SCREEN TEST: TREVOR SIGNORINO
Photographer: Greg Swales
Stylist: Marc Sifuentes
Jacket, Shirt & Jeans by Linder
Boots by Teddy VonRanson
Jacket, Jeans & Boots – Teddy VonRanson
Shirt by Linder
Trench and Shirt by Teddy VonRanson
Linen Union Suit by The Salting
Shirt and Pant by LaQuan Smith
Sweater by LaQuan Smith
Shirt and Pants by LaQuan Smith
Jacket and Jean by Linder
Shirt by Givenchy
Jewelry by Eli Halili
Interview by Matthew Rettenmund
Jonathan Tucker is one of the best parts of all your favorite shows. The actor, who is currently playing devil to the women of Charlie’s Angels as the new film’s villain, is killer-with-a-conscience Frankie on the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck-produced Boston crime drama City on a Hill; was mercurial Low Key on American Gods; and was a highlight of Season 2 of Westworld as intense, self-unaware host Major Craddock, to name a few.
Perhaps most memorably, and in a role that will leave a mark, the Boston native trained like a fiend to play MMA fighter Jay Kulina on Kingdom opposite Nick Jonas — and still has the abs to prove it.
In an exclusive interview with Iris Cover Book, the 37-year-old actor talked about his myriad roles on TV and in film, what he’s carried with him from his youthful pursuit of ballet (#JayKulinaDancesToo) and how he hopes to be remembered.
I’ve seen you in so many things over the last few years, but only recently connected that you were the teenager in The Deep End (2001), the dark, gay-themed story with Tilda Swinton.
That movie changed my whole life! I turned 18 the day I shot the sex scene with Josh Lucas.
It’s interesting how choices can lead us in totally different directions. I wondered how you decided early on in favor of acting over ballet, which you’d studied?
My second-grade teacher had seen an advertisement for a national call for a  movie called Lorenzo’s Oil. I’d really fallen in love with ballet, particularly with being onstage, so I took him up on this offer and I went to the audition. I didn’t end up getting the movie, but I ended up getting on the radar of the local casting director’s office, and they’d call me back for national commercials they were shooting in Boston, and I ended up getting one for Fruit Roll-Ups. The moment I was there on set with the camera and the crew and understanding the process, I was like, ‘This is what I wanna do.”
I remember coming back with my parents saying, “We need to get an agent — do you guys know what an agent is? I found a woman who I think is very reputable, I think we should have a meeting with her,’ so I certainly steered that ship early on, and I was very lucky to have supportive parents that helped make it happen for me. I was 10 years old.
Though you changed courses, have you retained anything from your ballet training?
I think self-discipline, the ability to listen and take direction, punctuality. As much as one can work on the interior of a character — we’re all spiritual vessels — physicality is a really important part of being a human being. That’s a critical component to the process of creating a character. Being in your body is something ballet dancers understand.
Being committed physically is something you did for Kingdom. You can be committed to playing a doctor but you won’t be ready to go into surgery, yet on Kingdom, your training had you ready to walk into the ring and be an MMA fighter.
I was living that life. Actors are always toggling between “truth” and “truthful.” Everybody wants truth in their lives, but sometimes we have to settle for truthful, as an actor. Certain roles afford you the ability to get closer to truth, but it’s an actor’s responsibility to be the voice for at least truthful, as the bare minimum. No one’s gonna buy you as a fighter, if you don’t look like a fighter.
That must’ve been a tremendous commitment.
I like tremendous commitments and setting goals and achieving them, and discipline. I think my wife had a significantly more challenging time with what was required to keep and maintain Jake than I did; your mood is profoundly affected. When you hear about people who are imprisoned, they get out and the first thing they wanna do, they don’t care about revenge, they want to eat. That was very understandable for me at that point.
You’d been acting since you were so young, did you have a special bond with Nick Jonas when you were shooting Kingdom?
