Cheyenne Jackson Does Not Rule Out the Possibility of a Goolsby/Schue AffairTuesday, April 19, 2011
Openly gay triple threat Cheyenne Jackson has had a pretty major year—singing, dancing, and acting his way into America’s heart as star of stage and screen. And he was supposed to continue this run with a featured role on season two of Glee,[and other instances, thanks] but some of his key scenes ended up edited out of the show’s swirling plot lines. All that changes tonight, when his character, Dustin Goolsby, comes back with a vengeance—literally. As VF Daily’s go-to Glee guy, I gave Cheyenne a call to talk knowledge bowls, leather weddings, and the possibility of seeing some man-on-man rival-glee-coach mash-ups.
Brett Berk: We’re going to talk Glee, but I need to get some family business out of the way first: you were at my mom’s wedding. I know you’ve had a crazy year, being on Law & Order, 30 Rock, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I imagine it would be hard to forget this.
Cheyenne Jackson: Of course! That was my favorite lesbian, leather-themed wedding of the year.
BB: Mine too! Terri’s in D.C. working on a show at the Kennedy Center, but they said to send their love. So how did you end up on this show?
CJ: It’s actually been a long time coming. I met Ryan [Murphy, the co-creator of Glee] way back when I was doing Xanadu, and I’ve been a big fan of his work. So when it came time for the pilot of Glee, I auditioned, along with everybody else, for it—for the role of Mr. Schue. I obviously didn’t get that, but I was told that they liked my audition. So when another part on the show came up, they gave me a call. This wasn’t the Dustin Goolsby part. It was the part of a guest choreographer. And they cast me, and flew me out to L.A. to shoot. But as soon I got off the plane, I got the flu. I thought I could soldier through, but I got to set, and they were doing a costume fitting, and the costume lady was like, “You look green.” They basically had to re-cast. And I was really heartbroken because I loved the show so much—and because I had to stay in my hotel room and feel sorry for myself for three days until my flight back. So I kind of thought I’d blown my Glee shot. Then early last year, I was in L.A. doing pilot season and got a call that Ryan wanted to talk to me about another part on the show. So I got my butt down there, and they pitched me this character [Dustin Goolsby] and told me the arc of some of the things that will unfold, and asked if I was into it. I think I hugged Ryan. I was thrilled. I got my second chance.
Sort of. We met Dustin briefly in the season-two premiere. But then you were supposed to be in another episode in November, and your character ended up on the cutting-room floor. I’m thinking this might be cursed, this involvement with the show.
It might be! Actually, I think there’s just so much going on every week—I know John Stamos got cut from that episode, too. But this one coming up, for sure you get to see what Dustin’s about and who he’s going to be on the show. And it’s a doozy.
So what can we expect?
There are some personal issues that Dustin has with Will, and their lives are going to be very … intertwined. It’s so hard—I want to blab it all!
Will Schuester does have a history of sleeping with his rival coaches—or pretty much any adult character who appears on the show. Any chance there’s some Schue-on-Goolsby action?
It’s Glee, so there’s always a chance of anything! Actually, a lot of people have asked me, “What’s Dustin’s deal? Does he like boys? Does he like girls?” So I will tell you that in this episode that question will be answered. How’s that?! That’s a little scoop.
Were you involved in glee growing up?
I was. We called it show choir, and it was a really huge part of my life from 9th to 12th grade. I went to a very small school, but choir and music was a big deal there. You auditioned to be in the show choir, which was really select and fun. It was very much like the glee club on Glee.
Last up—what kind of kid were you in high school? Who on the show represents who you were?
Of course I identify with Chris [Colfer]. Being a gay kid, you feel like the outsider, and like you have something extra to prove. But I also did sports, so it was a bit of a different situation. Also, I wasn’t out in high school, which made things on a whole other level. I had popular friends, but I also did the nerdiest thing of all, which was the knowledge bowl—like being a mathlete. I prided myself on not being in any real clique—having some friends that were stoners, and some friends that were rockers, and I had a lot of Mormon friends. I guess I was a little bit of everything.