Darren Criss has won his first ever Emmy for his acclaimed portrayal of serial killer Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
The American actor won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, beating out stars such as Antonio Banderas, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeff Daniels, Jesse Plemons and John Legend.
“Oh, my god, you guys are witnessing the most extraordinary moment of my life thus far,” he said as he accepted the award.
Criss then praised series creator Ryan Murphy and left us in tears as he thanked his fiancé Mia Swier.
“Actors are only as good as the moments they’re given and granted. I’m so profoundly indebted to my friend Ryan Murphy for entrusting me with this opportunity of a lifetime and for believing in me.
“To my darling Mia, you roll the windows down and pump the music up in my life and I’m so thankful for you.”
He added: “I am so very privileged to be in this room among so many people that inspire the living crap out of me.
“And I am so honored to be nominated. A lot of you guys I have been a fan of for such a long time.”
American Crime Story: Versace also won Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special.
Murphy highlighted the amount of hate crimes towards the LGBTQ community in his acceptance speech.
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace is about homophobia, internalized and externalized,” he said.
“One out of every four LGBTQ people in this country will be the victim of a hate crime. We dedicate this award to them.
“And mostly this is for the memory of Cunanan’s victims, Jeff Trail and David Madson and Gianni, and for all those lives taken too soon.”
Gay Times sat down with Criss during his visit to London earlier this year to find out what he has learned about the gay experience having researched the characters.
“They are two very different roles,” he told us. “Glee was really an extraordinary beam of positivity – especially for primetime television with mass appeal for young people. It was a wonderful example to set on television, and to be a part of that was really a thrill.
“The Assassination of Versace is really the opposite end of that spectrum where you’re really displaying the turmoil of that gay American identity. Particularly through the navy and military and what people had to go through, and still have to go through.
“I think it’s cool that I’ve been able to be a part of telling both sides of that narrative, and see how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go.”