He’s a very important friend to me for a lot of reasons. I would say when you have been through the crucible of this profession and the craft, you then realize you’re always in it. It provides a great deal of wisdom that you can’t buy. People who have stood with you, people you thought would who don’t, people you didn’t think would support you when things were tough but who end up being the most supportive, making money, losing money, fame, no fame, successful movies, bomb TV shows — it’s a business that provides these artificial highs and lows until after a certain point in time, you start to realize what’s really important. Those people who have that understanding can spot each other from across a crowded room. I feel that way about Nick, and he’s had even more complicated experiences than I have. Growing up in the business and getting to see it for as many years as we both have is certainly a connection that we both share — and we value.
Were there any older actors you’ve worked with who served as role models?
You learn early on there are many classrooms providing an education, not all of them academic, and the teachers are not always society’s notable ones. It’s not just the famous people, it’s the dolly grip sharing how they made a lot of money when they were young, but now their back and knees are gone but they can’t do anything else because they didn’t take a larger perspective on their life.
I wanna have people say, when I die, that I was able to honor different kinds of people and reflect honestly a variety of worlds, or a host of experiences. So, if I could bring that authentic light and shine it in those places or on those people, it’s exciting to me. I don’t see the world in blacks and whites. The more educated I am on certain topics, the less clear they become. What ends up becoming immutable are certain themes in terms of how I want to live my life, rather than unequivocal truths about kinds of people or certain political topics or certain systems. What I’m looking for is truth, and I find that characters that interest me are significantly more complicated than people think they are — sometimes more than even the writer thinks they are — and I’m interested in that sort of dynamic.
You’ve been in the industry long enough to see the push for diversity. Would you agree that Westworld is an example of a show that is diverse, and organically so?
Westworld was diverse before this was a national conversation, or at least a business conversation, and I think it’s a really important point to share because diversity, just throwing around “diversity” as a cultural token does a disservice, rather than trying to address in a meaningful way a system that hasn’t been able to offer the same sort of opportunities to groups of people that it should.
It also comes from the system that [Westworld creators] Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have created and cultivated, which is, “How do we mentor different and unique voices and support and guide them?” versus trying to plug holes for the sake of optics. The business has a lot to offer every culture, every faith, every skin color, every economic background, we’re all storytellers.
Being on Westworld thrust you into the realm of a series where storylines are top-secret. Are you good at keeping secrets?
I like secrets. As an actor, you never want to tell anyone anything about your work. Your experiences are bifurcated between work and employment — you’re oftentimes working more than you’re employed. People say, “What’s going on?” What, are you gonna tell them about all the auditions you went on that you probably won’t get? About the movie that’s coming together that probably won’t come together? So, I’m pretty good about being tight-lipped. I might not even talk about it when it comes out — I’ll let you see it. I’ve sat next to people that have been cut out of movies and they had a great role and we’re at the premiere. [Laughs] It’s like — just keep your mouth shut.
Can you keep your mouth open about Charlie’s Angels?
There’s something great about making a movie that’s simply a lot of fun, about three very talented young actresses kicking ass. It doesn’t need to say anything more than that. A great movie stands on its own, so if it happens to be about three young women doing things that we typically expect only three young males to do, I think that sends a greater message than having to explain to everybody what the message is.
Your character in that seems thrillingly without merit as a human being.
I would say certainly without merit, but not without a clear intention. [Laughs] I think I was cast as the manifestation of violence against women.
How was director Elizabeth Banks, who also acts in the film, to work with?
She’s pretty, pretty outstanding. I’ve known her for quite a few years, so when this opportunity came we jumped on the phone and I said, “I’m gonna send you a text of what I think this character looks like, aesthetically speaking,” and she said, “You’ve gotta be kidding, check your texts,” and she had sent me the same model — different picture, but the same very distinctive model, so we were on the same page from the jump.
You’ve been in so many things, I don’t think there is a type that screams “Jonathan Tucker character.” Is there a role you’ve played to which you most relate, that’s closest to you?
I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me that. It’s kind of like: you’re a pitcher, you have a certain kind of pitch you know you’re really good at, and you have a strike box you know you’re guaranteed to get an umpire to call a strike in, and you’re trying to work the corners a whole bunch. You’re always you, but if it’s not a strike, then at least you attempted it.
Being scared to throw in the corners, being scared of being unsuccessful with the choices you’re making as an actor is the death of a good actor. You have to be willing to throw a few balls or have that errant pitch.
