"Probably one of the coolest nights of my life was getting to hang out with Sam the night he won his Oscar, and just feeling like I shouldn't be there for his moment," Criss tells CNBC Make It an event for Clorox's What Comes Next Project, for which Criss is a spokesperson — the initiative supports organizations and individuals that give back by providing access to things like clean laundry or a clean home.
"But being like the self-appointed president of [Rockwell's] fan club, I felt like, okay maybe it's good that I'm here, that I'm representing the people that love this guy to celebrate this moment," he says.
At one point, when Criss was near Rockwell, who had his Oscar in his hand, and Criss could not hold back from telling him how much he admired him.
"I'm like vibrating with excitement," Criss says. "And we've already met, we've talked, I've had some interaction with him, but I just can't believe that I get to be in his atmosphere at this moment, right?
"And so I just go, 'Sam, man, I've got to tell you, this is such an incredible moment for me to be here and share this with you. I cannot tell you how much this this means to me, it's really, really special so thank you and congratulations.'"
Criss recalls the reaction Rockwell had was hilarious.
"I kind of give this heartfelt message to Sam, really baring my soul, and then he said to me..., 'Yeah, that's f------ cool, right?' Criss says, laughing. "And I was like, that's my man, that's exactly what I would have said if someone had, like, bared their soul to me. And I thought that was a very appropriate response, because he was right: It was very f------ cool.
"When you meet people that you really admire, it's almost less about them hearing what you have to say and more of them giving you the chance to say it in front of them," he says.
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