With divorce and everything you went through in the last couple years, did it change your opinion of love and relationships? You’re obviously still a believer.
CJ: No, that’s true. I just fully believe in marriage and forever and soul mates and all that. I think sometimes relationships run their course and it’s part of life, but yeah, it definitely has not soured me. It’s opened my eyes, and I’m tougher than I was for better or for worse.
What do you think makes you and Jason click?
CJ: We just found each other at a time in life where it just…I can’t even really put it into words. It just is. Sometimes things just are and he’s an amazing person. I’m so happy I know him, but yeah….
I’ve seen your Instagram pics of you guys driving and singing.
CJ: [smiles] We’re always singing.
Tell me about the tattoos on your arm.
CJ: [points to upper arm] This was for my dad. It’s lyrics to a song that he used to sing to me when I was little. It’s an Elvis song. It’s very, very obscure. It’s called ‘Daddy Big Boots.’ My dad is tone deaf and so it’s so special when he would sing it to me. And honestly, in my concerts, I often would talk about my mom, and in life, just innately, I think, as a gay kid…my dad was always around and an amazing father, but I was always just kind of closer to my mom. And I mentioned my mom one too many times, I guess, one day, and somebody said ‘is your dad still living?’ I was thinking ‘what?! Yes, yes, of course!’ and I thought I needed to foster that relationship more. So last year, on my dad’s birthday, that was my gift to him. This was just between he and I and just something that only he and I have. He’s a Native American, Vietnam vet, body builder man, and this got him good.
You’re about to turn 39, so how do you feel about getting older?
CJ: Surprisingly good. I’m in the best place of my life mentally, and it’s no secret I got sober a couple years ago and got divorced and am engaged to a wonderful man. I feel like I’m just starting. That isn’t to negate the amazing life that I’ve had but my aging…for one thing, it’s different for men in Hollywood, so in terms of like physicality, I actually kind of like aging. Yesterday, I was with my dad, and he was like ‘you have a lot of gray in your beard.’ ‘Dad, I’m going to be 39.’
But it’s a wisdom. I’m sure when I’m 49, I’m going to say, ‘oh, God, what the fuck did I know at 39?’ but I don’t mind it. I mean, I am getting hurt a little more in terms of like physically. I broke my toe a couple days ago, a crick and a crack here, but my work is getting more rich.
Cheyenne Jackson photographed by Clinton Gaughran for TheBacklot