Are you an actor who enjoys photo shoots, like the one you did for Iris Covet Book?
You gotta commit to those things. You’re relying on the team so you can walk in there and just jump. You wanna commit to things in your life. If you’re not willing to do that, don’t show up.
Sweatshirt by Private Policy, Boots by DSquared2
Jacket by Lacoste
On Valentine – Vest by Prada, Pants by Adidas x Alexander Wang, Jeans by MSGM, Shoes by DSquared2, Sweater by Z Zegna
On Jonny – Pants by Z Zegna, Sneakers by Adidas x Raf Simons, Vest by Vintage Martin Margiela, Jacket by Vintage Nike
On Valentine, Jacket by DSquared2, Long Jacket by Public School available at East Dane, Shorts by Prada, Leggings by Asics, Socks and Shoes by Prada
On Nadia – Coat by Off-White, Bodysuit Stylists Own, Earrings by DSquared2, Shoes by Y-3
Jacket by Lacoste, Skirt and Belt by Versace, Socks by Prada
On Valentine – Shirt by Stella McCartney, Coat by Z Zegna, On Nadia – Shirt by Versace, Hat by Prada, On Jonny – Shirt by Prada, Jacket by Adidas x Alexander Wang, Mesh Shirt is Vintage Helmut Lang, Pants by DSquared2
Bottom: On Pietro– Underwear by Emporio Armani
Photography by Greg Swales | Styling by Marc Sifuentes | Models.Trevor Signorino @ Next New York, Pietro Baltazar @ Next New York,
Thom Gwin @ Soul Artist Management, Augusta Alexander @ Soul Artist Management, Tomas Skoloudik @ Heroes Models
Right: On Augusta– Necklaces by Coach 1941
Bottom Left: On Augusta–Shirt by Vivienne Westwood.
On Augusta– Shirt and Trousers by Versus Versace
Top Left: On Augusta–Shorts by Moschino.
Top: On Thom– Jacket and Shirt by Thom Browne.
On Tom–Jacket, Shirt, Cumberbun and Trousers by Tom Ford.
Top Left: On Augusta–Tank Top and Speedo by Moschino.
Top Right: On Pietro–Trousers and Shirt by Kenzo.
Groomers: Austin Burns using Oribe (Augusta and Trevor), Gianluca Mandelli using Kerastase (Thom and Tomas), and Wendi Miyake (Pietro) Art Direction by Louis Liu, Editor-in- Chief Marc Sifuentes, Production by Benjamin Price, Stylist Assistant Justin Dahlgren, Production/ Photo Assistant Lavoisier Clemente.
Photographer: Justice Apple @justiceapple | Stylist: Isaiah Walls @theisaiahwalls
Producer: Tarayn Sanders @taraynsanders | Groomer: Samantha Tobin @samjomakeup
Models: Christian Dion: @we_staycoolin, Levi Berlin @levithejedi
Christian wears Suit by 5000
Levi wears shirt by Comme des Garcons
Christian wears Jacket by 5000
Photography by Eric White | Styling by Donte McGuine |Model Cordell Broadus | Production by Sahtia Rivers at the Jeffries Group | Grooming by Marcelo Gutierrez
Coat by ICOSAE at ODD92, Sweater and Shirt by Faith Connexion, Pants by Calvin Klein, Shoes and hat by Dior Homme
Cordell Broadus, son of Hip-Hop legend Snoop Dogg and a former football star, has made his entrance onto the global fashion stage. Collaborating with Joyrich, walking the Philipp Plein show, and being tapped to star in the MCM campaign – Cordell Broadus is a name on the rise. Blessed with dashingly good looks and a charming smile, not to mention star-studded genetics, it is no wonder that he has taken the fashion sphere by storm. Cordell Broadus took us on a trip through Brooklyn while donning some of the men’s wear season’s best. Take a step into the world of Cordell Broadus in this Iris Covet Book exclusive.
How does your experience in the fashion world differ from what your life was like as an athlete?
Everything is different – it’s different in every way… In football it’s all about the team, traveling, and a group mindset. Fashion is more individual and it’s about expressing yourself.
What has been the most exciting development in the fashion world? (ex. Diversity, gender fluidity, etc.)
