Jason Isaacs lives two realities in ‘Awake’

Is he dreaming? Det. Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs, right) can’t figure out if his son (Dylan Minnette) has died in an accident, or his wife is the one who was killed. “Awake” premieres tonight at 10. on NBC.

Jason Isaacs, perhaps best known for his portrayal of the “Harry Potter” villain Lucius Malfoy, may have hung up his broomstick, but fantasy remains at the forefront of his latest project — even if it is a crime procedural.

The Isaacs-headlined psychological drama “Awake” is not a by-the-books “Law & Order” redux, that’s for sure. In the show, Isaacs plays detective Michael Britten, who is involved in a deadly car accident with his wife and son — except, he’s not sure if it was his wife or son who perished in the crash. Britten has developed a unique coping mechanism that has convinced him he is living two realities. In one, his wife is alive, but his son is not. He falls asleep, wakes up, and lives the second reality: His son is alive, but wife is not. The cycle alternates every day.

“In many ways I took the part because I wanted to see what Episode 2 was before anybody else read it,” Isaacs jokes. But intrigue did play a major part in Isaacs’ decision to join the show. “It’s just one of those incredibly simple yet powerful premises about your imagination: What if your dreams were so real that you didn’t know you were dreaming?” he ponders. “I’m always furious when I wake up and I know I’ve had this incredible dream that’s just evaporated. But that doesn’t happen to him.”

Things get more complicated — and dangerous — as Britten’s two worlds collide on the job. A random person in one “dream” may lead to a crucial piece of evidence in a case he’s working on in the other “dream.”

“Sometimes I have to reorient myself as a character to remind myself who we’re chasing after and why,” Isaacs says. “The people around me, obviously, react as you would to somebody who seems to have lost it.”

Was it just a dream?

The idea that Det. Michael Britten is living two lives brings into question whether or not he really is just dreaming. Maybe it’s an elaborate, fantastical alternate universe, instead?

“There’s no sci-fi,” Isaacs insists. “He doesn’t fly. Both worlds are equally and completely real — to him. But only one of them does exist.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.