03/24/15   0

I’ve added 4 lovely behind the scenes images of Oscar Isaac during his Vanity Fair shoot for March 2015 to our photo gallery. Be sure to check them out!

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03/24/15   0

Dujour.com — In 1981, it was no walk in the park to live in New York City. Over the course of 12 months, the city was reportedly home to over 2,000 murders and more robberies than ever previously committed. Cupcake shops were not opening on a regular basis. In director J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, businessman Abel Morales (played by Oscar Isaac) attempts to navigate these brutal waters as his fortunes swell and the target on his back grows to keep pace.

More than 30 years later in a very different New York, Isaac himself is in the midst of an impressive ascent—albeit one marked by a lack of circling thugs. While the chorus of adulation for Isaac’s role in A Most Violent Year is still resounding, the Guatemalan-born actor doesn’t seem interested in pausing to enjoy it. In the coming months, he’ll appear opposite Mark Wahlberg and Garrett Hedlund in Mojave, he’ll star in the artificial intelligence thriller Ex-Machina and he’ll be deified by nerds everywhere for his roles in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens as well as Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse.

It’s an impressive slate for the Julliard graduate, but he says each of the films was one that he just couldn’t pass up. “Being asked to inhabit the psyche of someone over a period of time, it’s got to be a bit like falling in love,” he says. “You know, you can’t really quantify exactly why you want to play a particular part, but it’s something you just keep thinking about, that doesn’t leave your mind. That’s the barometer in how I choose a role.”

Still, Isaac’s quick to admit that choosing a job that involves light sabers is remarkably easy. “Not only are there these iconic props, but the sets, vehicles, droids and all these characters—you’re interacting with the characters that have been a part of everyone’s life for such a long time,” he says of Star Wars, for which he plays X-Wing fighter Poe Dameron. “Sometimes I pinch myself because it’s actually happening; it’s wild! But it’s funny, because you still have to do the same job you’re hired to do, which is between ‘action’ and ‘cut’ to be alive, be truthful and tell the story.”

Isaac, who got his big break in the 2013 Coen brothers movie Inside Llewyn Davis, says there’s no one sort of character or film that he finds appealing.

“In film it’s not the same as in theater, where you’re like, OK, I definitely want to give Hamlet a crack, or I want to play Willy Loman,” Isaac, who admits he aspires to one day direct, says. “There isn’t so much that one that I’m looking to do, it’s more about working with certain directors and finding stories that are compelling.”
That was certainly the case with Chandor and A Most Violent Year. Isaac’s Morales is an up-and-coming oil titan whose fleet of trucks—not to mention his family—is being terrorized by his competitor’s goons, but who refuses to lower himself to their level. It was a mindset Isaac took pains to understand.

“I had some issues figuring out why he was making his decisions,” Isaac says, “particularly the nonviolent choices, like why he felt so strongly against getting a gun to protect himself even though he was getting threats from all sides, and against his family.”

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02/12/15   0

Oscar Isaac discussed his role in the crime drama set in New York City during the ’80s for ‘A Most Violent Year’ on The View on January 8th, 2015. Added to our gallery are a few stills from that day, and below you can watch the interview!

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02/12/15   0

NYDailyNews.com — Stroll into a random café in New York City to watch a live band play and you may just find Oscar Isaac singing and strumming guitar. The Golden Globe-nominated actor gives award-worthy performances in films like 2013’s “Inside Llewyn Davis,” but off-screen he indulges in his other passion — music. But it’s his talent for acting that’s suddenly making film audiences take notice of the Guatemalan-born Isaac, who grew up in Miami to a Guatemalan mother and Cuban father. The Juilliard graduate’s acclaimed performance as a troubled New York businessman alongside Jessica Chastain in the ’80s-set “A Most Violent Year” will be followed with roles as an X-wing fighter pilot in “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” as the titular villain in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” and the sci-fi thriller “Ex-Machina.”

Your character in “A Most Violent Year” had some really strong lines throughout the film like, “When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life.” Did those lines jump out at you when you first read the script? It did. It definitely spoke to someone who is very confident in their vision, and everything (my character is) doing is exactly that. It’s 1981, one of the most violent years on record, the city’s on the brink of economic collapse, people are leaving in droves, and he decides now is when you grow, now is when you risk it all.

You’ll be appearing in the latest “Star Wars” and “X-Men,” plus “Ex-Machina.” Do you enjoy playing sci-fi roles? The genre is less important to me than the story and the world of it. And, obviously, great directors. Between J.J. Abrams, Bryan Singer and Alex Garland, who’s the writer and director of “Ex-Machina,” those are amazing people to work with and real visionaries. That, for me, is the most exciting thing, and then characters that are really interesting and unique. Things I’ve never done before.