ME! I’m an exciting development in the fashion world [laughs]. I really feel like I am because I was only considered a football player, people associated me with the football or the music industry. Now, my identity has changed and the way people see me has changed. I’ve lost over 25 pounds and dyed my hair red! That’s development.
How would you describe your personal style?
Funky. I like outfits that remind me of different eras. I love the ‘70s and the ‘80s. The collection I’ve created with Joyrich is very loud and colorful, like the ‘80s.
Who are your biggest sartorial influences?
James Brown. Self-explanatory.
You’ve recently been chosen to star in MCM’s campaign, how did you feel when you were chosen and what does the MCM brand mean to you?
It was kind of crazy when I heard they wanted me for the campaign. The campaign images are so cold – that shit was fire. Growing up, MCM was big in LA. Now I’m working with them in my new career path, so it’s deeper than just a picture.
Tell us about your runway experience with Philipp Plein.
Man, that shit was so lit! I walk out on the runway and Future is performing, all my homies are in the crowd making noise. I felt like a rockstar. Then when I turn around my grandfather, Poppa Snoop, is walking out. It was a grandfather-grandson moment that I’ll never forget. I really want to thank Philipp Plein for making all that possible and for having la familia involved.
Who is your dream collaboration and why?
Willow Smith. I love that she shows how vulnerable she is through her work.
Which do you prefer, New York or LA? Why?
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I’ve always been fascinated with real estate and the life of Conrad Hilton. I’d love to own a hotel. Cordell Broadus: real estate mogul, ya dig?
What problems do you see in the fashion industry and how do you think the “New Generation”, a tribe you dubbed on Twitter, can help address these issues?
I’m a positive person, I try not to see negativity, but the fashion industry can improve on it’s diversity on every level; I mean representing different genders, sexual orientation, race… everything. Inclusivity is everything to me. I’m all about the New Generation and giving young people a voice and a creative platform. I remember my first day of 5th grade at a new school… I didn’t know who to sit with at lunch. I had no friends. I didn’t know anybody, so I just followed these two kids the whole way so it didn’t look like I was by myself! [Laughs]. Every time they’d turn to look back at me – I’d feel so awkward! [Laughs] I don’t ever want anybody to feel like that. Everyone needs a seat at the table. I feel like that’s what the New Generation is going to bring to all platforms, not just to fashion.
When designing for Joyrich, where do you look for inspiration? What inspires you now?
I look for people who shaped the culture. My dad truly influenced hip-hop and I wanted to start with something inspired by hip-hop culture first. I’m excited for the Joyrich collab that will drop in January.
What are your thoughts about the recent outcry for equality and addressing abuse allegations both in Hollywood and in fashion?
I think #TimesUp. I’m inspired by and proud of the women and individuals who speak out in every industry, not just ones in the spotlight. I really want to support them and all women. I’m all about empowerment. Let’s make this a revolution.
Who is your biggest hero?
Muhammed Ali. I related to his decision to not go to the Vietnam War. He threw out all of his titles because overall none of that stuff meant anything to him. People thought I was crazy for quitting football my freshmen year, even though I had so much potential and probably would end up making it to the NFL. I thought it was more important to follow my heart and what I believe in. Muhammed Ali did the same – he shaped our culture and broke boundaries. He’s my hero. He was at my last high school football game, he watched me score two touchdowns in the National Championship, that’s all I needed. Now we’re finna walk these runways, take these pictures, and shoot these movies. Ya dig?
Top by Y/Project at ODDBK92
Special thanks to Patrick Meijer and Kendall Werts @ The Jeffries Group
Cheyenne Jackson is a master of his own destiny. From sleepy Spokane, Washington, to the lights of Broadway, and now in the luxe hills of Hollywood, Jackson has scaled the ladder of success to become a leading man on stage and in film.
