Actor Oscar Isaac is in a new show that’s as weird as his resumé.
In addition to playing eccentric characters in films like “Ex Machina” and “Inside Llewyn Davis,” he has also appeared in major cinematic blockbusters, like “Dune” and the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. That’s not to say that he hadn’t had brief run-ins with different superhero franchises in the past. He provided his voice to 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” and will have a bigger role in its sequel. He also played the villain in 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
However, it took a lot of convincing to bring him on board for Marvel’s 2022 Disney+ live-action series for “Moon Knight” as the titular superhero.
Oscar Isaac ‘Wasn’t Sure If We Needed Another’ Superhero Story
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the former Resistance pilot revealed that it took a lot of convincing to appear in “Moon Knight,” which they called a “trippy, six-episode series about a mentally ill vigilante with an otherworldly connection to an Egyptian moon god.”
“I had reservations and hesitations about going into this world because I didn’t know what to expect,” Isaac explained. “It wasn’t a character I was familiar with. There’s a lot of superhero content out there, so I wasn’t sure if we needed another one — especially one that was about six hours. There was a very small target to hit with this in order for me to feel really amped up about doing it.”
However, the “Scenes from a Marriage” actor likes to play real character-driven roles, and he definitely got to explore that when playing a character struggling with a dissociative identity disorder (and also being the human avatar for the ancient Egyptian god Khonshu). Marvel boss Kevin Feige also gave Isaac the opportunity to create “something that really meant something to me as an actor and a storyteller.”
Oscar Isaac Reveals How He Was Able To Have Conversations With Himself
The producers decided to bring in a stand-in for scenes when Marc and Steven talk to each other, and it was Isaac who offered to bring in his brother, Michael Hernandez, for the job.
“I was like, ‘Well, I know someone that’s great,’” Isaac said with a laugh. “He’s a great actor and he happens to share my DNA.”
Even still, there might be more to those conversations than initially meets the eye, as Isaac recommends that fans watch those sequences a few times to capture all of the symbolism in the scene.
“That’s why I feel like you need to watch this a few times, because you start to see the role that reflections constantly play throughout the entire thing,” Isaac said. “It’s just suffused with meaning and symbolism.”
Even though it’s a big-budget product, Isaac and costar Ethan Hawke, who plays his nemesis Arthur Harrow, began the tradition of bringing all of the actors, directors, and key crew members together for brunch every Sunday. As a team, they would run through each sequence that they needed to film in the upcoming week and adjust scenes as they felt necessary.
“What I didn’t expect was that it was going to be such a collaborative experience,” Isaac shared. “Not only for me, but everyone involved. There was so much freedom to fail, to try stuff. You only get a good idea by saying a lot of dumb ideas first, generally. There was a lot of trust in that process. I think that was a big surprise.”
Oscar Isaac Calls ‘Moon Knight’ ‘My Baby’ In 2022 SAG Award Interview
Earlier this month, Isaac was nominated for his role in HBO’s “Scenes From A Marriage,” in which he starred opposite Jessica Chastain. Although he failed to score a win, he did talk to Extra about his upcoming superhero role.
“It comes out March 30 on Disney+,” Isaac said of the show. “I’m so excited. It’s turned out to be my baby. I put everything into it. I hope it blows people’s minds.”
In a separate interview with Empire Magazine, Isaac admitted that he did have hesitations about returning to a major franchise like Marvel after finishing up with “Star Wars” so recently.
“My initial thought was ‘No, I don’t want to go back into that kind of machinery.’ I did that already,” Isaac recalled. “The last thing I want is to be on a massive set [thinking], ‘What am I doing here?’”
“Often on these big movies, it can feel like you’re building the plane on the runway,” he explained. “The idea of getting back to ‘handmade’ films, character studies… I was desperate for that feeling.”
Fans can catch the remaining five episodes each Wednesday on Disney+.