I Want What They Have: Jodie Turner-Smith and Joshua Jackson

Love is a many-splendored thing, especially when you’re gawking at it from the outside. In this column, we’ll be examining the celebrity couples that give us hope for our own romantic futures and trying to learn what we can from their well-documented bonds.

Maybe this is my Americanness showing itself, but I always find cross-national marriages (in which each partner comes from a different country) deeply aspirational. Not only do the kids get dual citizenship in most cases, but it’s double the regional traditions; or, in the case of actors Jodie Turner-Smith and Joshua Jackson, triple the regional traditions, as Turner-Smith hails from England and Jackson has both Canadian and U.S. roots. Picture, if you will, being invited to spend the night at their house; in the morning, would you be greeted with a full English breakfast, an American-style plate of home fries, and a box of Canada’s beloved Tim Hortons Timbits? One can only dream.

Their respective nationalities aside, Turner-Smith and Jackson—who started dating in 2018, got married in 2019, and welcomed their first child, a daughter named Janie, in 2020—inspired deep envy and admiration in me this holiday season with their J.Crew ad, in which the two pad around in pajamas and toast each other with colorful mugs that I like to imagine contain my favorite seasonal beverage of coffee with just a dash of eggnog. “I always plan matching pajamas for the holidays! Bonus points for ugly sweaters. Not even the dogs are exempt,” Turner-Smith told J.Crew, which…respect. If your pj’s aren’t matching, how is the world supposed to know you’re an adorable and fulfilled family of three?

To be honest, if a couple in my real-life Instagram feed were this cute and matchy-matchy, I would probably roll my eyes, but I can more or less forgive it in a celebrity pair. The coziness that the two radiate in their ad is more than matched by their clear and earnest respect for one another. In a March 2021 essay for British Vogue, Turner-Smith wrote: “I spent most of [my second trimester] either on set, tearing around the centre of Berlin with tactical gear and a rifle while blowing things up, or rushing through an airport to catch a flight back to America to promote Queen & Slim. Through all of this, my husband was by my side. It made me realize how lucky and privileged I am to have a partner willing to follow me around the world, supporting me while I did my job.” Can you even? I mean, yes, this is what men should be doing for their partners all of the time, but as we know, that’s unfortunately not always the case.

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