Photography by Karl Simone | Grooming by Lacy Boughton | Interview by Benjamin Price
Sweater by Gucci and Coat by Firetrap
Cheyenne Jackson is a Grammy-nominated singer, actor, and songwriter who, as a musician, dancer, artist, writer, husband and father of twins, is the definition of a “Renaissance Man”. Cheyenne has starred in a litany of noteworthy television shows, theatre productions, and films including the American Horror Story series, the critically acclaimed The Most Happy Fella in New York City, and David West Read’s play The Performers opposite Henry Winkler, Ari Graynor, and Alicia Silverstone. His performance in Steven Soderbergh’s award-winning Behind The Candelabra, with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, was multi-layered and added a new dimension to his on-screen acting reel. Whether it is singing and dancing onstage, or marrying Lady Gaga in a demonic hotel in American Horror Story: Hotel, Mr. Jackson brings new life to each character he plays.
Cheyenne will soon be on our television screens once again as one of Ryan Murphy’s elaborately crafted characters on American Horror Story: Cult, a new comedy series entitled American Woman, and he continues to work on his own writing, music, and an upcoming project in animated voiceovers.
In addition to all his artistic accolades, Jackson is fully immersed in several charities focusing on a variety of social issues. Cheyenne is a strong advocate for LGBT rights, marriage equality, animal welfare, and HIV/AIDS research. He is an international ambassador for The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and serves as the national ambassador and spokesperson for The Hetrick-Martin Institute and the Harvey Milk High School. Jackson also actively supports “The Trevor Project” and the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Cheyenne Jackson sat down with IRIS Covet Book to discuss his journey as a small town boy on Broadway, our current political discourse, and dressing up as Wonder Woman.
How did your professional path as an actor take you from regional theatre in Seattle to the Broadway stage?
I had never had the guts to make the move to NYC up until 9/11 happened… and I didn’t want to waste any more time in my life. I was 27 years old at the time, which is considered late to be “starting”, I knew it was now or never. I decided to head to New York City because it is the home of Broadway. I was determined, I was prepared, and I was lucky. My first broadway audition was for Thoroughly Modern Millie and I booked it. I was on Broadway after six weeks of being in NYC. I was in the ensemble, was understudy to the two male leads, and it was heaven!
How did you make the jump from the theatre stage to television?
Tina Fey came and saw me in a production of DAMN YANKEES at the New York City Center when I was starring alongside Sean Hayes and Jane Krakowski, and she asked to meet me afterward. She said she liked my “big midwestern face” and my comedic timing, and I joined the cast of 30 Rock a few months later. It was the most amazing four years of comedy and television training. Baptism by friendly fire, as it were.
How young were you when you knew you wanted to be performing? Were there any signs as a child that you would be in the entertainment world?
As young as I can remember. I sang from the time I was 2 years old, and I knew music would be a big theme in my life. By the time I was 7 years old I was making my own Wonder Woman bracelets and tiaras out of cardboard, so there were signs that entertainment was in my future.
What is your favorite movie/musical and why?
It has to be Mary Poppins because it’s perfect and it reminds me of being a little kid when everything was safe and worry-free.
When your agent offers you a script or an audition, how do you decide which roles work for you?
For me, it is definitely a gut feeling that I need. If I find myself reading the material out loud rather than in my head, that’s usually a good sign. Then there is the logistics. I’m a new dad of twins so now I tend to pick things that will hopefully not take me away from them for too long. I took 6 months off to be a stay-at-home dad, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
You’ve had your time on the television screen, the stage, and the big screen, but is there a “dream role” that you would like to play?
I don’t think it’s been written yet. I’d love my own half hour dramedy series. Something that is topical, irreverent and funny. Like Veep on HBO.
Do you ever think of getting into the world of producing or directing?
I do sometimes. I love the whole process of film and television. I could definitely see myself pursuing something behind the camera at some point.
Speaking of behind the camera, how did you find yourself working with writer and producer Ryan Murphy on the American Horror Story series?
We met after he saw me in Xanadu on Broadway and he hired me for the second season of GLEE. We’ve worked together ever since. His mind is such a mystery to me, and I’m so thankful for him.
Can you tell us about your role in American Horror Story? What can we expect?
All I can tell you is my character’s name is Dr. Rudy Vincent and that I’m having a lot of fun this season. I’m sworn to secrecy, even in press, to give specifics, but I will say it was great fun to play a doctor. I learned a lot. It’s my third year on the show and it’s my favorite season so far.
Is there a dream actor that you would like to work with in your lifetime?
