PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Cheyenne Jackson, Starring in The Most Happy Fella at City Center's Encores!

By Brandon Voss
31 Mar 2014

Theatre seems to have taken a backseat to your other projects and passions.
CJ: I was offered a lot of Broadway shows in the past year, but I told my agent that wanted to do more film, and that's what happened. I was approached about doing On the Twentieth Century, which is coming up with Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher, and I would have loved to be a part of that, but right now my life is in L.A. My family and my fiancé are out there. Until there's something specifically written for me or there's a project I just can't pass up, I'm going to have to keep New York theatre limited to stuff like Encores! and other short spurts.

It's still hard to believe you've relocated to Los Angeles.
CJ: I know. I never thought it would happen. My mom and dad still lived in Idaho, but they moved to Laguna after both my grandparents died last year. My sister lives near Fresno, and my brother and his family moved to San Bernardino. My family was always sort of spread out, but now all the kids are in the same state for the first time. Honestly, in getting sober over the last couple years, revaluating relationships and friendships, I realized that what's really important is my family and the people I love. I'll always come back to New York, but I have to admit that it's nice to wake up in L.A. and have it be 70 degrees instead of 28.

What's it like being back in New York as a visitor?
CJ: It's super-weird. It's very strange to be staying in a hotel in my city of 13, 14 years. But New York is the most exciting place on Earth, so I've been bopping around and enjoying the city as a tourist, in a strange way. I've even hung out in Times Square, which I used to avoid like the plague.

Seeing any Broadway shows?
CJ: Yeah, I checked out Aladdin, which was also directed by Casey Nicholaw. Casey's fantastic, but I wasn't expecting the show to be so spectacular. I was like, Aladdin? Really? I'm not 10 years old... But I was standing up after "Friend Like Me," clapping for three minutes like everyone else in the audience. It's everything you want it to be.

You announced your engagement to Jason Landau in February. Are you the most happy fella?
CJ: I will answer that by singing what Tony sings in the show: "That's-a me!"

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The cast
Photo by Joan Marcus

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