Words: Lynn Carratt
Glee stars Lea Michele and Darren Criss are set to embark on a UK and Ireland tour this week.
The two stars shot to fame on the Ryan Murphy musical drama and have since both had continuous success on and off screen with Criss winning an Emmy for his role as serial killer in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace and Michele releasing two albums and two books.
Now they are embarking on a UK and Ireland tour together and in an exclusive interview, Criss and Michele open up about teaming up for the LM/DC tour and life after Glee.
Darren, congratulations on winning the Emmy. You were phenomenal in the Versace show. Have things gone a little crazy for you since?
D: Not any more or less crazy than I make my life already. Lea knows this very well, but I’m very touched by the idea that people think that things have become more insane, but I'm insane already. If anything, the Emmys were kind of a break from all of that. I got to put on a suit, go to cocktail parties and shake hands and enjoy. It was a very fun experience that didn’t require me to do any work at all. It really does tickle me when people think that that is stressful. I'm like, ‘no, I didn’t do anything, I just hung out and had a good time’. When I was at home before the Emmys, I was putting a new project together, I was mixing a new record with my brother, I was making sure that the staff at my bar Tramp Stamp Grannies in LA where OK and planning a wedding.
So, you both worked on Glee together. How did the idea for the LM/DC tour come about?
L: I’ve always personally had this idea to go on tour with Darren. I went on tour last year and it was a fantastic experience, but touring can be quite lonely and it’s a lot of work. It’s always good to have a friend with you and I just love Darren so much. I think he’s such an incredible performer and person and we have lots of fun together. We obviously met during Glee but our friendship has thankfully remained over these years and so I pitched him this idea and we put together a fantastic show and now were on the road together. We’ve just finished our West Coast leg and it was so exciting and fantastic to see our fans and get to perform for them.
Obviously when you tour, it’s quite strenuous. How do you both prepare physically and mentally?
L: I think we that we each prepare a little differently. I get a little bit more nervous than Darren does which, he’s such an incredible performer already, for me, it takes me a little bit more to gear up for my performances, sometimes so I’ll spend the whole day warming up and getting my head in the game and Darren has a little bit of different process, but I could definitely learn from him.
D: I’m going to jump in here because one of the great things about the dynamics of Lea and I is while we’re very close, we learned that our differences are a sort of a charming juxtaposition against each other. For Lea everything has to be prepared and really premeditated and I’m very spontaneous and shoot from the hip, Lea’s right, we can learn a lot from each other. There’s no right or wrong way to do this kind of stuff. Everybody comes at performing from a different angle. I try not to think about performing all day – maybe that’s a self-preservation method from being nervous – I just don’t think about it until I absolutely have to, there on the day. But, again, I make sure not only the fun dynamics between Lea and I off the stage but they meet on the stage as well, we have a sort of sister and brother relationship, Laurel and Hardy kind of act which I think people do enjoy.
And, who is the worst behaved on tour?
Why? What do you do Darren?
D: I make like the British and I enjoy having a great fucking time.
Do you go partying together?
D: No, I'm being a bit cheeky. I’m very proactive about travelling and about seeing places and I'm a very social animal. I have a lot of friends in the UK and when I go to these towns I go to my favourite bars and my favourite restaurants to see some of my friends and go out with them so, this is all just a work vacation for me. I also love getting to meet all the fans as well and we’ve got to a point where a lot of the folks that we see at these shows are people that we’ve seen before that we’ve met, so we’re kind of reconnecting and checking in with them. But, I have the most extra-curricular activities. I wouldn’t say that they’re bad.
How do you spend your down time? Do you watch Netflix?
L: That’s definitely what I do. I definitely love to just have a nice meal, as glass of red wine, watch TV and just unwind. That’s my idea of a good night.
D: I like to walk around a lot and explore places, I can’t sit still. I’ve go to walk around. That’s my thing. If it’s a city I’ve never been to, I’ll be out until the wee hours of the night just looking at the town.
Lea, every time you're pictured, you always look amazing. Can you share your beauty secrets with us?
L: My beauty tips?
D: Photoshop! (laughs)
L: Yes, exactly. Photoshop. I have a great team that helps me look pretty and put myself together. When I'm not working I actually love not wearing makeup and not doing my hair to give my hair and skin a break, but I think that the most important thing is to get a lot of sleep and drink lots of water and take good care of yourself. Eat good food and work out, all of those things help me to feel my best.
The LM/DC tour is kicking off on November 29 in Dublin and will wrap up in Birmingham on December 7. For more information about the tour, visit www.LMDCtour.com for more details.
LMDC Tour Dates 2018:
December 1 – Brighton, UK – Brighton Centre
December 2 – London, UK – Eventim Apollo
December 4 – Glasgow, UK – SEC Armadillo
December 5 – Manchester, UK – Manchester Apollo
December 7 – Birmingham, UK – Birmingham Arena