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WATCH: Cheyenne Jackson talks Broadway and more on ‘Show People with Paul Wontorek’

Stage and screen star Cheyenne Jackson paid a visit to the terrific Show People with Paul Wontorek last week. He discussed American Horror Story, getting hot with Audra McDonald in the new film Hello Again, his Broadway dream for Lady Gaga, his plans to return to Broadway and why being a dad is his favorite role yet.

Here are some must-read highlights:
ON SEXY TIME WITH AUDRA MCDONALD IN HELLO AGAIN
“When you’re doing something that’s that intimate—also we’re friends, we were comfortable and there was trust—but we only had one day to shoot each of these segments. You had to really commit, make some choices and jump in hard because otherwise no one’s gonna buy it. We had to really feel comfortable. But yes, at the end the day, I am performing an act on her and she’s singing while it’s happening and it’s a whole thing. Beforehand we kind of blocked it a bit and just looked at each other and were like, ‘Are you ready?’ and boom.”

ON DADDYHOOD
“It’s this unconditional, powerful, profound love that you never thought possible. And I had it twice. I have a son and a daughter and they just started saying Dada and it is so overwhelming that I could cry. It changes everything. It makes your life and your work in particular not as important and more important, if that makes sense. The small stuff? i do not sweat it. It doesn’t matter. What’s important to me is them and their well-being and our family unit. It’s everything I ever thought it could be.”

ON THE SPIN CLASS THAT LAUNCHED HIS TV CAREER
“I met [TV honcho Ryan Murphy] at Xanadu actually and he was so great and lovely. Then I auditioned for Glee for Mr. Schue for Matt [Morrison]’s part. Obviously didn’t get that but he wrote me onto Season Two. And then before [American Horror Story] Hotel, he called and said, ‘Let’s go to a spin class together.’ Very LA. So we’re in this spin class and he asked me, ‘You wanna do Horror Story and be married to Lady Gaga and be a designer?’ ‘What? Can you say that louder, please?!’ So that’s how it happened. It was really jumping into a whole new world for me. Not my most comfortable genre but I really tried to just learn as much as I could. I mean, i had scenes with Kathy Bates, who was one of the main reasons i wanted to be an actor. Her monologue in Primary Colors? Oh my God!”

ON FINDING INSPIRATION AT DEAR EVAN HANSEN
“As the song says, word fail. i was sobbing so hard at one point that a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Sir, are you OK?” When we were doing Secret Garden a couple years ago, Ben [Platt] was talking to me about it and was so excited. I’ve never seen something so open-hearted [as his performance], so present the whole time. Usually you see people kind of go in and out or kind of claw their way back in. It is insane and so committed and I’m so inspired by musical theater again.”

ON HIS FANTASY BROADWAY MUSICAL WITH LADY GAGA
“I would want [to do] something new. I would want Justin [Paul] and Benj [Pasek] to write a new piece. We’re a couple. We’re a husband and wife, and we’re kind of a white trash couple. I’m just riffing here. And we had a tragedy in our family and then something happens. We come into some money and we have to… I don’t know! [Laughs.] She’d be great!”

ON GETTING BACK ON THE BOARDS
“I just really made the decision a few months ago. My kids are 13 months and I want to do it before they get into school so it’s not too disruptive. I miss it. This place I’m at in my life now—I want to bring all that’s inside of me into a new role. And I want to sing. Honestly, this year was super-tough. My dad passed away a few months ago and I haven’t wanted to sing or get on stage. It feels wrong and weird. I had a couple concerts recently where I kind of fell back in love with singing and I was talking to my mom about it and she was like, ‘It’s just so crazy that you’re not singing and that you’re not fostering this.’ I’m very happy to be on television and to be provide to my family. But I miss it like crazy.”

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