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The Performers - Broadway

Cheyenne Jackson and Henry Winkler star in David West Read's new comedy.

The Performers Pair Cheyenne Jackson and Ari Graynor Drink and Dream About Their Lives as Porn Stars

The Performers Pair Cheyenne Jackson and Ari Graynor Drink and Dream About Their Lives as Porn Stars
Cheyenne Jackson & Ari Graynor photographed by Matt Hoyle for the Winter Bar issue of 'Time Out New York'
'The Performers' officially opens on November 14.

Cheyenne Jackson and Ari Graynor are currently heating up the stage as married porn stars Mandrew and Peeps, respectively, in the new Broadway comedy The Performers. So what would the actors' own porn star names be if they ever chose to extend their acting abilities to the adult film world? 

"Mine is Conan Meadows," Jackson told Time Out New York, using the common porn name equation of combining the name of your childhood pet with the street you grew up on. "I think he would be an ex-football player, not so bright," the actor humorously mused on his alter-ego's backstory. "Before that he worked at a Dairy Queen, and somebody asked him to enter a hot-body competition, and he got a lot of attention. He thought 'I can't play sports anymore, so I'll dance,' and that segued into porn."

Graynor, who used the same name equation to settle on Yaya Highledge, likes to think her porn-star-self would have taken a more calculated path to the industry. "She was an intellectual, and she got upset that there wasn't more accesible porn for women," Graynor said, imagining Highledge's life. "She entered the porn world as an entrepeneur and started a company that made porn for women, which is just really hot sex with good-looking people, nothing too outrageous."

For now though the actors are having plenty of fun sticking to their jobs as Broadway actors. "Peeps is probably my favorite character I've ever played," Graynor said. "She has no filter and is just all vulnerability and love." Jackson also had great things to say about his character, noting, "He is so passionate. He really thinks [porn] is a true art form. He thinks he's like Steven Soderbergh. This is the boldest, most naked character, emotionally and physically, that I've ever played."

Audiences should have no problem getting on board with that, but just how much nudity are we talking here, Cheyenne? "We’ve made a conscious decision to not talk about how naked I get," Jackson teased, "but suffice to say that the people who come to see that [aspect] will be satisfied. I think it’s important to have some kind of air of mystery about it."

The Performers opens at the Longacre Theatre on November 14. 

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