Joshua Jackson Opens Up About Sex & Blame in 'The Affair'
We’re always up for a sexy new drama on television, especially one that stars a small screen veteran hunk like Joshua Jackson, but The Affair brings an entirely new twist to the table.
Also starring Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, and Maura Tierney, the series explores the emotional and psychological effects of an extramarital affair, as told separately from the male and female perspectives.
JustJared.com recently caught up with the cast in New York City, where they opened up about sex, relationships, and how their show is bringing some much-needed truth to the age-old topic of infidelity.
“It’s always usually bullsh-t because sex is both totally satisfying, extremely passionate, super clumsy sometimes, occasionally funny, sometimes very angry – there’s all sorts of reasons,” Josh told us. “And if you put a narrative inside the act itself, suddenly the scene has a purpose beyond just getting people naked.”
See what else he and his castmates shared with us!
The Affair premieres TONIGHT, October 12 @ 10PM ET/PT on Showtime!
Click inside to read the rest of our interview with the cast…
On sex scenes in film and television:
Ruth: “There’s so much sex on TV and if you’re going to have sex scenes, tell a story within them. Have a narrative and build the characters, so it means something to the relationship and moves the whole story forward, rather than just being a sex scene for a sex scene’s sake, which often ends up being unbelievable. That’s what we try to do, I suppose, in each of the scenes, that they have some kind of journey within them.”
Josh: “If you’re asking what the biggest lie about sex is, is that it’s usually shot from a really childish perspective, almost from a pre-sexual perspective. You have the gauzy lights or extreme close-ups or the face of ecstasy on the woman. It’s always usually bullshit because sex is both totally satisfying, extremely passionate, super clumsy sometimes, occasionally funny, sometimes very angry – there’s all sorts of reasons. And like [Ruth said], if you put a narrative inside the act itself, suddenly the scene has a purpose beyond just getting people naked.”
Dominic: “You read a lot of scripts where they have mind-blowing sex the first time and it’s always…especially the first time. And what’s good about this is that their first time is a bit of a disaster. I wish we had taken that a bit further actually. I have a lot of experience in that. I could have brought a lot of that scene (laughs).”
On placing blame within an affair:
Dominic: “I was always keen that it wasn’t a cautionary tale. We were lucky to get quite a bit of rehearsals. It’s obviously much interesting if you can’t make easy choices about who’s right and who’s wrong. My character does a lot of things that aren’t very likable. And that’s what happens in affairs. People do horrible things to their loved ones and I think that’s why we hope it rings true.”
Ruth: “In this, we see the two versions – Allison putting herself in the center of justifying her actions and Noah doing the same thing. So in that way, you have a more sympathetic version and a less sympathetic version. The audience is constantly shifting between what the real truth is and if there is a truth.”
Josh: “Over the course of the story, I think the choice is constantly evolving of where the likeability or the moral center of the show would be. Because as they make these choices, both positive and negative…the subside of every negative choice they’re making is that it’s for love, which is quite a powerful statement. They are making these seemingly destructive choices for something that is so powerful they can’t deny it. Over the course of the season, I think you go back and forth. It’s not as simple as, [mine and Maura's characters] are terrible and need to be left behind. “I’m abusive and she’s a drunk.” It’s not as simple as they need to escape these terrible cages of relationships to move into something new. I think you’ll continually find yourself not knowing where your loyalties should stand. Because you’ll also be conflicted – the prude in you will say, “This is wrong and it shouldn’t be this way.” But if you’ve lived, and you’re after the age of 13 and you’ve experienced lust, you will probably understand that it’s more complicated than that. And it keeps on folding over itself.”
Maura: “I think it’s a good marriage, but what is interesting to me about the effects of this affair, you can believe you are be as supporting and as loving and as attentive as you can be. And then there are things that happen over years that you’re missing needs of the other person. People change. You just don’t know.”
- Reporting by Sharon Tharp (@sharontharp)