Here’s How Darren Criss Spends His Perfect Night In

published Jan 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Andrew Kelly/AP Images for Clorox)
Perfect Night In is a series where we ask actors, artists, entrepreneurs, and beyond how they’d spend the ultimate luxury—a blissful evening at home.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you watched the Golden Globes, you witnessed Darren Criss hitting a major career milestone when he won Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film, beating out big names like Hugh Grant and Benedict Cumberbatch. However, before taking on his now award-winning role in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” Criss had an already impressive career that expands well beyond this well-deserved win.

In addition to starring in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway, many know him for his Blaine Anderson character on “Glee.” Playing the role of a lead vocalist jumpstarted his real-life musical career, eventually debuting his own Indie Pop band Computer Games in 2017.

But Criss’s success doesn’t stop there. Just last month, he partnered with Clorox on their What Comes Next Project, an initiative that spotlights young “changemakers” leading cleaning-driven projects in their local communities. Being an activist himself, Criss’s involvement with the project showcases his passion for supporting young leaders looking to make a difference.

In other words, what doesn’t Darren Criss do?

In an effort to understand what makes him tick, we asked Criss what helps him unwind—because we all know that is crucial to success (and sanity). See below for our chat with the actor-meets-songwriter-meets-activist.

(Image credit: Jenny Chang-Rodriguez)

Set The Scene

Your perfect homebody scene in 5 words: Piano, time, scotch, guitar, repeat.

Are you alone or with someone else? I’m with someone else. My fiancée is with me, or if I’m doing music, it would be nice to have a fellow musician there.

Night-in uniform: Same as everybody else: really nice slippers, your best sweat pants, and like a comfy, new cotton shirt that hasn’t been washed too many times so it’s got that new kind of cozy on it.

What two people, dead or alive, would you let crash your night? Howard Ashman is my number one who I’d love to chat with, then Paul McCartney. They’re my two favorite song writers.

(Image credit: Jenny Chang-Rodriguez)

Now playing

TV or a movie? Let’s say a movie.

What are you watching? It would be a movie that I was dying to see for forever. We all have that movie when people mention it and you silently don’t say anything because you know you haven’t seen it.

eBooks or the real deal? Real deal, 100 percent. There’s no battery life to my book.

Currently reading? The time that most people spend reading books, I’m practicing languages. I’m really big into vocabulary and conjugation books because I like practicing languages—it’s one of my favorite hobbies.

Silence or music? Music. If I’m playing it, I’m working on new stuff. If I’m not playing it, it’s usually Miles or Coltrane.

Board games, yay or nay? 100 percent yay. I f*cking love board games. There’s a game called One Night Ultimate Werewolf. It’s really popular in my group of friends and that’s something you can bring around everywhere we go. Also honestly, I’m a huge chess fan. I love it.

(Image credit: Jenny Chang-Rodriguez)

What’s cooking

Order in or cook for yourself? Definitely ordering in.

What are you eating? In New York? Usually it’s something from Westville.

What’s for dessert? Something with a lot of dark chocolate.

What drink are you pouring? With a nice chocolate, the thing I would do is a nice glass of port.

Late night snack? You’re really getting a glimpse into my health and lifestyle here. I would go for a low glycemic snack, like nuts, trail mix, or bananas. Something that’s not going to be too rough on your digestive system.

(Image credit: Jenny Chang-Rodriguez)

Take care

Do you have a self-care ritual? Oh my God, so many. Skincare in general is something my mom instilled in me as a young kid. I’m a big believer in essential oils! Shout out to The Motley; they have a revitalizing face oil to use at night called Buckler’s.

Candles, yay or nay? Super yay! I’m saying The Motley again, but they have a lot of soy wax candles that are really incredible. Like the tobacco or campfire smells that gives off warmth.

Face masks, yay or nay? 100 percent yay. One of my favorite brands is Urth, and they have a mask that’s really, really great. It’s like my own self-spa day, you know? I take a hot bath or a steam shower, I put that sh*t on, and look like a crazy person and nobody has to see it.

Bubble bath, yay or nay? F*ck yeah. I’m a really big fan of Epsom salt baths.

Chores, yay or nay? It depends on what the chore is. KonMari and the phenomenon of sparking joy, I’ve always gravitated toward that. And truly, the most valuable thing in my life that I chase is time, and I have very little of it. But having the chance to clean that office, to me, would give me so much joy.

Ideal bedtime? There’s no ideal sleep time. For me, I will only go to sleep in increments of 90 minutes. I’d rather have an hour and half of sleep than two, or two and a half. So it’s an hour and a half, three hours, four and a half, six, or seven and a half. And if you’re really, really lucky and had a crazy night, nine.