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You see I'm the only one with the answers, Damian. You need me. I'm the only one standing between you... and oblivion.
~ Albright to Damian Hale

Dr. Francis Jensen (also known as Professor Albright) is the main antagonist in the 2015 film Self/less.

He was portrayed by Matthew Goode under the guise of Albright, who also portrays Ozymandias and Charlie Stoker, and by Thomas Francis Murphy while in the original form of Dr. Jensen.

Biography

Background

Dr. Jensen was an American neurologist often described as the "Godfather" of transhumanism and the inventor of "shedding" - a process that allows a person to shed their current body and transfer their mind into another body. Jensen himself was dying from an unknown illness that made him paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, and at some point in time, one of Jensen's students named Albright became his assistant to help him with perfecting the process of shedding. Unbeknownst to Albright, he would later be used as a vessel for Jensen and the procedure was successful, allowing Jensen to transfer his consciousness into Albright's young healthy body and leave his old, paralyzed body behind.

However, as a side effect of the procedure, Jensen began to relive past memories of Albright's, and in order to cure this defect, he created pills that halt the memories of the vessel's previous persona and eventually allow the current user to take over that person's body completely. If the patient refuses to continuously take these pills, the host consciousness will begin to fade into oblivion and the original person's consciousness will be brought back to life.

Story

Jensen is introduced under the guise of Professor Albright, and he meets with a billionaire businessman named Damian Hale after Damian is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Albright introduces him to the "shedding" procedure and informs him that it's the only way to save his life, and that his consciousness will be transferred into an artificially-grown human body. However, the bodies in Albright's facility are in fact real people who have either donated their bodies for a large sum of money to help their families, or have simply been kidnapped by Albright's associates and used as vessels against their will. Damian agrees to have the procedure carried out and publicly fakes his own death on Albright's orders, allowing Albright's men to bring Damian to his facility in an ambulance. Albright then transfers Damian's consciousness into the body of a man named Mark Bitwell (though Damian believes it is artificially grown), and subscribes him pills to alleviate the "hallucinations" Damian will inevitably suffer from as a side-effect of the shedding process. Damian is made to do exercises in Albright's facility in order to get used to his new body, and is also told to memorize his new life story since he must never reveal to anybody who he truly is. Finally, Albright drives Damian to his new house and tells him to enjoy his new life, and arranges to meet with him at regular intervals to check on his progress and subscribe him new pills.

When Damian begins to stop taking his pills, he has visions of Mark Bitwell's past life and witnesses a woman and her daughter speaking to him in a supposed hallucination. When he questions Albright on this, Albright dismisses it as unimportant but accidentally reveals too much information about the hallucination, making Damian suspicious. Albright then arranges for Damian to move to Hawaii and also prepares to double his dosage of pills, but Damian instead travels to a landmark near a farmhouse outside St. Louis that he witnessed in his hallucination, which he now strongly believes is a memory. Once there, he finds the woman and daughter from his vision (named Madeline and Anna respectively) and discovers that Mark was Madeline's husband and Anna's father. Mark had sold his body to Albright in order to pay for the treatment to save his sick daughter's life, leaving them both to believe that Mark was dead until Damian appears before them. Shortly after, Albright's men arrive at the house and attempt to convince Damian to leave and forget he ever met Madeline, intending to kill Madeline and Anna afterwards in order to tie up loose ends and prevent Damian from knowing the whole truth. However, Damian overpowers them and the trio manages to escape before they are killed.

Later, Damian does more research into shedding on his laptop and discovers a video of the now deceased Dr. Francis Jensen, who mysteriously shares a tic with Albright. Due to this, Damian realizes that Albright is in fact Jensen in a new body, and with this knowledge, he tracks Jensen's elderly wife (who has Alzheimer's) to a nursing home and learns that Albright frequently checks in on her. He contacts Albright and lures him to the nursing home, where Albright informs Damian that if he stops taking his pills, his consciousness will relapse and Mark's will re-emerge. Holding Albright at gunpoint, Damian leads him out of the nursing home but is interrupted by the arrival of Albright's men, allowing Albright to escape. They attempt to kill Damian once again, but again he manages to escape.

During the climax, Albright has Madeline and Anna kidnapped but Damian manages to track Albright to his secret facility. However, Damian is soon captured by Albright too, who smugly reveals his intention to use Madeline as a new vessel for a potential client as well as making use of Anna's internal organs. Albright then has Damian put through the shedding process a second time in order to allow one of his henchmen to take over Damian/Mark's body, but Damian secretly hides a metal bullet inside his mouth to disrupt the process (since Albright had previously warned him that metal interferes with the magnetism used in shedding procedures). After tricking Albright into thinking he is no longer Damian, he is led to a locked room where Madeline and Anna are being held and promptly kills Albright's men before saving them both. Albright tries to convince Damian that he cannot kill him since he will "fade into oblivion" without the pills that Albright alone can provide for him, but Damian uses a flamethrower to burn through the two-way mirror and incinerate Albright. Following Albright's death, Damian stops taking his pills and willingly allows Mark to take back control of his body, much to Madeline's delight.

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