Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Joshua Jackson Says Criticisms of 'The Affair' 'Legitimate,' Addressed in Season 2

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Joshua Jackson Says Criticisms of 'The Affair' 'Legitimate,' Addressed in Season 2

Article excerpt

Joshua Jackson on addressing criticisms of 'The Affair'


TORONTO - Donald Sutherland was once asked if there was a painful memory he drew upon when shooting a scene calling for tears. The veteran Canadian actor said he just cast his mind back to "Blue Monday," Oct. 19, 1981. That was the day a ninth inning home run by L.A. Dodgers' slugger Rick Monday knocked Sutherland's beloved Montreal Expos out of their only shot at the World Series.

Joshua Jackson admits he, too, has a couple of touchstones he uses when called upon to show hurt, anger and sorrow -- emotions he must show over and over again this season on "The Affair." The award-winning Showtime drama airs Sunday nights on The Movie Network/Movie Central.

Jackson plays Cole Lockhart, whose marriage ends after his wife Alison (Ruth Wilson) has an affair with a writer named Noah (Dominic West). Noah's marriage to Helen (Maura Tierney) is also destroyed by the infidelity.

The two divorces take their toll on all four characters, but Cole seems especially lost and wounded early in season 2. Jackson, in Toronto this week to promote the series, says his touchstones for sorrow have changed over the years, "because I find if you go there too often, they lose their power."

The Vancouver-native didn't spell out which memories bring the tears for him, but he could borrow Sutherland's trick and take the sports shortcut to sorrow. The way his Canucks lost in the 2011 Stanley Cup final is "unforgivable," says Jackson. "I went through all the stages -- grief, anger, even denial."

Jackson, who won a best actor Genie Award for the 2008 Canadian indie feature "One Week," has enjoyed some of the best reviews of his career for "The Affair." His life changed in 1998 when he was cast as Pacey Witter on the popular teen drama "Dawson's Creek." He spent another five seasons on the Fox sci-fi series "The Fringe."

He admits crying on cue has been a struggle in the past. As he says, "Boys are told they don't cry."

What makes it easier on "The Affair," he finds, are the scripts, many penned by series co-creator Sarah Treem.

"When the words are right," he says, "when it's really well written, the emotions flow out of the scene and you don't have to work that hard. …

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