Darren Criss’ Golden Globes win and his Filipino ‘firecracker mom’

January 7, 2019 - 4:54 PM
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Darren Criss at Golden Globes Awards
Darren Criss poses backstage with his award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television for "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story." (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
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Actor Darren Criss earned the admiration of Filipinos when he acknowledged his roots in his acceptance speech after winning in the 2019 Golden Globe Awards.

The Filipino-American won Best Actor in the category of Limited Series or TV Movie for his portrayal of a serial killer in the crime anthology series “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” as Andrew Cunanan.

Criss noted in his acceptance speech how proud he is for being the son of a “firecracker mom” whom he acknowledged played a big part “for most of the good things” in his life.

“As we’ve seen, it’s been a marvelous year for representation in Hollywood. And I’m so enormously proud to be a teeny tiny part of that as the son of a firecracker Filipina woman from Cebu that dreamed of coming to this country and getting to be invited to cool parties like this,” the 31-year-old said.

“So mom, I know you’re watching this. You are hugely responsible for all the good things in my life. I dedicate this to you,” Criss added.

His acknowledgment of his roots was well-received by full-blooded Filipinos on social media, including veteran broadcast journalist Karen Davila.

Criss won an Emmy Award in September 2018 for the same portrayal under the category Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

He is well-known for playing Blaine Anderson in the hit American musical drama series “Glee” with Lea Michele, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer and Matthew Morrison.

Criss is a Filipino through his mother Cerina Bru who is a Spanish-Filipina. She was born on Cebu but later migrated to the United States.

The actor was born in San Francisco, California but he occasionally visits the Philippines, where he has performed shows at Ayala Malls.

Filipinos in Golden Globe Awards 

Darren Criss is not the only one with Filipino blood who has been recognized by the 93-member organization responsible for giving out the awards.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association through the 2018 Golden Globe Awards also honored Filipina Pixar supervising animator Gini Cruz Santos as one of the recipients of the Best Animation Motion Picture award for “Coco.”

Santos is a resident of Pasay City and a graduate of University of Santo Tomas. She was also involved in the production of “Finding Nemo” and “Brave,” two well-renowned Disney films.

Golden Globe Awards
The Golden Globes Awards is considered the precursor to the Academy Awards, the most prestigious award-giving ceremony in Hollywood. (Facebook/Golden Globes)

The 2016 Golden Globe Awards honored Filipino director Ronnie Del Carmen as one of the recipients of the Best Animated Picture for “Inside Out.”

Del Carmen was born and bred in Cavite but he relocated to the United States after being petitioned by his father. He eventually worked in Pixar Animation Studios and got involved in the production of “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E” and “Up.”

The Golden Globe Awards is an annual ceremony organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that recognizes excellence in domestic and foreign television shows and films.

It is considered the “crucial part” of the awards season in Hollywood since it is a precursor to the Oscars or The Academy Awards, the “end-all be all of awards shows,” as noted by an online American women’s magazine.

Golden Globes have more categories for television shows and films than Oscars and is known for boosting movie sales.