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Joel Edgerton and Alice Braga on Dark Matter and Its Existential Themes

Joel Edgerton and Alice Braga on Dark Matter and Its Existential Themes

Joel Edgerton has had a few great years, working with major directors like Paul Schrader (Master Gardener), David Lowery (The Green Knight), Ron Howard (Thirteen Lives), Barry Jenkins (The Underground Railroad), and George Clooney (The Boys in the Boat), and that’s just in titles from the past three years. Now, he’s exploring multiple versions of himself in the Apple TV+ sci-fi series, Dark Matter, from acclaimed author Blake Crouch (Wayward Pines, Good Behavior).

The multiversal show begins in our reality with Edgerton’s character, Jason, a physics teacher. He’s married to Daniela (Jennifer Connelly) and has a pretty good life he takes for granted. Soon, he’s thrust into an alternate world where he’s no longer a married teacher, but a wealthy and famous scientist dating Amanda (Alice Braga), a woman who helps lead his secret corporate project. This Jason has created a way to hop through alternate realities, essentially fixing a person in quantum superposition where they can access all the different realities that exist from all the different decisions they’ve made.

An epic existential drama ensues, equally romantic and thrilling, with Jason and Amanda traveling through the multiverse to try and get him back home to his original reality. Edgerton and Braga spoke with MovieWeb about Dark Matter, and you can watch our interview above.

Joel Edgerton Was Asking ‘These Questions About Where I’m at in Life’

Dark Matter

Dark Matter (2024)

Release Date
May 8, 2024


Blake Crouch

Streaming Service(s)
Apple TV+

“I first got switched on to [Dark Matter] by hearing about the book and their intention to potentially make a series out of it. And I read the book,” explained Edgerton, who also signed on as an executive producer. “I don’t really get to read for pleasure much. I’m a slow reader, and I’m always trying to catch up for work. It became work, the concept of reading for the sake of exploring this idea of working on this thing. But it became very pleasurable to read it, because I read it very quickly.” He added:

“I just thought, it’s this show that doesn’t let its concept or its conceit get in the way of this sort of rich exploration of human themes. And I was really taken with the book and
the possibilities of exploring things that were really occurring to me more and more as I got older
. These questions of where I’m at in life, what’s my degree of comfort and happiness, what I expected of myself, and how the choices that I made in the past led me to where I am now, good or bad, and what I think about those things.”

“I know that these are things that a lot of people talk about, the what ifs, and ‘What if I had done this?‘ Avoiding certain fates and situations that really are not good in our life,” continued Edgerton. “And it really struck me as a rich thing to be involved in. So I was really proactive about getting involved.”


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The Different Ways Joel Edgerton’s Life Could’ve Gone

This specific idea of parallel worlds, in which each decision that doesn’t get made spins off into its own reality where it does get made, feels very relatable in 2024. First, we’re all used to multiverses by now thanks to superhero movies. Second, with the expansion of social media and globalism, there is a rise in anxiety and FOMO. We all wonder about those big decisions we’ve made in life, and what would’ve become of us had we chosen the other side of a coin flip.

A couple of major decisions immediately came to Edgerton’s mind, but they were incredibly personal. “I will say that, given that these pivotal moments in our life of regret or decision-making, that we know would’ve put us on a different path, they’re quite often big, and traumatic, and complicated decisions. And the two that I know of are too personal to share with anyone that I don’t know very well,” laughed Edgerton understandably. He added:

“With all due respect, knowing that I could just open up a can of press worms here talking about things that happened in my past. They’re big things. I feel your question though, and I really love it, because
there’s definitely two key moments in my life that if I had made one decision instead of the one I made, I may not even be sitting here
. Most likely I wouldn’t be sitting here.”


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Alice Braga’s Amanda Was Expanded from Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter

Alice Braga spends the most time in the series with Edgerton’s character, as Amanda and Jason open the doors of perception in an attempt to find one specific reality. Braga has had an incredible run on television recently, with Dark Matter following A Murder at the End of the World, Queen of the South, and We Are Who We Are. Braga has the rare distinction of having Blake Crouch greatly expand her character’s role from his original novel.

“It’s interesting, because it’s a little bit different from what Blake created in the book,” explained Braga. “Because the moment that he had to bring her story to life, he created a background story for her that we don’t actually see in the book. And that changed a little bit of her journey throughout the show and throughout the experience with this Jason One version that shows up in her life, that she realizes is not her Jason.” Braga elaborated:

But she has empathy and a desire to save him and to protect him because she knows it’s unfair, what’s happening to him. And therefore, she jumps into something that makes her confront all her fears, and also emotions […] and insecurities and all that she doesn’t face.

​​​​​”So it’s a beautiful journey to go from where she starts, to where she ends up, and to following her dream and following what she wants for herself, and then really focusing on that. And also having the empathy to look at someone she’s obviously in love with and desiring the best [for him], even if that hurts her the most,” continued Braga. “It’s an interesting journey from point A to point B, in how much she grows throughout this arc.”

Dark Matter is also undoubtedly an interesting journey from point A to point B, and it zigs and zags to points C through Z along the way. The series will premiere globally on Apple TV+ with the first two episodes on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, followed by one new episode weekly through June 26, 2024. You can watch it through the link below:

Watch Dark Matter

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