updated 01/23/2006 AT 11:10 AM ET
•originally published 01/23/2006 AT 1:00 PM ET
You never know where Alan Cumming will turn up next: He’s been on stage (in Cabaret, for which he won a Tony) and in films both indie (The Anniversary Party) and blockbuster (X2: X-Men United). These days, the Scottish actor is busy appearing on Showtime’s The L Word, promoting his eponymous fragrance and preparing to return to Broadway in Threepenny Opera. Cumming, who turns 41 on Jan. 27, talked with PEOPLE about his dreams of fatherhood and what really bugs him about Jennifer Aniston.
Who is your L Word character?
His name is Billy Blakey. He’s the new manager of (the bar) The Planet, and he makes it all fabulous, and then he gets to shag everybody. So it was really a laugh.
Do you watch much TV?
At home I don’t have it, but I watch it in hotels. One time there was a Project Runway marathon – I loved that. And I loved that (show) with Bobby Brown. I was in Florida once and it was a Bobby Brown marathon, and it was 1 in the morning and I was getting up at 5, but still, I had to watch it!
You talk openly about having a boyfriend. Do you think of yourself as brave?
I remember reading something about Jennifer Aniston saying, “I wasn’t defined by my relationship when I was in it, and I’m not now.” Well, stop talking about it so much then! I don’t define myself by my sexuality, but I’m not ashamed of it, and I certainly feel that I can talk it up and be proud of it.
Where do you want to be in five years?
I would like to adopt a child with my boyfriend. Straight people say there’s never a “right” time – I think that’s true. But you just work it out. I really want to be a parent, and inevitably I will be a gay parent, and I think I should do that sooner rather than later.
You’ll be back on Broadway in Threepenny Opera in April. Are you nervous?
A bit. I have huge issues about singing. It terrifies me.
And you’re editing a film you directed.
It’s called Suffering Man’s Charity. I play a man who takes in a writer and eventually kills him, publishes his novel and takes credit for it. David Boreanaz is the star, and it’s also got Anne Heche, Henry Thomas, Karen Black – she’s terrific – and Carrie Fisher.
You’re also doing voices for animated films?
I actually did one (Ant Bully) with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Nicolas Cage. You just do it on your own, and then discover who else is in it. I’m in a film with Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep and didn’t even know!
And you’ve got your fragrance, of course.
We have some new shower products: a shower gel called Cumming Clean, a body lotion called Cumming All Over and a soap called Cumming in a Bar.
How do people react to that racy use of your name?
It’s America in the time of George Bush. If you don’t get the joke, of if you’re trying to get Darwinism banned from your school, you’re not going to buy a soap called Cumming in a Bar.