Darren Criss is first Fil-Am to win Golden Globe
BEVERLY HILLS, California — Hollywood actor Darren Criss on Sunday evening (Monday morning in Manila) won a Golden Globe for his high-powered performance in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” becoming the first Filipino-American to receive the prestigious award.
Criss, 31, dedicated his award to his mother, whom he described as “a firecracker Filipina woman from Cebu” in his acceptance speech at the 76th Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton.
“So, Mom, I know you’re watching this. You are hugely responsible for most of the good things in my life. I love you dearly. I dedicate this to you,” he said.
Criss was chosen best actor in a TV limited series or movie for his portrayal of serial killer Andrew Cunanan. He beat Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”), Daniel Bruhl (“The Alienist”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”) and Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”).
Criss won an Emmy Award in September last year for his powerful performance of the same role in the TV series that told the true story of Cunanan, a Filipino-American who murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997.
“Versace,” whose cast included acclaimed Filipino-American actor Jon Jon Briones, also won a Golden Globe for best limited series for television.
Criss described the past year as “a marvelous year for representation in Hollywood,” ending his speech by hoisting his award and saying “This is totally awesome!”
“Being Filipino is one of my favorite things about myself,” he said in a backstage interview. “I feel like I’ve been given a superhero cape that I’m now required to step up the plate for.”
“If there is any young Filipino or half-Filipino in the community that looks to my work as a source of inspiration and encouragement, then sign me up. It means the world to me,” he added.
His tribute to his mother drew praises from Filipino journalists.
“That’s a first in the Golden Globes — a winner thanking his Filipina immigrant mom. It’s a major statement from Darren. He’s shouting his Filipino-American heritage to the world,” said Inquirer columnist Ruben Nepales.
In his speech, Criss thanked Nepales, the first Filipino-American chair of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the latter’s wife, Janet, the HFPA executive secretary. —With reports from the wires