Jason Isaacs Relates ‘Awake’ To His New Web Series ‘Kendra’

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Jason Isaacs has played some outspoken characters before, but nothing like his current role on the YouTube drama Kendra. But it’s not what you think. In this eight-episode series, Isaacs plays Jeff, a patient who unknowingly reveals to his wife Macy (Kate Beahan) some very cringe-worthy news while he’s still out of it following a procedure. The WIGS show also stars Sarah Jones, who leads the audience through the “twilight room,” a space that leaves behind more questions than answers.

During my chat with Isaacs, he detailed on why YouTube is such a great platform these days to do a project, and what he thinks about his character. Plus, does something seem a bit familiar? Yep, he compares and contrasts Kendra to his prior work on the NBC hit Awake that got cancelled way too soon.

WIGS has been doing fantastic transitioning projects onto YouTube.
JASON ISAACS:
 WIGS is I believe the No. 1 scripted drama on YouTube. Personally I’m a little bit of a geek, so I was on the inside of the World Wide Web in the beginning. I’ve always kind of been in the forefront watching everything that has been going on. I felt for a long time that YouTube is where young people—I mean much younger than me—was where they were really spending their time for entertainment. And its not because they are young and have shorter attention spans, it’s because most human beings really can’t concentrate on things longer than 10 minutes. That’s the ideal amount of time, and it seems to be the ideal amount of time to see drama. Although it’s all cutting-edge, it’s futuristic in a sense, or it is the future.

What has it been like working on the 8-episode drama Kendra?
I grabbed at this one, and I hope there will be more of them. I do think you get to tell stories in a much more human and subtle way and in just the right amount of chunks. There’s something about that length of time that’s just perfect. It’s not too long and it’s not too bite size. Just enough time to sit down and connect emotionally with something.

Is that the main reason why you wanted to jump on as Jeff?
Well, I wanted to play anything, really. I’ve watched all of their series and I found them all completely addictive. If I see a new episode I’ll watch one. I had a couple of operations—because I’m an idiot and try to do as many stunts as I can—and I’m constantly being stitched together and patched up—and so I’ve had a couple procedures in the past few years and both times when I’ve come around my wife has been there. She told me we had a full on conversation with hours and I was completely lost and gone. Not like I have any deep dark secrets, but of course if I had, I don’t know what I’d do! I was curious about this because people are completely uninhibited. First of all it’s very sensual, but they also say things that they would never say. And sometimes there’s a reason for all of that. And so, with most acting, or what I think anyway, screen acting is about hiding things and hiding what you really feel and saying one thing and meaning another. This is the opposite for me, so I thought it was a fun challenge to be someone who had literally no filter. Just said something even though the consequences could be terrible for his marriage or any other situation.

As a huge fan of Awake, this series reminded me of it. It portrays isolation and what’s reality almost. Did it remind you of it too?
Yeah! I did feel that, actually! It was the first thing I did when we wrapped Awake. I wrapped Awake, I did this, and then I went away and did a few Indie films in London. But this felt in similar terms of storytelling—for the audience it’s having to work out what’s true and what isn’t. So there’s that element to it. But what it didn’t have, and what episodes of Kendra does have, is a procedure going on. What you’re freed from while filming something with 7-minute chunks is a need to have a case or a bad guy or any of those things. You can just have chunks of humanity that are engaging and are surprising.

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