THE AFFAIR: Joshua Jackson on the Show's Unique Format - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE AFFAIR: Joshua Jackson on the Show’s Unique Format

October 19, 2014 by  

the affair-featured

Showtime’s new series, THE AFFAIR, is unlike anything on television: yes, the show follows the unfolding of an affair — told via flashbacks while its two participants, Noah and Alison, are questioned individually about what led to someone’s death — but what viewers see is directly relating to how the two characters remember what went down. The slight (and occasionally, major) differences help make the drama a show you can’t look away from.

But Alison and Noah aren’t the only two characters whose story we’re seeing in THE AFFAIR: viewers are also introduced to their spouses, Cole and Helen, who we only know from what other characters observe.

I spoke with THE AFFAIR star Joshua Jackson (Cole) about the show’s unique format, playing a character who exists (as of now) solely in other people’s perspective, and more…

What struck me when I first watched the show was what I thought the series was in minute 15 of the pilot was wholly different from what I thought it was in minute 35. How much did you know about the show’s unusual structure before you got the script, and what ultimately made you want to be a part of this series?
Joshua Jackson: First off I read the script, and then I had a conversation with [THE AFFAIR co-creator] Sarah Treem, and she was very open about where she wants to go and what she thinks the dynamics of the people should be. It’s actually been a very collaborative experience in that way — she’s a very, very, very smart woman. She has a very distinct idea of where to go. But she’s also a willing collaborator, and we’re allowed to bring ideas to the table to allows us to make these humans as human as possible.

So I knew quite a bit going in, but the thing that hooked me was exactly that: when I read the script, I got through the first act, and I thought I knew who my heroes were, and when I got to the second act, I went, well, maybe not.

Have they shared with you whether we’ll get to see Cole’s point of view at any point?
JJ: There’s some debate. I think the show is better served by staying with those two points of view. As to whether they expand, that’s really Sarah’s call if we end up doing a second season. I think it’s stronger to stay in those two perspectives, but that’s my vote.

As an actor, how is it for you to solely be portraying a character through the lens of other characters’ perspective?
JJ: It’s not easy. It’s difficult, because if you’re inside of someone else’s perspective, and we really hold to the idea that you’re only in their perspective. So there are a lot of in-between moments that are off-camera, and that does add a certain level of difficulty. [But] more than anything, this is a show about people, and so when you’re in the scene, as long as the interaction is real, then everything else falls into place.

Like the final run of FRINGE, you’re also playing a grieving father here. While I imagine Cole won’t go to the lengths Peter did, what aspects of grief are you getting to play on this show that we may not have seen from you before?
JJ: It wasn’t so much the grief. It’s just the fact that these people are broken inside of their relationship, for something that was entirely outside of their control. And I’m sympathetic to it, even though they’re behaving poorly because of that grief, but they’re human. There are many people that can deal with that grief and not lash out to the people around them. So to me it’s very honest.

You mentioned Sarah is very collaborative, and you’ve always been someone who is interested in a show’s mythology. How much have they filled you on in the show’s bigger mysteries?
JJ: Yeah, Sarah is very collaborative, and she has a very clear idea of the show she wants to make. And I required that to come back to television, because I was enjoying my vacation. The story remains human. Some of the plotting as we go forward in the season becomes less important as you understand who these people are when it all happens, and who they all are to each other now, and how their story continues to grow. And that’s the importance of television: characters have to grow and learn from their mistakes, whatever the circumstances are, they have to be meaningful enough that they carry forward from episode-to-episode.

THE AFFAIR airs Sundays at 10 PM on Showtime.


Watch the First Episode of THE AFFAIR Now!
THE AFFAIR: Showtime Releases a New Teaser and Key Art
HOMELAND to Air 2-Hour Season Premiere, THE AFFAIR Debut Moved Up a Week

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Filed under #1 featured, The Affair


2 Responses to “THE AFFAIR: Joshua Jackson on the Show’s Unique Format”

  1. Jayne on October 19th, 2014 6:39 pm

    Thanks so much for the interview. Loving the show so far. It’s always great to hear what Josh Jackson has to say.

  2. Mohammad Landquist on March 21st, 2015 7:26 am

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