Why does Jason Isaacs from Awake look so familiar?
—Rose Hyland, Lincoln, Neb.
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, you might recognize him from that, but he definitely looks different without the long, white-blond hair that he wore as dark wizard Lucius Malfoy. In fact, he has said in interviews, “I can go anywhere. No one knows who I am. I can go on the tube or bus and wander through the streets. As soon as I get on the red carpet they start screaming and screaming.”
If it’s not Harry Potter, Isaacs, 48, also had a starring role in the Showtime series Brotherhood, in which the Liverpool, England-born actor played bad boy Michael Caffee.
“I had been in Harry Potter for so long that I wasn’t available for network television. I didn’t know there would be any interest in me,” Isaacs says modestly, explaining how landing the lead in Awake, the story of a detective who is living two lives following a bad car accident and not sure which one is real, came as a surprise.
“I did a pilot last year that I thought was lovely, and then, this year, I wasn’t looking to do one. I was looking to do this thing that I had sold myself and was developing, and I just got sideswiped by this script. It didn’t read like anything else I’d ever read.”
Now Isaacs is learning just how hard it is to have top billing as he appears in almost every single scene in Awake. “It’s completely satisfying, but there is some sacrifice to be made domestically,” says the father of two daughters. “When we shut down for a month to let them catch up and write more episodes. That was great for me. Suddenly, I had a break that I wasn’t expecting.
“It’s like sticking your head up and realizing that it’s daylight again, after a month in a pit. But I’ve done the opposite. I’ve sat at home and got under everybody’s feet, for months at a time, and I know which one I’d rather do.”