Life My Own Way

In Italy to receive the Golden Graal award for Best International Actor – Joshua Jackson talks about his new movie Ti “Vengo a Prendere” – The Shadow Dancer, a delightful comedy with Harvey Keitel set in our country. Dawson’s Creek is way in his past, and the 28 years old actor is looking at the future and at two new movies ready to premiere in the USA: Aurora Borealis with Donald Sutherland and Emilio Estevez’s movie based on Robert Kennedy’s murder, simply called Bobby.

Ti “Vengo a Prendere” – The Shadow Dancer shows that the character who made you famous (Pacey) is – somewhat – very ‘far’…

Type casting is the risk that every actor has to deal with, but at the same time, is our job to show–to be able to play different roles and different characters. I’d been on Dawson’s Creek from 18 till I was 24. Today I’m 28 and I’ve grown up not just in a professional way, but also physically. Sure, it’s not easy to “forget” the show, ’cause it aired worldwide. But for me, it is good to have this challenge in front of me, confront myself again with what I’ve done in the past and to show – or at least I hope to- that I’ve become someone else.

Regrets?

Not at all. I look in a very positive way at that experience that surely gave me chances to work again. I’m very grateful to who chose me for that character, but nowadays I need as an actor, to look ahead.

In Ti “Vengo a Prendere” – The Shadow Dancer you have some funny confrontations with Harvey Keitel. How was it to work with him, who doesn’t have an easy personality?

His presence is one of the main reasons why I wanted to make this movie. Working with actors such as Harvey and Donald Sutherland is a lucky privilege that doesn’t happen very often. Acting with them makes you learn a lot. I was happy enough when I made a single scene without being “annulled” by Harvey’s charisma. Harvey Keitel’s character is very interesting and I tried to show respect to him, as I showed respect to my “life teachers” and “career teachers” I met along the way.

An interesting experience…

That I repeated last year in London at West End where I worked with Patrick Stewart in A Life in the Theater, one of the first David Mamet comedies. The same theatre where Juliette Lewis is working now. I worked with her on Aurora Borealis.

Ti “Vengo a Prendere” – The Shadow Dancer gave you the chance to play another ambiguous character…

I think that the worst human being that I ever dealt with on my job was my character in Cruel Intentions. That being said, I think that- on screen- the good ones are kinda boring. I also think that if a character doesn’t make a “journey” during the movie length , what’s the meaning of it all? If you know that they are good and they start and end as good ones, in a two-dimensional way, the audience will get bored. Ti “Vengo a Prendere” – The Shadow Dancer for me is a kind of fairy-tale, but – generally speaking- ambiguity makes a character much more interesting and someone with whom I can relate easily. I don’t know who I’m quoting, but one thing is sure: ‘We are always better than the worst things we do. We all live ambiguous moments in our lives and make choices that when we looked back at those, were not so “pure”…’

Ti “Vengo a Prendere” is about a journey: towards what?

Literally towards Italy, practically towards being a better person. If I met my character at the beginning, a selfish guy, I may not like him. At the end of his journey I think he’s a much more interesting human being.

How do you look at your future?

In an optimistic way: it’s part of life and career, trying to move on, taking challenges on your job and solving personal problems. I try to move on knowing that I can’t always be successful and sometime I may fail. My goal is to keep the non-success rate always lower that the success one…

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