I’d love to have the opportunity to work on a project with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nicole Kidman, or Robert Downey Jr.
What has been one of your favorite collaborations in your career?
I have a few so far. It was great working on Behind the Candelabra with Michael Douglas, 30 Rock alongside Alec Baldwin, a pilot called The Onion News Network with Jeffrey Tambor, and an episode I had with Gwyneth Paltrow on GLEE. These are just a few of the highlights.
When not on set or rehearsing for a role, how do you like to spend your time?
With my kids and my husband in a big dog pile in our TV room. I love traveling and I love to be outside. My mom lives in Laguna so we spend time with her.
Last year you became a father of two, how have they changed your outlook on life? Is it what you expected?
I always knew I was going to be a father. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been certain of. When it finally happened it’s as if my life began when they were born. Cliché? Maybe. True? Absolutely. It’s just so profound. My work is still important to me but my perspective has changed…the urge to provide for my family is stronger than ever, but the insignificant stuff I used to sweat in my career means so much less now that I know what’s really important.
You met your husband during at an AA meeting you both were attending, how did you two help each other cope with addiction during this period?
We were both newly sober and definitely at turning points in our lives. We found each other when we needed each other the most. In life, we just have to help each other get through this life together. He’s a magnificent person.
What advice would you give someone struggling with alcohol addiction?
Reach out and get help. There is no shame in asking for help; in fact, asking for help and admitting you need help actually takes more bravery than anything else.
What began your involvement with amfAR and Hetrick-Martin institute? Can you tell us about that work and why these charities are close to your heart?
I became personally affected by the disease when a friend of mine was diagnosed with HIV. I felt a desire to get more involved and help in any way I could. I contacted amfAR and asked how I could help. The Hetrick-Martin Institute came to me and asked me to come tour their facility and meet with their team. I went on the tour and loved the work they were doing, and I’ve supported them ever since.
You are involved with over a dozen charities focusing on social issues which include LGBT rights, marriage equality, animal welfare, and HIV/AIDS research, why do you find it so important to give back in this way?
Because I know how lucky I am to have what I have and live where I live. Giving back gets me out of my head and helps me focus on something other than what’s going on with me. I need to be of service in order to feel good about myself; it’s as simple as that.
Given the current state of the world in politics, environmental concerns, social change, etc. what advice would you give to anyone who want to get involved in giving back to their communities?
If you want more peace of mind, more relaxation, more harmony in your head, you should do some charity work. Being of service is the best way to get out of your own way and get some much needed perspective in this crazy world.
With the rhetoric coming from the White House that trans people should not serve in the military and legislature that will allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, are you worried that the LGBTQ community is in serious jeopardy?
How could one not be when under this abhorrent man that is our president? But I have faith in our community, and what I do know is that all this has lit a fire in many people who were previously fairly politically dormant. People are more awake than ever.
As a member of the media, and of the gay community, what do you think is your responsibility to the country when Hollywood and the LGBTQ world are under fire?
The best defense is to live out louder than ever. I am an open honest person and I live it out loud. I’m a gay father and I’ve been out of the closet for 23 years. I have no secrets and I treat people the way I want to be treated, and that’s what Jason and I are teaching our children. Live through example. Be open. Be interested in others.
What is next for you and your career? More music? More film? Maybe something completely different?
American Horror Story: Cult airs September 5th. American Woman airs early next year on Paramount TV. I’d love to continue to work on great television shows and continue to tell stories. I would also love to make more music. I am going to start writing again; I have a lot more to say now. I will always be open to making movies. Currently, I am getting into voiceover work now as well. I’m shooting my first animated pilot next month and have had the opportunity to work with some of the best animated voiceover artists in the country. It turns out I have all these voices in me. Who knew?
What advice would you give to a young actor/singer who is trying to make it in Hollywood or on Broadway today?
Be open. Do your homework. Be kind. Get a thick skin. Don’t google yourself. Don’t be an asshole. Work on your mix. Get it strong and consistent. (Singers will know what I’m talking about!)
Full Look by Calvin Klein
Art direction Louis Liu | Grooming by Michael Fernandez | Editor in Chief Marc Sifuentes | Set Assistant Zack Woods