'Harry Potter' star Jason Isaacs talks NBC's 'Awake,' Pittsburgh

by: Carly Noel Updated:


PITTSBURGH,None - Before the premiere of NBC’s “Awake,” I talked to Jason Isaacs, the star of the show.

Isaacs, best known for his role as Lucius Malfoy in “Harry Potter,” plays detective Michael Britten in the new drama series. 

“I think it’s a fantastic story.  It’s a script that I couldn’t put down.  It’s a brilliant what-if idea.  So many people have already watched the pilot online, and they’re going nuts about it.  I hope the audiences find it as entertaining as it was to make,” said Isaacs.

Following a tragic car accident, Isaacs’ character Britten finds himself awake in two separate realities -- one where his teen son died in the crash and his wife survived and another where his wife has died, leaving Britten and his son to pick up the pieces. In order to keep both of his loved ones alive, Britten begins living in two dueling realities.

“Great stories told well are completely universal -- whether you can imagine you’re a 12-year-old who discovers he’s a wizard or you can imagine not knowing your dreams are real,” said Isaacs.

Being that I’m a huge “Harry Potter” fan (Yes, I read all of the books, watched the movies and drank Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter), I asked Isaacs how he felt when the last “Harry Potter” film was released. 

“You’re talking to me on the set of the last day shoot on ‘Awake,’ so I’m saying goodbye to the set and all of my friends who have been together for six months, which is not as long as the 10 years in ‘Harry Potter.’  It’s always a similar feeling.  I think I partly went into this business as an actor because I like this sense of a village coming together for a period of time.  You have this very intense experience, and then there’s always that day when you have to say goodbye to each other.  The nice thing about ‘Harry Potter’ is that I know while we’re not working with each other anymore, those stories, whether in DVD format or a future format like chips that you stick in your eyeballs, they’ll be around for as long as people show stories to each other,” said Isaacs.

Isaacs recently filmed “Abduction,” starring Taylor Lautner, in Pittsburgh.  He told me he enjoyed his time in our city.

“I ran along the fantastic river.  I run everywhere.  I went to a Steelers game.  Unlike Taylor, I could leave my front door.  Poor Taylor was trapped in his house of the time,” said Isaacs.

Fans lined street to catch a glimpse of young heartthrob Lautner.  Fortunately for Isaacs, who looks completely different without his blonde Lucius Malfoy wig, going to public places wasn’t a problem.

“I ate way too much.  People gave me steaks the size of my head.  People were very friendly,” said Isaacs.

“Awake" premieres on Thursday on NBC and Channel 11.