“The Affair” was one of the more unusual TV shows to premiere in the last year, seeing as it was told from the shifting perspectives of two participants in an affair, Noah (Dominic West) and Alison (Ruth Wilson).
The series played with audience expectations about who was telling the truth, while also showing differing versions of how Noah’s wife Helen (Maura Tierney) and Ruth’s husband Cole (Joshua Jackson) reacted to what was happening.
The show returns this Sunday, with a new twist: We’re now also going to be seeing events from Cole and Helen’s perspective as well. Wetalked to Joshua Jackson about how Cole will be dealing with betrayal.
Where do we find Cole at the beginning of the season?
We find him in a not very good place. The aftermath of everything that went down last year has left him kind of bereft.
Will he start to come out of it as the season goes on?
The journey for all the characters in the second season is dealing with the, ‘Holy s—, what do we do now?’ So each one of them has their own version of that. His version is essentially to start from a totally clean slate in life with no attachments and no hope and no future and no past and just figure out who the hell he wants to be.
Well, it’s not the worst thing to get a chance to start over.
It’s not a path that anybody would choose for themselves. I guess in a life that’s going to happen every once in a while, though it happened pretty spectacularly for him. [Laughs]
Is it exciting as an actor to get to show Cole’s perspective?
One of the things that was challenging as an actor in the first year for myself and Maura, for everybody who was outside of their own perspective, was being essentially a memory. That was fun and interesting and you get to paint in broad strokes, but it’s nice to be able to go inside of Cole’s perspective now, because we all see ourselves as more competent in ways that we’re not, and more frail in ways that maybe we’re not. And so you get to have a sense of his own sense of his weakness and insecurity and all of those things that make us human, which you didn’t really get a sense of last year. He was always very strong and very direct and very composed. It’s nice to be able to break all that stuff down and speak to how he feels on the inside.