EXCLUSIVE | The Bold Type's Gildart Jackson says filming marriage breakdown with real-life wife was 'horrible'
One of the most difficult things that actor Gildart Jackson had to do during the first half of Season 4 of Freeform's 'The Bold Type' was filming the breakdown of a marriage with his real-life wife Melora Hardin, who plays the role of Jacqueline Carlyle. "It was horrible," Jackson simply puts it. In an exclusive chat with MEA WorldWide, the actor sits down to talk about his role on the Freeform comedy-drama, working on set with his wife playing a couple with a deteriorating marriage and a side project birthed from these dire times.
Jackson plays Ian Carlyle, Jacqueline Carlyle's husband. The editor-in-chief of Scarlet, a fictional global women's magazine, has had a tough year with her husband and their marriage is on the brink of a separation. Throughout Season 4, the two bickered and fought eventually taking time off each other. "I would read about what Jacqueline and Ian were doing [in the script] and because we're so close to [in real life], I was like, 'Don't do that. No, that's the wrong thing to be doing," he says. A little dalliance that Jacqueline has on-screen wasn't all that welcome either. "They got into a routine where Jacqueline is out doing a high powered job and Ian quit his job to look after the kid. He wants to get back into taking photographs, and with the kids old, he can," Jackson says. "I'm very hopeful that they will find that way."
Towards the end of the season, it might have been indicated that the two resolve all their issues, but it could be argued that that was narratively rushed. "In life, things happen in strange ways at strange times and at strange speeds," he says, adding that the idea is to portray a real relationship going through real-world problems. "That's what we were going for. One of the luxuries of the relationship is that we're trying to portray a real relationship. It's much more subtle: 'Oh my God, how are we going to handle this stage in our relationship?'"
'The Bold Type' follows the lives of three millennial women, portrayed by Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy, all of whom are employed at Scarlet, which is headed by Jacqueline. At the same time, the show focuses on women issues apart from socially and culturally relevant issues that drive the characters. The actor tells us that one of the main reasons that Hardin took the role up was because of how strongly feminine it was. "Melora and I have two girls [aged] 18 and 15. The older one is hopefully off to New York next year. I think that the reason why Malora took the show in the first place was that it was strongly feminine and that she was going to play a real leader, a real boss -- not a b**ch -- but a real boss with troubles of her own, with issues."
While he doesn't indulge us in queries about the upcoming season, he does say the show sticks to its theme. "The basic theory is still there. These three girls are learning and this mentor is guiding them while having their own messy issues as the girls have their own. It might feel heightened because it's television, but I think it's very much also life. This is a life, and these are the travails of people in the real world." The series aside, the lockdown has encouraged Jackson to take up a new project called 'Fireside Reading'. He tells us over the phone that Fireside Reading is "a book on film." "When the pandemic hit, I figured that a lot of people would feel kind of lonely and need some comfort and companionship. And I've had this idea for a while -- to do a net book or a video book, where I actually sit in front of the fire just like they did in the old days and read a great old book," he says. The actor has been doing that every day for the last 60 days and tells his viewers to "tune in at 5 pm PDT/ 8 pm EDT every day for a new chapter of a classic novel."
'The Bold Type' returns with Season 4B on Thursday, June 11, at 10 pm ET/ PT on Freeform. You can watch the previous seasons on Hulu.