TORONTO - The fifth and final season of the cult series "Fringe" kicks off Sept. 28 and Vancouver-raised star Joshua Jackson has found a silver lining to the beloved show reaching its end.
"I'm excited to get a more consistent night's sleep — because TV is definitely hard work," the 34-year-old actor said with a smile during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he's promoting the political thriller "Inescapable."
"There's sadness but all things end, so I'm more excited about the fact that we get to actually finish."
Indeed, the Vancouver-shot "Fringe" has been perennially on the cusp of cancellation since launching in 2008, a critically acclaimed sci-fi show with a fervent fanbase but nonetheless anemic ratings.
The fear among fans has always been that "Fringe" — about a team of FBI agents who probe bizarre happenings — would be cancelled suddenly before the show's masterminds had time to bring a satisfying end to the dense, mythology-laden serial.
So Jackson is relieved that the show's creators will be able to work their way to a conclusion in the 13-episode final season, which will reportedly end in the new year with a three-part finale.
"If you are a 'Fringe' fan — (and) I'm a sci-fi fan — it just drives me crazy when you get to the story and it's just the end," he says, snapping his fingers, "rather than a grand finale.
"So we get our grand finale and hopefully it will be satisfactory to the people who have come with us on the journey. So I'm actually more excited than I am sad.
"The sadness will probably kick in as we get closer to the end."
Of course, the end of "Fringe" will also open Jackson up to more film roles — like his latest, in Montreal-born director Ruba Nadda's gritty "Inescapable," which opens in Toronto theatres on Friday before expanding to other Canadian cities in the coming weeks.
The film follows a former officer in the Syrian military police (Alexander Siddig) who's now raising a family in Canada. He's forced to return to the unsettled Middle Eastern country when his daughter goes missing there. Jackson portrays the shifty Canadian consular official whose disarming grin conceals his real motives.
Nadda, whose romance "Cairo Time" claimed the prize for best Canadian feature film at the 2009 edition of the Toronto fest, says she wrote the role with Jackson in mind — and he joked that he wasn't sure what that said about him.
"Given who (the character) is, maybe I should have been more insulted by that," laughed Jackson.
"But no, I took it as a compliment because it's a good and fun role. And I guess that she had faith in my ability to tell the slippery story of Paul."