He comes from a long career in film & television. She is consistently making her own waves in Hollywood today. Together, husband & wife team Joshua Jackson and Jodie Turner-Smith are each other’s biggest supporter, as they collectively strive to also make a positive impact in the lives of others.
Through their ongoing partnership with Motorola razr, Jodie and Joshua are giving their time and energy to support up-and-coming fellow creatives with Generation Next’s “The Call that Started it All.”
Reflecting on his own career, from timelessly beloved projects like The Mighty Ducks and Dawson’s Creek to more recently starring in the true crime series Dr. Death, Joshua tells me, “I certainly remember the calls in my young artist life that kind of changed the trajectory of my life and to be a part of something that is trying to capture and elevate that moment for these young designers is really heartwarming and something fantastic to be a part of.”
Coming from a growing list of starring roles in such critically-acclaimed films as Queen & Slim, After Yang and the miniseries Anne Boleyn, Jodie adds, “I definitely think it’s really amazing to team up with Teen Vogue and celebrate the diverse and inclusive fashion designers, especially to have this happen in the middle of what is Fashion Month. In my life and with my work, I’m all about creating opportunities for people, so I was very excited by this plan that supports and elevates young designers that want to say something through design.”
Since meeting at a party in 2018, Joshua and Jodie have since married and welcomed a daughter. With Motorola crediting these two as “change makers,” I wondered how this power couple would define what it means to be a “change maker” in our ever-evolving society today.
Jodie starts by saying, “I think that being a ‘change maker’ means being a person who uses your voice, your platform, your actions, your integrity to try and push your community to change for the better. I think that change happens on a micro-level, person-to-person, and it’s really about who we are in our everyday lives and how that touches the people around us, so that we can actually see change happen on a macro-level. I know that myself as a black woman, I think in my existence, it is about trying to make a stand for pushing change forward, because without that, I would continue to be oppressed.”
Joshua adds, “I agree with all of that and I would just add to it the component – I think it starts with yourself. Part of the way that I think you can be a ‘change maker’ in the world is to be honest with yourself – to examine your own thoughts, opinions and biases. Think about the things that you can and cannot live with and then, endeavor to change the inequities that you see, first in yourself in your own thinking, then out in the world.”
Even with it being 2022, Jodie and Joshua, who are an interracial couple, still occasionally receive criticism toward their relationship on social media. So, how do they effectively ignore any non-supportive comments directed their way on their Instagram posts? “Don’t read the comments,” says Jodie.
As these two actors continue on with their Hollywood careers, in an industry that looks to become more and more inclusive of people from all backgrounds, Jodie says, “I think that the only way to move anything forward is just be in the conversation, at least. I think in the same way that we’re pushing for representation in front of the camera, we also need to make sure that extends to more than that – to behind the camera, to below the line, to the people that are producing things. I think that when we really extend that conversation to every walk of life, then we’re going to start seeing some real positive changes in our world as a whole.”
Joshua continues, “I think when you speak about our industry directly, I think that our industry is always in a conversation in the culture that it sits within and I think the culture has moved beyond the industry and it took us some time to catch up to the realities of the world that we live in. I’m very happy that we’re at least in a more open place to talk about having more inclusive stories being told, more inclusive people, like Jodie said, in front of the camera and behind the camera. I think we also have to be realistic that we have a really long, long, long, long way to go because these are both industry problems and broader cultural problems. We’ve only just scratched the surface of the cultural conversation that we need to be in to really take a step forward.”
After recently turning heads with her eye-popping fashion looks at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, I asked Jodie if her style choices are simply a fun form of self-expression, or if she hopes to make a statement to the world through the various designs she wears in public.
“I think it’s a mix of both,” Jodie continues. “It’s definitely a form of personal expression for sure but it’s also like as I mentioned earlier, in the same way that I’m pushing for representation in front of the camera, I’m pushing for behind the camera. I want to empower black creatives, black stylists. My stylists are black, my hair and makeup artists, and I love to wear and give opportunities to black designers. I try to mostly represent black designers and it’s so interesting because at Venice, one thing I definitely noticed going to Venice is that it’s not very black (laughs)! And I don’t just mean the city, I mean the festival itself, so it felt really special to be representing so many black designers on the red carpet because while we may not be here represented in very many films, we were definitely represented on my body and I think that’s always kind of my goal in life. It’s like to push that narrative forward and to show the beauty and the creativity and the power and the strength of black communities across the diaspora.”
Being a Hollywood couple many of us have come to know through primarily photos alone, I decided to wrap up my conversation with Joshua and Jodie by asking them what they love most about their spouse and the co-parent of their young daughter.
Joshua starts off by saying of his wife Jodie, “I will say one thing that’s actually fashion-related and one thing that is just about my wonderful wife and the spectacular mother that she is. The joy it is to watch her be in the process and be becoming a mother and how honored I feel to get to be next to that – to witness it, to watch it grow, to hopefully nurture it in its growth. I love how empowered my wife is inside of that fashion space – how much it is a source of joy and that bleeds into her home life, as well. I love watching my wife be able to be uplifted and celebrated and seeing how fed she is by that makes me a very, very happy man when I get to see that.”
Jodie concludes our conversation with, “When I met Josh and one of the biggest reasons why I married him, wanted him to be my husband, is because of how loved and supported I felt by him. I had never been with anyone who I thought was wanting to lift me up the way that I felt that he was lifting me up. That is one of my favorite things about him. I think as a woman and as a black woman, the world is a rough place and there’s a lot of obstacles in our way. When somebody that you love comes together with you and says I want you to see your dreams come true. Especially as women, I think we’re always kind of asked to play a secondary role in relationships and support the goals of our men. That’s kind of just like a societal thing. That’s conditioning that we sometimes aren’t even aware of – why I feel that women are often apologizing for themselves and not taking up space. And so, what I admire is the strength of a man to be able to have a powerful woman and want to lift her up and not break her down. It has been so magical to just see him be a dad. I mean, I can’t think of a person in the world who doesn’t have some form of ‘daddy issues,’ so when you see someone fathering in this really beautiful way and think to yourself Wow, I’m actually setting my daughter up for such a beautiful life because look at this wonderful relationship that she has with her father and is going to have and that really gives me a lot of comfort.”