Dawson’s Creek alum Joshua Jackson is back to voice the follow up to the popular psychological thriller Audible audiobook by Canadian author Andrew Pyper with Oracle 2: The Dreamland Murders.
“At least in its first iteration, [it] was the most ego-satisfying performance I've ever given because I got to be all of the characters,” Jackson said. “So there is no one to argue with but myself.”
“But jokes aside,...it's a totally unique thing in my career to be able to tell the story just using sound, voice and imagination, there's so much that your brain fills in without the image crowding in the space.”
In Oracle 2: The Dreamland Murders, FBI agent Nate Russo is trying to track a serial killer, but ends up discovering an ancient curse while his psychic powers lead him to an abandoned amusement park, Dreamland, ultimately the perfect setting for a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat through this frightening tale.
Pyper describes Dreamland as being particularly fascinating because it’s “situated in childhood.”
“Remembering your childhood is a complicated thing,” Pyper said. “It's typically a long time ago, our memories are not entirely reliable, and we leave out parts.”
“I love that this is an old-timey amusement park. So there's those attractions like the house of mirrors… [For a writer] to sort of take your characters and put them into the house of mirrors and see what they see, is irresistible. It's a site for horror, but also a site for revelation and discovery, and memory.”
How Joshua Jackson performs romantic scenes in the audio-only format
If you’ve been following Jackson’s career recently, you’ve seen he’s been taking on some darker roles, compared playing Charlie in Mighty Ducks and Pacey on Dawson’s Creek, but even with playing Dr. Christopher Duntsch in Dr. Death, Jackson was a bit intimidated by being tasked to tell a story in audio form.
“I was curious about the challenge of that and a little intimidated by the idea of like, who are all these voices in my head that I'm going to be all these characters within the first season,” he explained. “Horror for horror’s sake is kind of boring, horror porn or just gore for gore's sake, but I feel the same way about anything, science fiction, or even just a grounded story, when it's heightened drama for drama’s sake."
“If you're telling a story that's grounded in reality, it's those moments that reveal to you who these characters are and I find that really interesting and then when you combine that with the opportunity as an actor to sort of create the audio landscape of all these characters yourself, I enjoyed that challenge a lot.”
As you may expect, there is a little bit of romance in Pyper’s story, but unlike a TV show or movie, Jackson didn’t have a scene partner to work with, so his hand became his scene parter, in this scenario.
“One of the unseen pieces of my regular job is post-production and it's a part of the acting life that I've always actually really loved, that I can go in when the picture is all done, and they've cut it together, and work on a line or work on missing audio,” Jackson said. “Or even when you're doing fight scenes or sex scenes, work on the audio bits that help tell the story, even in a moving image.”
“So I had a little bit of experience with that. It's obviously heightened and I had to push a little bit farther, because you're only creating with the audio. It's a lot of like me hitting myself and kissing the back of my hand… I'm a newbie at this so maybe there's a better way but, that was the way that I figured out.”
Upcoming 'Fatal Attraction' TV series
Jackson still isn't going to be turning the corner toward a lighter piece of entertainment, set to take on the upcoming Fatal Attraction TV series, following the 1987 movie starring Glenn Close and Michael Douglas.
“I think the thing that I'm going to do afterwards will be lighter but Fatal Attraction is not light at all, the original is actually quite dark for men, it is a complete horror story for men," the actor said. "What we're doing in the TV show version is to actually give her character, the Glenn Close character, the space to get to know her and explain who she is, how she came to being, why she is, which isn't really delved into it in the film, one, because there's not the space, and two, because sexual politics were different."
"There's a turn when you get midway through the first season that I think will shake both men and women to their very core, because...it plays upon the way that ego drives us into places...in a horror movie when somebody's about to step through that door and you're like, 'don't go in there! Everybody knows to not go in the room!' There's a turn midway through the season where you're like, 'don't do that, nothing good can come from this,' and it happens anyway."