Cheyenne Jackson’s Popeye Fantasy Suggests Hollywood Craze

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The ever-alluring Cheyenne Jackson gets all sorts of gay in The Advocate‘s latest edition. Rather than taking his publicists’ white-washing advice to eschew his sexuality, the Xanadu actor lets it all hang out. And we mean really out.

The first time that I knew I was gay — I think I was, like, 7 — I was watching this Valentine’s Day Popeye cartoon episode that would play every year. There was this scene where Popeye was captured by Brutus, tied up with no shoes or socks on, and Brutus starts tickling his feet. I remember getting a little boner.

That’s – um, good to know.

While a bit queer, Jackson’s frankness indicates a shift in Hollywood’s pink perspective. Yeah, Xanadu‘s the gayest show on Broadway and Jackson’s straight roles aren’t huge – an aborted television show and an upcoming horror movie, Hysteria – but it’s all about the context.

The series, Lifetime’s Family Practice, had Jackson playing a womanizer, while the movie project couples him with lad rag model Emmanuelle Vaugier. Jackson chalks at least some this success up to his looks, but take a look at the equally handsome Neil Patrick Harris. His How I Met Your Mother character seduces scads of ladies. The cute, but not hunky TR Knight plays straight on Grey’s Anatomy. Both of those out actors, it’s worth mentioning, work for network television.

Could it be that studio executives – and the public – are broadening their sexual imaginations? Possibly. Although, on the other hand, we still have many more straight actors playing gay, like Jake Gyllenhaal, Sean Penn, James Franco and the late Heath Ledger. More importantly than the larger implications, what does this mean for Jackson’s ultimate cinematic fantasy: playing the long closeted actor, Rock Hudson?

They’ll probably give the part to a woman. Is Brooke Shields available?