- Photography by Mr Kurt Iswarienko | Styling by Ms Gaelle Paul
- Words by Mr Mike Hodgkinson
Mr Joshua Jackson is going wild in the garden restaurant at Chateau Marmont: the Hollywood debaucher's hotel of preference. Under the balconies where former resident Mr Terence Stamp habitually performed a morning routine of naked yoga, at the foot of the drainpipes once scaled against all good judgment by Mr Jim Morrison, next to the lobby through which Led Zeppelin infamously careened on motorbikes, Mr Jackson is really pushing the envelope.
His wildness, however, is not hedonistic, despite the storied location: it's conceptual. "Right now, the things that we're capable of doing will seem like pure magic to any other generation that ever walked the face of the earth," says the 35-year-old Canadian-American actor, talking ten-to-the-dozen about the transformative impact of radical technologies. "We're also going to make the future unrecognisable to the people who are already on the planet. From an evolutionary standpoint, we're moving into this pure information world. And I find that fascinating."
Mr Jackson, you might suspect, is simply detoxing after five seasons on cult sci-fi series Fringe - The X-Files for Generation Y - which aired its 100th and final episode in January and explored a host of wild ideas including transhumanism, the technological singularity and parallel universes. In fact, he's genuinely interested in science, futurism and all related subjects. Technology, for Mr Jackson, is the new rock'n'roll.
I only realised that my behaviour as a
teenager was shocking once I left my
group of friends and started telling my
stories. I'd see the blood drain from
people's faces - who is this hooligan?
I don't want to be too utopian about it, because it feels as if we're one horrible thing from it all going tits up," he continues, barely pausing for a swig of iced tea. "But it seems that we're living in this tremendous era."
Over the course of a digressive conversation, during which Mr Jackson references cubism, the relativity theory and digital biology, memories of the child actor who secured his first major break alongside Mr Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks (1992) - and proved himself a worthy heir to the Brat Pack dynasty of the 1980s in Dawson's Creek - seem more hazy than usual. In this light, his successful graduation from millennial teen drama to London's West End (in a 2005 production of Mr David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre) is not so surprising. Mr Jackson has a genuine thirst for knowledge, and he clearly enjoys a challenge.
"I did three or four films in the first year after Dawson's, and I was frankly kind of burnt out. Just knowing that the opportunity [to act in the West End] was there, I could feel my guts clench, and I knew that that's what I had to be doing. Everything else at that point wasn't pushing or intimidating me to that degree. That's why I did it."
His co-star in the play was veteran Shakespearean actor and star of the X-Men movie series, Sir Patrick Stewart. "I was at his tender mercies and he really helped me," says Mr Jackson. "He's a lovely man, but he's definitely not a luvvie. In fact, if he heard you call him a luvvie you might catch a cuff. He's a bit of a hard man."
A Life in the Theatre
From left: Sir Patrick Stewart and Mr Jackson on stage in Mr David Mamet's comedy at the Apollo Theatre, London, 2005
From left: Messrs Jackson and Emilio Estevez star in the 2006 biopic about the assassination of Senator Robert F Kennedy
From left: Messrs Ryan Phillippe and Jackson in the 1999 film based on Mr Choderlos de Laclos' novel Le Liaisons Dangereuses
Mr Jackson (far right) played Pacey Witter in six seasons of the drama alongside (from left) Ms Katie Holmes, Mr James Van Der Beek and Ms Michelle Williams
AND OFF SCREEN
The actor and his girlfriend, Ms Diane Kruger, LA, July 2013
This throwback notion that an actor's physical presence can go deeper than skilful pretence - widely accepted during the heyday of cultured bruisers such as Messrs Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen and Sir Sean Connery - is not lost on Mr Jackson. He stands a solid 6'2" and has chalked up his fair share of youthful, red-blooded scrapes. "I wasn't a hard man, but I definitely went very hard when I was a young man. I only realised that my behaviour as a teenager was shocking to people once I left my group of friends and started telling my stories around the dinner table. I would see the blood drain from people's faces - who is this hooligan?"
Raised mainly in Vancouver, after spells in the western US, Mr Jackson gravitated towards the edges of pop culture. "When I was a kid I was part of the punk tribe. My group of friends were all kids from broken homes. And I guess we were a band of outsiders. We ran the gamut from my friend George, who was a died-in-the-wool Marxist socialist, to the grunge kids."
Back then, he remembers, fashion was a delineating social statement. "I don't think that's the case any more. It seems to me that the tribe idea has fallen by the wayside. Bankers are wearing Ed Hardy shirts - they've left their tribe behind. It's an odd time to be a man really. We live in a funny era where every rebellious thing has been mainstreamed. You can really pick out of anything in the grab bag."
Mr Jackson recently attended New York's Met Ball, which celebrates the opening of the Metropolitan Museum's fashion exhibition at the Costume Institute, with his girlfriend Ms Diane Kruger (National Treasure, Inglourious Basterds). "The theme of the ball - the biggest fashion thing in the world - was punk. It seems impossible to marry those two ideas together. And I guess that's where we are now."
With a final slug of iced tea, the champion of wild concepts dials it down a notch, with a nod to his own restrained sense of style. "I guess I like sort of classic men's stuff, rather than anything too current," he admits. "Not pushing the envelope too much."