While chatting with Entertainment Weekly for their Awardist preview, star Joshua Jackson made it clear that his Fatal Attraction character Dan Gallagher is not a victim. According to the Dawson’s Creek star, when he joined the Fatal Attraction TV series, he was most interested in how the television’s story would differ from the classic 1987 movie, which starred Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. In the Fatal Attraction film, Douglas played business Dan Gallagher who ends up having a nightmarish affair with Close’s Alex Forrest.
Jackson told EW, “My only nervousness about it was that everybody has an opinion about what Fatal Attraction is.” He went on to note that showrunner Alexandra Cunningham convinced him that the upcoming series was worth the investment.
Jackson said, “I liked her desire to tell a story that uses the benefit of TV and the amount of time that you have to really get into the characters, and to use that space to go deeper into the psychology of Alex Forrest and who she is and why she is the way she is and what in particular it is about Dan that is the perfect toxic element in her life.”
The Fringe star then went on to address his character Dan. He said, “The movie really presents him as the victim of circumstance, even though he’s the one that committed the act. I thought it was interesting when you really start to examine the type of personality that would take this, from the outside, seemingly perfect life and put it in jeopardy to do something so selfish.”
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Joshua Jackson Said, “Dan’s Ego Doesn’t Allow Him To Take Accountability”
Jackson continued, “Why does a man choose to do this? And then once he’s committed the act, in particular, Dan’s ego doesn’t allow him to take accountability for the thing that he’s just done. So he doubles down and creates even more havoc and then doubles down again, creates even more havoc. I thought that was an interesting take on the story of Fatal Attraction.”
The actor also addressed how the film’s version of the character will differ from the Dan in the upcoming show. Jackson said, “The huge difference on the Dan side of the story is we have the time to really delve into the damage that he’s causing. Honestly, the movie is very sympathetic to him. At no point does he seemingly feel all that guilty about what he’s done. So we get into what might have happened if we saw all of those characters say five, 10, 15 years after the event, and the damage has now had a chance to seep down into the cracks of his marriage and the rest of his life. He actually has to deal with the repercussions of his actions.”
He went on to reveal how Dan’s actions will affect the people in his life, saying, “It’s an extremely complicated position for a wife and a mother to be in, and I think this is another place where we’re in a better cultural conversation now, where you can be a variety of things inside the same person instead of being one thing. She makes the choice to be with her man, fix the problem, and that’s something they don’t really delve into in the movie because it’s not how the traumatic narrative is set up.”
Jackson wrapped up talking about his Fatal Attraction character by saying “If he could step down off his own pedestal, he could save himself so much pain, but because he’s invested in the image of himself, of this successful man, loving father, doting husband, he can’t grapple with the fact that he did something against that. He really has no love for himself. He doesn’t have the grace or sympathy for himself to accept that he is also a flawed person and has done something unequivocally bad that he would definitely need to make up for. But if he could admit the first bad thing, he could save himself from all the rest of these pains.”
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