NEIL JACKSON
Interview: Robert Piper

Robert Piper: What inspires you in life?

Neil Jackson: Wow, what inspires me in life? That’s a big question to open with. I get inspired with passion, I think. I get inspired by people who are just passionate, and it doesn’t matter what they do or what they’re passionate about. I just think passion is such an embraceable thing, whether it’s the guy in the coffee shop who’s making the coffee or a bricklayer who loves making walls. I love watching people who love what they do, and I think that’s very inspirational.

RP: How do you stay healthy?

NJ: I stay healthy—I mean, I’ve got a sports background and an athletic background. I was in competitive sports since the age of five. I was a personal trainer before I was an actor and a personal trainer for the first few years while I was acting and getting my thesis. Fitness has always been a big part of my life, so I train twice a day, every day, as I always have done, but also eating very healthfully. I don’t eat sugar, I don’t have caffeine, I don’t eat wheat—I look after my body outside and inside. It’s just a part of who I’ve always been.

RP: What new projects do you have coming up?

NJ: We’re finishing up Sleepy Hollow at the moment, and then, on top of that, I have a couple of projects. I’m in the process of recording my second album. I released my first album two years ago, which is called The Little Things. [The second album] is a rock album, so I’m recording that at the moment. The first single’s going to come out by the middle of January, we’re hoping. Whatever downtime I get, I’m working on that.

RP: What type of research goes into preparing for a role?

NJ: Depends on the role, depends entirely on what I’m doing. For something like Sleepy Hollow, I read the original Washington Irving novel and did a little bit of research about the period, about how people would be, just to get a kind of background. Then, most of the research I’ve had to do is with the writers and directors. I’ll pick their brains and ask a lot of questions. I like to make sure I can zero in on what I want to, situations I want to pick for the character.

RP: You mentioned working out. What kind of workouts do you do?

NJ: I do yoga and weights, mainly. I still box. I box once a week, but I don’t get punched in the face anymore. I just hit the bags now. I’m done with that competitive side of it.

Neil Jackson stars in Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. His film credits include Quantum of Solace, Alexander, and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

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PHOTO: LESLEY EDITH

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