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Joshua Jackson on portraying Christopher Duntsch in “Dr Death”

Joshua Jackson on portraying Christopher Duntsch in "Dr Death"

Actor Joshua Jackson opened up on putting judgement aside to portray villain Christopher Duntsch, the leading role in in Peacock’s “Dr Death”.

The limited series follows the true story of the neurosurgeon in Texas who injured or killed 33 out of 38 patients in less than two years.

“It is exceedingly difficult to find those entry points into the character that audiences can connect to and not just feel like he’s a psychopathic killer,” says showrunner Patrick Macmanus. “I think that we were lucky to have all the research that we had that gave us insights into what was in this man’s head to help us.”

Joshua Jackson on portraying Christopher Duntsch in "Dr Death"

Macmanus gives all the credit to Joshua Jackson for his performance on the screen

“We can only do so much on the page. Quite frankly, what I am most proud of in the entire show is what Josh did with a despicable character. There was no one at home who was on Duntsch’s side. There was no one who was saying, ‘Those patients had it coming to them.’”

“He was a deeply flawed, despicable human being. I don’t think anybody could argue with the fact that Josh fully encapsulated that and embodied that character. He was not Josh Jackson. He was Christopher Duntsch,” the writer tells Variety. “And there are a lot of actors out there who are phenomenal actors who play great versions of themselves and play the hell out of them. Then there are actors who just disappear into a character and that’s what Josh did with Christopher Duntsch.”

Jackson talked about portraying Duntsch

“I will admit in the very beginning, the first time I read the scripts, I think I read them more as an audience member than as an actor,” says Jackson. “I did the thing that I think we all do when we are first confronted with the story, which is to first ask, ‘Why did this happen? How could this possibly happen? And what is wrong with this guy?’”

“He was a deeply flawed, despicable human being. I don’t think anybody could argue with the fact that Josh fully encapsulated that and embodied that character. He was not Josh Jackson. He was Christopher Duntsch,” the writer tells Variety. “And there are a lot of actors out there who are phenomenal actors who play great versions of themselves and play the hell out of them. Then there are actors who just disappear into a character and that’s what Josh did with Christopher Duntsch.”

Unlike Julia Garner, the actor didn’t get the chance to meet the real Duntsch

“It’s also not the most flattering portrayal of his life, so he probably wouldn’t have been all that interested in being helpful,” Jackson says. “I think I realized before we started shooting that he’s actually not the best person to tell his own story, strangely, because, in my opinion, he is so deeply invested in the fiction of himself as this white knight genius who has been assailed on every side by people who misunderstood him or were out to get him. I’m not sure you can ask a liar a direct question to try to get to the truth. So, at the end of the day, I wasn’t too upset I didn’t have access to him.”

What do you think about Joshua Jackson in Dr Death?

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Source: Variety

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About Author

Currently studying Communication sciences, when I’m not crying for university, I’m crying for TV series.
I like running off into imaginary worlds because they’re way better than reality. Oscar nominated for mental movies.
A perfect mix of Jane Sloan, Jessica Day and Clary Morgenstern (The book version, though).
In my free time, I write articles and TV series reviews, so to combine two biggest passions of mine.

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