There will be a touch of Broadway at the 69th Emmy awards, as Christopher Jackson will honor the fallen stars in the ‘In Memoriam’ segment. Before the show goes on, get to know all about this ‘Hamilton’ superstar.
1. He originated the role of George Washington in Hamilton. Though many of television’s biggest stars will be in attendance at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 17, it will be Christopher Jackson’s job to celebrate those who aren’t there. The 41-year-old star of screen and stage will be tasked with performing the powerful In Memoriam segment, and considering that such icons like Alan Thicke, Florence Henderson, and more, it’s no easy feat. Thankfully, Christopher can get the job done. After all, this is the man Lin-Manuel Miranda, 37, hand-picked to first perform the role of George Washington in the smash-hit, Hamilton.
“Somewhere around the time I called Lin, and he said, “Hi, Mr. Washington.” “…Hello!” It was pretty much that,” Christopher told Theater Mania when discussing his part in the theatrical sensation. “I think it’s probably the most important thing, the most fun project, the most challenging project, that I’ve ever worked on.”
2. He’s also a television star. For those who couldn’t get tickets to Hamilton, fans might recognize Christopher from his recurring role of Chunk Palmer on the CBS series, Bull. Christopher plays a football player-turned-fashion stylist. “It’s theater of a different sort,” Christopher told Variety. “I’m fortunate that I’ve been on sets enough that it’s not like foreign territory. I’m very comfortable.” The second season of the show will premier on Sept. 26.
3. Christopher is an Emmy award winner. Since making his Broadway debut in 1997 with The Lion King, Christopher has had one incredible career. He performed with the New York City Opera before originating the role of Benny in Lin-Manuel’s first hit, In The Heights. In 2011, Christopher won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song For A Children’s Series, writing “What I Am” for Sesame Street.
“I keep my Emmy in my studio right next to a picture of my grandparents and my son CJ,” he told ShowTickets.com. “He used to come into my studio and grab my [microphone] and sing into it — no matter what I happened to be working on. I managed to snap a pic of him when he was about four years old and it became my favorite picture.”
4. Despite appearing confident and control, he deals with anxiety. “I struggle with insecurity,” he told ShowTickets “I’m sure there’s a deep-seated reason, but I’m not very good with remembering names and in some social situations, my anxiety level can get pretty high.”
5. His son was diagnosed with autism. Christopher and his wife, Veronica Vazquez-Jackson, learned that their song was autistic in 2007. “I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know where to go,” he told Playbill. “I’d never heard the word autism before.” Thankfully, the two discovered the Autism Speaks program, which helped them work through the challenges of CJ’s autism. Since then, he and Veronica have worked with the organism to raise awareness about the condition.
What do you think about Christopher, HollywoodLifers?