Cheyenne Jackson is adding producer to his resume. The actor and singer has quietly launched a production company, Shiny Boy Entertainment, with his husband Jason Landau, the couple exclusively tells me.
Their first project is “Brutal,” director Sam McConnell and writer Nicolas Citton‘s comedy short about a news anchor (Jackson) who acquires a leaked sex tape of a longtime U.S. senator. The cast also includes Rachael Harris (“Lucifer”), Angelica Ross (“Pose”), Johnny Sibilly (“Queer as Folk”), Drew Droege (“Search Party”) and Matthew Morrison (“Glee”). “Brutal” will premiere June 18 at Frameline in San Francisco followed by additional festival screenings throughout the summer.
Jackson came on as a producer of “Brutal,” a co-production with Julie Christeas of Tandem Pictures, after McConnell offered him the lead role. “We’re using ‘Brutal’ as a proof of concept. We think it would be a great series kind of in the vein of ‘Veep,’” Jackson says.
Jackson and Landau, a merchandising and branding executive, married in 2014. They are parents to five-year-old twins Willow and Ethan.
Shiny Boy started to come together about a year ago.
“We’ll be watching a show or movie together and we’ll both have the same note about a scene,” says Jackson.
Landau says, “Like just last night, we were watching something and we stopped a scene and were like, ‘OK, if we were writing the scene, this is what’s missing. Why people didn’t get it is because this didn’t happen or that didn’t happen.’”
They eventually realized they may be on to something bigger than just couch critiques. “Jason kept saying, ‘We need to do something together. We need to work together,’” Jackson says. “I was a little reticent because…”
Jason interjects, “Because we want to stay married.”
But their working relationship is moving along quite nicely. “We have about three or four projects in various stages of development, some that we’re writing from scratch and some that we acquired from people,” Jackson says.
“We see that there’s a hole missing in how people tell stories and in what stories are being told,” Landau says. “The bottom line is we’re both truth seekers.”
Jackson says his “Call Me Kat” co-star and producer Mayim Bialik has been an inspiration. “Especially watching her write, direct and produce her first feature while being an executive producer and a co-star, I started to think, I can do that,” he says.
Jackson’s credits also include “Julie and the Phantoms,” “Watchmen,” “American Horror Story,” “30 Rock” and “Glee.” He earned Drama Desk Award nominations for his work in Broadway’s “Xanadu” and “Finian’s Rainbow.”