Darren Criss got to eat whatever he wanted to pack on a few pounds for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.” But that wasn’t really a perk of the job so much as an order from creator Ryan Murphy — who promptly forgot the request not long after making it.
“Did you have to do different things physically?” Ellen DeGeneres asked the actor when he appeared on her show Thursday to talk about playing serial killer Andrew Cunanan in season 2 of the FX anthology series.
“Yeah, so because we see him so many different times in his life where, I mean I guess factually he kind of fluctuated in weight. Towards the end he gained a lot of weight, and when he was on the lamb, he lost a lot of it. But because it’s a television show we don’t have the luxury of being able to actually do these sort of changes. We just said forget about it.”
“But, there was one point before we started shooting the pilot where he would have been a significant amount heavier than at least I was at the time. And I was asking Ryan, ‘How are we going to shoot this man? I don’t know how this is going to be possible.'”
Criss then started to do his best Murphy impression — but stopped himself because he’s under “strict orders” not to impersonate the producer. But did say that Murphy told him he needed to gain a certain amount of weight in a short period of time.
“So for a good week — and I’m a pretty healthy guy — I was like, ‘OK, great, I’m gonna drink a boatload of beer, eat like a dozen cheeseburgers a day. Basically being a college kid, cause had a carte blanche to be like — I was encouraged to live like a delinquent. And after three days I felt so sick. I was like, ‘I can’t do this.’ And I called Ryan and he like didn’t even remember. He’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, don’t worry about it, you don’t have to do that.'”
Criss made a perplexed face before saying he probably shouldn’t have called him so he could continue living his “best worst life.”
Watch the clip above.