Cheyenne Jackson Talks Working With Lady Gaga on ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ [Interview]


Cheyenne Jackson AHS
With every season of American Horror Story, creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy takes his recurring cast of players and brings someone new into the mix. For American Horror Story: Hotel it was Lady Gaga and Cheyenne Jackson.

While Jackson had collaborated with Murphy on his hit FOX show Glee, he hadn’t been a part of the American Horror Story cast, but fortunately he fits right in playing Will Drake, a fashion designer who just purchased the fabulous Downtown LA hotel, which just so happens to be haunted by demons and ghosts, one which happens to be James Patrick March portrayed by series regular Evan Peters.

In this season Jackson shares some of his scenes with Lady Gaga, who was just nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as The Countess in the series. On the show Gaga makes her television debut as 115-year-old vampire, who’s obsessed with blood and of course, having passionate romps.

Cheyenne Jackson stopped by AOL to have a chat about what it’s like working with Lady Gaga and highlighted how it feels to be the new kid on the block.

On coming into an established show:

Anytime you’re the new kid in a cast, it can be a daunting thing. This show in particular — it’s Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, these amazing actors, so I was definitely intimidated. The good thing is that I knew a lot of them prior. You just have to hit the ground running. My first scene was with Kathy Bates and I was totally scared to death, but you kind of just had to go with it.

On working with Lady Gaga:

Listen, it’s Lady Gaga, and I’m not going to lie, it was crazy. I’m a huge fan of hers. I had seen her live five times in every incarnation. I knew we were going to be married on the show, so I wanted to make a good impression, but wanted to be myself. I was in my dressing room, and it was right before my first big scene with her. It was this big, emotional, sexy scene and I called my husband and said, “I’m so nervous. I’m going to meet her in a minute.”

So I go on set and she’s behind this scrim. I saw her and she was fully in character and said, “Will Drake!” And she held her hand out for me to kiss [it]. And I thought, “She’s already in character? Should I be in character? What’s going on!?” So I grab her hand and I bow to kiss [it] and she said, “I’m not going to make you kiss my hand!” And she gave me a hug, and was super cool. She’s just down — she wants to play and create.

On watching Gaga act:

I wasn’t surprised that she was good, because she’s good at everything she does. It’s so cool to see someone throw themselves into something so much. I’m so excited for her and this next chapter in her life.

On his favorite memory on set with Lady Gaga:

Probably when we had to film a six hour oral sex scene. Let’s keep it real! I had never done a nude scene before. I thought, “Let’s wait until I’m 40, because that’s what you do.” I was nervous about it, and I looked to my friend Matt Bomer, who’s naked in all things, all the time, and it’s an awkward thing, because you have a weird sock on your weiner, and it’s weird. I have to give it to Stefani. In life she just looks after you, and in the scene she wanted me to be comfortable. She made it really great and it turned out well. I told my mom, “Just don’t watch that episode, or do, but you’re going to see more of me than you want.”

Another time we were singing West Side Story backstage and it was a cool thing.

On the vibe on set:

It depends. Sometimes it’s creepy — we shoot on the Fox lot and there’s this big giant set of the hotel, and it’s not so creepy. It’s beautiful, grand, and the elevator really works, but in terms of the creepy stuff that’s on a different stage. The ceilings are low and there’s creepy demon children running around — it’s scary!

I love that there were so many theater people on the show because we’re just children. I really took my cue from people that have been in every season like Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, and how they deal with that darkness for a long period of a time. They keep it light. Some days if it’s really intense, if it’s super emotional, we call kind of get into that vibe, but it’s a pretty light set.

On working with someone like Sarah Paulson:

Sarah Paulson is hysterical. She’s one of our finest dramatic actresses, but she could also be in a Judd Apatow comedy like that [Snaps]. She is a funny bitch, and it’s so fun to be around.

On the “controversy” surrounding all the leading men looking like each other this season:

I don’t think I look like Matt Bomer. I think Matt looks like he’s truly carved out of cream cheese. I get what people say — I get the dark hair, the jaw and the blue eyes. Matt and I talked about it, and we thought we were going to be brothers. There were lots of theories floating around, and then it was posted somewhere of all of our faces together. Then a few weeks ago it was revealed that Lady Gaga’s character was with Rudolph Valentino years ago, and ever since then she’s been trying to replace him.

[Photo by FX]

Niki Cruz
Niki Cruz is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist based out of New York. With a passion for Film/TV she often contributes to Paste, amNew York and Interview Magazine. Niki spends her time off learning life lessons by binge-watching Dawson’s Creek.

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