Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Jesse Tyler Ferguson on 'Modern Family,'film 'One Night Stand'
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The 4th Annual Chicago International Movies & Music Festival debuts this weekend, with a variety of events. One Night Stand is a feature documentary about the challenge of making four musicals in 24 hours for the Exchange, a nonprofit theater company.

Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, along with chanteuse Cheyenne Jackson, star in one of the segments (entitled "Dr. Williams"), where they play surgeons.

We talked with Ferguson about his role and the hope for an Emmy in his future.

Windy City Times: Hey, Jesse. This is perfect timing, I just watched you as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race last night.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: That worked out well. It was lots of fun to do.

WCT: I heard you are rooting for Sharon Needles or Latrice Royale.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: We filmed it so long ago that I didn't have a point of reference for anyone. My only exposure to them was that runway at the end of the episode, so I couldn't get a feel to what anyone was. Sharon scared me a little bit, but now I have grown to love her after watching the episodes before it. I think she is great.

WCT: How did you get involved with this musical idea One Night Stand?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: I had done other work with Ted Sperling, and he was one of the producers on it. I had always wanted to do it and it looked like a fun thing to do. I had friends who had done the 24 Hour Plays in the past and it seemed like a crazy, communal kind of experience. Being a musical-theater performer, I was one of the people that they wanted to work with. I got involved that way.

WCT: So this is something they had done with plays but not musicals?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: They had done it with plays for years before they started doing it with musicals. It had been a big success and they were not sure if they would be able to do it with a musical because there were so many other elements involved.

WCT: Were you scared to death? This was casting, writing, practicing and performing for a live audience, so it looked crazy.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Honestly, to learn a song and the harmonies and then choreograph it would take—for me, not being the quickest learner—a week. To have a handful of hours to put something together was really scary. The great thing about it was that you are doing it with four or five other actors who are just as talented and just as scared.

You get to share that experience with them and help each other through it. It is terrifying and extremely liberating at the same time because you have to throw out choices. You don't have time to really think about what are you going to do with this character and how to bring it to life. You have to throw yourself full throttle into it and do it. That is very liberating, actually.

WCT: Cheyenne sang so well.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: He is amazing. He learns music so fast so he carried us through a lot of that stuff. He was very patient, specifically with me, who is not the quickest learner. I am so grateful that we had him in our piece because he was the backbone for us, at least vocally.

WCT: Was this the first time you have played a surgeon?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Yes, my first—and last, I think.

WCT: Rachel Dratch from Saturday Night Live was in the documentary as well.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: She has done the 24 Hour Plays, so that is how she got involved. She has been working with them for a few years. We were hoping we would get paired together, which didn't happen. She was also in a really fun piece. It was fun freaking out with her because she is not totally comfortable doing musical theater, in general. At least I had done a Broadway musical, but she was new to that. It was terrifying for her on a whole other level.

WCT: Have you read her new book, Girl Walks into a Bar?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: I just ordered it on Amazon yesterday. She told me she would give me a copy but I wanted to pay for it.

WCT: Do you have a favorite musical of all time?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: I love Into the Woods. I'm a big Sondheim fan. She Loves Me also is another one I like. It is very good.

WCT: What are you doing on your time off from Modern Family?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: I am staying really busy. I am actually busier now than when I was working. At least when I was working I had a schedule of some places to be. Now, with weeks off, I am trying to catch up on all the stuff that I put off all year, everything from the dentist to getting tailoring done!

WCT: You recently did the Dustin Lance Black play, 8, for a stage reading.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Yes, I had very little to do in it because it was an ensemble piece. There were many amazing people taking small cameo roles. I was probably onstage for about 75 seconds, but it was a really great experience for such a great cause, too. It was to support the American Foundation for Equal Rights that is fighting for marriage equality. It was a fantastic fundraiser. The play resonated in a way that I was not expecting it to. I was afraid it would be a little dry, being court transcripts and all, but it was actually extremely entertaining, moving and very funny.

WCT: Are you married currently?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: No.

WCT: But you have a partner, Justin, so maybe one day…

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Yeah, maybe one day.

WCT: You have won an Actors Guild Award but we want you to win an Emmy for playing Mitchell Pritchett.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Well, listen, we have only gone through two Emmy Award seasons so we can't be too upset right now. It's not like I am Susan Lucci or something!

WCT: No, but to me it was like giving Laverne the award and not Shirley.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Aw, that is very sweet. The first thing Eric told me was that the award was ours together. "I will take it home but I couldn't have done the role without Mitchell." I think that is true of any of the couples on our show. They are one half of a pair. It is the partnership and the chemistry that make our cast work. You can't saw those Emmys in half. Unfortunately, Eric can't be nominated for best actress when I am nominated for best actor, which is a bit of sexism if you ask me.

WCT: My favorite is when you were dressed as Spider-Man on the Halloween episode.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: That was a lot of fun to do.

WCT: How long do you have before filming more Modern Family?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: I am on hiatus until August then I begin filming again. I just plan on relaxing, catching up on reading, and enjoying my summer.

WCT: I wish you could come to Chicago for this film festival and the screening of the documentary.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: I wish I could too, but tell everyone I said hi!

The Chicago premiere of One Night Stand is at the Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave., at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 15; admission is $7. Also, don't miss live performances during the festival, such as group Sister Spit, which includes transgender rapper Katastrophe. For more information visit .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

South Africa celebrates PrideTV's first anniversary 2017-09-20 - South Africa became the first African country to launch an LGBT network when PrideTV made it debut in August 2016. Since that ...

Gay News

Showbiz news: 'Will & Grace,' drag show, Mario Lopez, Rosie's ex dies 2017-09-20 - In addition to Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally returning to reprise their roles on Will & Grace, the cast ...

Gay News

Politics, diversity dominate Emmys 2017-09-18 - The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, held Sept. 17, was historic in several ways—and, with Stephen Colbert hosting, featured a mix of humor and ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Betty Thomas: Actress/director returns to Chicago 2017-09-06 - Second City is bringing the celebs to town to raise money for a good cause. "I Can't Believe They Wendt There: The Roast ...

Gay News

TELEVISION Vicki Gunvalson, Kelly Dodd serve some reali-tea 2017-09-05 - Bravo Channel's Real Housewives reality series premiered back in 2006 and became a worldwide hit. The Real Housewives of Orange County is currently ...

Gay News

Showbiz news: Laverne Cox, Logic, Gloria Estefan, 'Teen Wolf' 2017-08-29 - Laverne Cox casually dropped the news that Beyonce asked the Orange Is The New Black star to collaborate on a new project, The ...

Gay News

Showbiz news: George Michael, Oprah, Adore Delano, Imagine Dragons 2017-08-23 - George Michael—the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter who died last Christmas at 53—was honored in Los Angeles for his decades of humanitarian work with Project Angel ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION ChaCha dances down the 'Runway' 2017-08-23 - Lifetime Channel's Project Runway is entering into season 16 on Aug. 17. Thanks to host Heidi Klum and fashion mentor Tim Gunn, this ...

Gay News

Showbiz news: Stephen Amell, 'Empire,' Michael Stipe, 'Sense8' 2017-08-15 - Arrow star Stephen Amell has hit back at fans who left homophobic comments on his Facebook page, PinkNews reported. The TV star took ...

Gay News

Top US newscasts asked to shine a light on Chechnya's anti-gay abuses 2017-08-10 - A Media Matters study has found near silence on Chechen human rights abuses against queer men on evening cable and broadcast news. An ...


Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.