Finding joy in helping people in need: the story of Canadian actor Tom Jackson


Canadian-born actor Tom Jackson’s been in the game for over 40 years and is known for his performances in Star Trek The Next Generation, Cold Pursuit and the upcoming season of Outlander. Praised for his humanitarian work and having received multiple honours and decorations, Tom’s a philanthropist in both heart and work.


Tom was born in Saskatchewan, on the One Arrow Reserve. At age 15, he dropped out of school, and he found himself living on the streets of Winnipeg for 7 years. Tom found himself sleeping in stairwells or on friends’ couches for several years. After an ongoing journey to discovering his own identity and struggling with an addiction, Tom ultimately fought his way out. The turning point came when he occurred to someone who was significantly worse off than him, whom he decided to offer a helping hand. It changed his life, and he became addicted to the altruistic feeling, which he carried further through later stages in his life.

Tom was honoured numerous times for his life’s work, here with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

However, it was his singing voice that really got him off the streets, and his music took him to perform at radio stations, television studios, film sets and theatres. Tom continued with his mission to better the lives of people in need, seeing it as one of the most satisfying and gratifying things to do. From the post-9/11 fundraiser concert he gave, to his continuing fight against world hunger and homelessness, Tom’s contributions have helped out countless of people.


Jackson: ‘I’m an addict!I’m now addicted to saving lives’
‘’Art has the potential to be the greatest instrument of change in the history of the human race.The more disciplines I learn, the more opportunities I have to create change.’’

Tom alongside Liam Neeson in Cold Pursuit (2019)

Now starring alongside Liam Neeson in the new crime drama Cold Pursuit, Tom Jackson’s taken on a challenging role not completely familiar to him. In a dark film, written satire all over it, Tom stars as ‘White Bull’, an indigenous drug lord in Colorado. In Cold Pursuit, White Bull’s son gets killed by another Denver-based drug lord, and he uses everything in his power to make sure of his revenge on the killer. ‘A son for a son’ was the general idea of his motive throughout the movie. Violence was met with… more violence. Tom on his performance in Cold Pursuit:


‘‘I loved the challenge of stepping outside my box. I was honoured to work with a team that had such a high level and commitment to excellence.Director Hans Peter Molland and I collaborated on a plan.The plan was that we would not accept anything I did if we suspected it might end up on the cutting room floor.’’


Made an Officer of the Order of Canada and being a life-long philanthropist and inventive individual, Tom’s an example for all aspiring actors and creatives. He has two tips for beginning actors in the film industry:


‘’1) Learn your lines.If you are on set, trying to remember your lines, you will find it difficult to act.If you don’t take the time to learn your lines, someone else will.2)Always be conscious of your appearance. How you look is your equity!’’

Tom: ‘’History cannot be changed but it can be made.You were put here for greatness.Do not be afraid to leave what didn’t work behind.Do not fear success.Shed the fear of night.The brilliance of your star is in harmony with the universe.Show your courage and reach for it.Keep in mind, that what you desire is not delivered, you have to go get it.’’

Check out and read more on Tom Jackson on his website And follow Clanstate Pictures on Instagram!

Written by Kilian Harkema

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