For Glee newcomer Darren Criss, his character is more than just a clean-cut face with powerhouse vocals.
"After having gotten to know the show a little bit, I was really excited to see that a character like this – such a strong, gay character, especially a young, male, out-and-proud teen – was going to make its way onto network television, much less Fox," Criss, 23, tells Interview magazine.
"This is the first time I'd really seen an out student that was so young and innocent," he says, "and really struggling with the big ordeal that it is to be an out student at such an early age."
Playing gay in his role as Blaine – Kurt's "Teenage Dream" – is no big deal, he says. According to Criss, his character isn't defined by his sexual orientation – even at his tony all-boys Dalton Academy.
"[Being gay] doesn't take up a huge chunk of what really matters about Blaine," he says. "Of course, being gay really is an important part of who he is. But Blaine doesn't really think so – at least in this utopian society that he lives in at Dalton Academy, where it's almost a little too perfect to be anybody or anything. It's just kind of matter of fact."