Joshua Jackson’s latest show, “The Affair,” wraps up its first 10-episode season Sunday night, but despite the series’ success and critical acclaim — including three Golden Globe nominations — he understands if you still think of other work he’s done when you see him. “Depending on where you are in the world, Pacey left a mark, and I’m 36 years old now. That’s a long time ago,” Jackson says of his breakout “Dawson’s Creek” role. “Frankly even before that, [there was] ‘The Mighty Ducks.’ Maybe not in the rest of the world but for Canada, I still walk around as the bearded old man that I am now and have 9-year-olds who are like, ‘Charlie! Oh my God, what’s going on?'”
It may seem jarring to hear a 36-year-old call himself an old man — and Jackson mentions his age often enough to suggest it’s on his mind a lot — but keep in mind his first “Mighty Ducks” film came out nearly 23 years ago. And “Dawson’s Creek”? Just celebrated its 16th birthday. “I look back on those years very fondly, and obviously that was a life-changing event for me. I was already a working actor, but now it was a career arc rather than something that I was a doing when I was a kid,” he says. “Yes, I do feel old sometimes.”
But with age comes wisdom, and for Jackson the 10-episode structure of “The Affair” — and the cable landscape in general — was a revelation. “As a man who’s done a lot of seasons of television and frankly just been working for a long, long time — I mean, this is my 25th year in the union, I can’t believe that’s true but it’s true — what is so lovely about doing 10 episodes is that just at the point which you’re tired and you want the season to be done, it’s done and then you can go out and live the rest of your life,” he says.
So what does living the rest of his life look like these days? “Well, right now I’m building a house. Diane and I are building a house so I am a foreman on a construction site,” he says, name-checking longtime girlfriend Diane Kruger. “The woman is key. Truly, I mean I’ve been with Diane now for eight and a half years, and the process of being in love and accommodating another human being in your space is important. This is the thing that I’ve learned that I enjoy most about being in love and having a partner is having somebody who shares your story for better and for worse, right? Somebody who has been there through all the moments: the ups, the downs, the sideways, the boring moments, the exciting moments.”
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