Darren Criss has moved from Glee back to Broadway with a starring role in the critically lauded Hedwig and the Angry Inch, in a limited run that kicked off last month. By stepping into Hedwig’s high heels, Criss has taken over the role from Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell — and donned the iconic makeup of the transgender rock star living in East Germany.
Criss makes for a great Hedwig with that makeup… but can it translate to any ordinary guy? With the help of Darren (who wants everyone to know that he is “NOT a makeup artist”), Billboard.com pop editor Jason Lipshutz donned the same makeup (sort of) that is used in the Broadway production of Hedwig — and the results were terrifying.
Before the makeup tutorial, Criss sat down with Billboard to chat about assuming the role of Hedwig, life after Glee (which ended its run earlier this year) and his post-Hedwig plans. Is there new solo music coming? “Eventually in time and place,” says Criss. “I want to be able to paint as many colors with as large of a palette as possible. But just working on projects that I love — I mean, Hedwig is a dream come true.”
Is Jason’s Hedwig makeup also a dream — or a nightmare? See the side-by-side comparison and judge for yourself: