July 24, 10 a.m. in Hall H

THR: What stands out from your first Comic-Con experience?
In high school, I’d always wanted to go and kept missing it. I’m a big fanboy and every year it’s become more of a big deal. When I first moved to L.A. about three years ago, I finally got to go. Someone had an extra pass and my friend and I drove down -- without a hotel to stay in. We found a magical parking spot Friday at the one spot with no meter in all of San Diego. We lived out of the car all weekend. We slept outside in line for the Lost panel and were basically homeless for the weekend.

THR: Last year you were part of a Harry Potter fan panel representing A Very Potter Musical.
I was worried nobody would come to the panel because it was at the same time as the Glee panel. To go back this year, if they do have me on the panel for Glee, it’ll be coming full circle.

THR: Any plans to do a Harry Potter panel this year in addition to possibly Glee?
I’d love to do something with my theater company Star Kids.

THR's Comic-Con 2011 coverage

THR: What’s your favorite Comic-Con memory?
My first Comic-Con I drove directly from a call-back in L.A. for Eastwick and when I got there, I thought it would be funny to go to the Eastwick panel since I was still in wardrobe from the call-back and had my Eastwick pass on me. I saw Rebecca Romijn and told her I'd auditioned as I was getting the pass signed. I ended up working on the show and forever after, Romijn referred to me as the “kid from Comic-Con.” I always have these wonderful serendipities during Comic-Con.

THR: Who would be on your dream panel?
Criss: Harrison Ford, Christopher Walken, Guillermo del Toro, Bruce Lee
even though he’s no longer with us, Gandhi, Jesus Christ of Nazareth and John Lennon.

THR: If you were to attend in costume, what would you be?
A Final Fantasy character. If I went with a big enough group, we could all be characters from Street Fighter.

THR: What tips do you have for Comic-Con first-timers?
Bring a phone charger with you because Comic-Con is a black hole of everybody on Twitter and online and your phone battery will die in two seconds and if you’re separated from your friends, you will not find them.

THR: Glee recently bulked up its writing staff for next season, what can you share about Season 3.
I’m excited for that. It’s a tough show to pull off and they’ve done a great job with only three writers. I’d love for them to be able to share the load of the show with other people. I have no idea what to expect, but I think it’s going to be nothing but positives.

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