Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson: An Independent Made in Canada

Original Interview:
August 30, 2006 – By Lisa Johnson
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The IFA presents an exclusive interview with the amazing Joshua Jackson who’s film career began before he was a year old, when he appeared in The Changeling with George C. Scott.

Because Joshua Jackson was born in Canadian Hollywood — Vancouver — and his mother was a casting director, it’s no surprise that his film career began before he was a year old, when he appeared in The Changeling with George C. Scott. The blue-eyed actor is probably best known for his mercurial role of Pacey Witter on the popular TV series Dawson’s Creek, but he also has quite the cinematic resume. It includes starring as Charlie in all three Mighty Ducks films, playing Blaine Tuttle in Cruel Intentions, appearing in the Warner Bros. kids’ film Racing Stripes, and starring opposite Christina Ricci in the poorly marketed Cursed. Then there are his stage credits, foremost of which is his recent stint opposite Patrick Stewart in A Life in the Theater in London. Jackson has two big indies on the horizon, Aurora Borealis, in which he takes on the role of the troubled grandson of an aging infirm played by Donald Sutherland, and Bobby, which about to make its way to the Toronto Film Festival. Bobby centers on the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and 22 people who were in the Ambassador Hotel at the time. It was written and directed by Emilio Estevez, who also stars. The luminous cast includes Laurence Fishburn, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Nick Cannon, Shia LeBeouf and Harry Belefonte, among others, so Jackson is in good company.

IFA caught up with Jackson shortly before the release of Aurora Borealis. He spoke about his most recent film, Canada, hockey, and big studio films vs. independents.

IFA: The Northern Lights–Aurora Borealis. You’re from Canada. Have you ever seen them?

Jackson: I have seen them, but not in Canada. I live in Vancouver, so I’m too far south, but I did see them in Iceland a couple years ago.

IFA: How do the Northern Lights relate to the film?

Jackson: They’re metaphorical. Duncan’s grandfather needs to believe that he sees them, because for him it becomes the icon of his mental rectitude. Wow, that’s a heavy sentence. But my character needs to believe his grandfather sees them because he doesn’t want to see his grandfather’s degradation, so if he has to believe in the myth to believe in his grandfather, then he is willing to go to that place. I think that’s very touching, and a true way people deal with each other. We’re willing to forgive things, or not see personality traits of people that we love, because it would sort of tarnish our view of them as a whole.

IFA: You got to play hockey in this film. You do that a lot in your movies.

Jackson: Actually, in this one I didn’t strap on the skates. We played floor hockey. Don’t test me like that. Originally in the script it was ice hockey, but for one reason or anther we couldn’t do ice, so we ended up playing floor hockey.

IFA: Did you grow up playing hockey?

Jackson: No. I was born in Canada, but when I was two-years-old my family moved to Southern California, and then I was like 8 by the time I moved back. So I missed out on those core years, and I was a little bit of a latecomer to skating, Then, for The Mighty Ducks they taught me how to play hockey, so I played hockey all my teenage life, which was good, because being a Canadian who doesn’t play hockey is kind of lame, it’s not good. It’s an uncomfortable place to be.

IFA: You’ve been doing independents lately – there was Cursed, and now Aurora Borealis.

Jackson: Well, Cursed wasn’t an independent, but that movie went in a whole bunch of different directions.

IFA: Now you have a really big one coming up that will be at the Toronto Film Festival: Bobby.

Jackson: Yes, Bobby IS an independent. This film (Aurora Borealis) is sort of on a smaller scale than Bobby. Bobby is another independent film that got picked up by Miramax, so that will be coming out soon. But Cursed, which is the largest of all of them, lived up to its name.

IFA: How was it working with Emilio Estevez as a director?

Jackson: Just as wonderful as it was working with him as an actor. He’s a very, very conscientious, protective director. And a strong presence on set, so the visual elements, which everyone will see when the film comes out, are there, but he’s also just a good man to work with.

Jackson has indeed worked with a few good men, and women, on stage and on screens both big and small. The 28-year-old actor looks forward to working with many more in the future.

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