‘Hollywood’ Star Darren Criss Reveals the Original Script Was So Raunchy Some of the Cast Had to Prep for Full Frontal

Hollywood star Darren Criss is opening up about the show’s “graphic” sex scenes. The new Netflix series from creator Ryan Murphy explores the life of aspiring actors and filmmakers who are trying to break into Tinseltown. The show features plenty of sexual content, but Criss says that the original script was even more raunchy than the final version.

Hollywood Darren Criss
‘Hollywood’ star Darren Criss | Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Criss opens up about ‘Hollywood’

Criss recently took part in a YouTube live stream event with his Hollywood co-stars David Corenswet, Seth Rudetsky, Jake Picking, Mira Sorvino, and Jeremy Pope. The group talked about a variety of topics related to show when the conversation turned to how the sex scenes were originally scripted.

“The initial draft of the script was very graphic,” Corenswet shared. “They toned it down.”

Criss, who plays the part of Raymond Ainsley, added that Murphy and his team decided to tweak the sex scenes so that they could focus more on the “heart and the hope” of the show. Nevertheless, Criss was very shocked about the sexual content when he first read the script.

“There’s no f–ing numbers on the dial anymore for how raunchy it was. They dialed it back severely to focus more on the heart and the hope…There was s–t I clutched my pearls at,” Criss noted.

The actor then explained how they didn’t really change the content of the scenes, they just altered the way it was shot. While the show still features plenty of sex, it is less “terrifying” for Criss and co-stars than before.

The cast of ‘Hollywood’ had to prep for full frontal scenes

After the first script reading, producers asked the cast of Hollywood if they wanted to wear prosthetics for some of the scenes. Pope, who appears as Archie Coleman, thought they were talking about prosthetics for his face.

The actor thought that his character might get beaten up in a scene, which would explain the need for prosthetics. Little did he know that the producers had something else in mind.

Many of Pope’s Hollywood co-stars had similar thoughts, which is why they were surprised when it came time for the fitting. While filming the first few episodes of the show, Pope realized that they were not talking about prosthetics for “anything above the waist.

“I was like ‘Ooo, does Archie get beat up? What am I getting?” Pope explained. “Then I started putting the pieces together of ‘Oh, we’re not talking about anything above the waist of a prosthetic.’”

Luckily, the cast avoided the embarrassment of having to wear prosthetics in the first season of Hollywood. That could change, of course, in future runs, but Murphy has decided to take things down a notch for now.

Is Criss’s character based on Murphy?

One of the big themes in Hollywood is highlighting how the industry was very exclusive back in the day, especially when it came to casting minorities. Only in Murphy’s reimagined version of 1940s Hollywood, those opportunities were available to those who were marginalized.

According to Indie Wire, Criss recently opened up about how the show is re-writing history by giving the cast a chance to play characters that were denied them all of those years ago. And the actor also feels like his character is a reflection of Murphy, who has dealt with similar issues in his career.

“Here’s a guy that uses film as a vehicle for social justice,” Criss shared. “There’s a much higher calling than just making movies which, you go ‘that’s exactly what Ryan Murphy has been doing his entire career.’”

Could Darren Criss sweep awards season again?

Criss, who is the first Filipino-American to take home a Golden Globe, added that he is thrilled to be a part of the project and hopes to be “a beacon of inspiration” for viewers. Criss won the prestigious award — plus an Emmy and the SAG Award — for his turn as Andrew Cunanan in Murphy’s American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

The first season of Hollywood, starring Criss, Corenswet, Laura Harrier, Joe Mantello, Dylan McDermott, Picking, Pope, Holland Taylor, Samara Weaving, Jim Parsons, and Patti LuPone, features seven episodes.

Fans can watch Criss and the rest of the cast of Hollywood on Netflix.