†Joshua Jackson: An Independent Made in Canada
†By Lisa Johnson
Juliette Lewis & Joshua Jackson from the film Aurora Borealis.
Photographs by George Kraychyk
Because Joshua Jackson was born in Canadian Hollywood
-- Vancouver -- and his mother was a casting director, itís
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 Dawsonís 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. kidsí 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,
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. Youíre from Canada.
Have you ever seen them?
Jackson: I have seen them, but not in Canada.
I live in Vancouver, so Iím
too far south, but I did see them in Iceland a couple years
IFA: How do the
Northern Lights relate to the film?
Jackson: Theyíre metaphorical. Duncanís
grandfather needs to believe that he sees them, because for him it
becomes the icon of his mental rectitude. Wow, thatís a heavy
sentence. But my character needs to believe his grandfather sees
them because he doesnít want to see his grandfatherís
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
thatís very touching, and a true way people deal with each
other. Weíre 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
didnít strap on the skates. We played floor hockey.
Donít test me like that. Originally in the script it was ice
hockey, but for one reason or anther we couldnít do ice, so
we ended up playing floor hockey.
IFA: Did you grow up
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 doesnít play hockey is kind of lame,
itís not good. Itís an uncomfortable place to be.
IFA: Youíve been
doing independents lately Ė there was Cursed, and now Aurora
Well, Cursed wasnít 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:
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. Heís 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 heís also just a good man to work with.
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.
Find out more†