What Inspired Jacob Stuart?
I have a thing for the villains you low key want to root for. I called them the "Jeremy Irons villain." The suave, smooth-talking, sophisticated villain. Jacob Stuart isn't quite that. He has a ruddy complexion, hides his male pattern baldness with a bad comb over and can't seem to hide the fact he wears a badge. So, what inspired the guy we all hate?
Like Faulkner, Jacob was originally a small character who became much larger once he was given life by a voice-over artist. Eric Umstott came in to voice Jacob for the audio drama and turned him into something far more. When Eric showed up with a vocal fry and a touch of gravel along with an air of conceit, I knew I had a character worth keeping.
I had no base for him save the fact I wanted Jacob to be hated. As I heard Eric's lines, I formed a picture in my head of what Jacob may look like. For a while, I scoured pictures of various actors and villains, hoping to find the right face for Jacob. I had nothing more than the image in my head. That is exactly how I described him.
For Jacob's personality, I veered away from my favorite villains. This was someone even I needed to dislike. I wanted to frown when I wrote his lines and shake my head when I described him. The more I disliked the character, the happier I was.
I thought about the traits I disliked the most in people — dishonesty and arrogance. Those two traits seemed to fit Jacob well. When I meshed those two traits into an Iron Oath Investigator, I made someone worth hating. Not only is Jacob a complete asshole, but he is also a zealot who is blinded by the legends the Iron Oath has believed for centuries.
He is a villain I was proud to create, and I hope you all dislike him just as much as I do!