At this rate, you may soon be a geek god. Well, I guess a geek god that’s also a geek. I really do like sci-fi. The really great sci-fi is … never about aliens and mutants and robots, it’s actually about the human condition and us trying to express something about existence and the mystery of it.

Did you decide to go with the name Isaac instead of your birth name of Hernandez in order to expand your appeal in Hollywood? It wasn’t so much Hollywood that I thinking about. This was before I even went to Juilliard, when I was an actor in Miami. Oscar Hernandez is like John Smith down there… so I wanted to differentiate myself.

Casting directors, especially when you’re starting out, there’s not a lot of imagination yet, so they kind of just pigeonhole you as one thing and I was hoping they’d see me for other roles, not just “The Gangster” or whatever.

What do you say to the naysayers in the Latino community who may not support the decision to drop your last name? That’s their prerogative. I feel totally comfortable with my decision. I’m very up front about the fact that I was born in Guatemala and that my father’s Cuban, my mother’s Guatemalan (and) I speak Spanish. I think the idea of show business and names, that’s always been an element of just the nature of show business.

It seems to be working for you, considering you’ve had so many different roles, not just Latino stereotypes. Yeah, it’s great. Also with “A Most Violent Year,” it’s like the very first time that you see a Latin American man portrayed this way. He’s not a gangster; he’s nonviolent, he’s powerful, he’s quintessentially American, and he’s not a sidekick. We get to see a very un-clichéd look at the Latin American immigrant experience and really what the backbone of this country is. A lot of people like this come and work their way to the top, and this is somebody that buys into the American dream — and at the same time he’s very flawed. When you present someone not as a token for the entire community, I think that actually does more for the community than being some sort of poster child.

02/12/15   0

NYDailyNews.com The first movie the ‘A Most Violent Year’ actor saw in the movie theater as a child was ‘Return of the Jedi,’ and now he’s flying his own X-Wing Fighter.

At 35, Oscar Isaac is a serious and accomplished actor, but the night before he was due on the set of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” he reverted to the four-year-old who first fell in love with the franchise.

“I remember being in my hotel room and using a shampoo bottle for an X-wing and flying it around my room,” Isaac told the Daily News. “That’s how you tap back into that spirit.” He may not play a Jedi in the movie—while he won’t spill details about the upcoming movie, it’s clear from the trailer that he gets to pilot an X-Wing Fighter bigger than a shampoo bottle—but the Force is strong in Isaac.

“I was a big fan,” says the star of “A Most Violent Year.” “The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was (1983’s) ‘Return of the Jedi.'”

Fast-forward 32-years and Isaac is living a dream shared by many “Star Wars” fanatics. “In fact, I realized that was the key to the character and into the world,” added Isaac, “was reverting back to that childlike feeling.”

Isaac will have plenty of chances in the coming year to tap into that feeling: in addition to the highly anticipated J.J. Abrams-directed “The Force Awakens” that’s set for release on Dec. 18, Isaac is starring in “X-Man: Apocalypse” as the villain Apocalypse, as well as in “Ex-Machina” as a somewhat creepy scientist.

“I really do like Sci-fi,” Isaac said. “It’s never about aliens and mutants and robots (for me), it’s actually about the human condition and us trying to express something about existence and the mystery of it.”

If his string of Sci-fi flicks makes him into a “geek god” of sorts, he’d happily take the mystery out of that. “Well, I guess a geek god that’s also a geek,” the Golden Globe-nominated actor admitted.

There’s nothing geeky about Isaac’s starring role as Abel Morales in “A Most Violent Year” alongside Jessica Chastain. “He is someone who is very confident in their vision and everything that he’s doing is exactly that,” he said of the J.C. Chandor film out this month.

02/12/15   0

VanityFair.com The stars of our Hollywood Issue dream cast their own biopics. Some requests are more realistic than others.

Behind the scenes of the cover shoot for the 2015 Hollywood Issue, the stars of the moment told Smith about who they’d choose to star in their personal biopics. Some had requests that might be impossible—Grace Kelly?—while others may have just hand-picked the biggest stars of tomorrow.

 

02/12/15   0

StarTribune.com — Declaring Jessica Chastain the “young Meryl Streep” makes for a catchy sound bite, but there is really no need to equate her with anyone else. She stands on her own through her nonstop work with major filmmakers and indie newcomers alike.

She’s been an Oscar nominee as an endearing Marilyn Monroe look-alike in “The Help,” and as a grim CIA agent hunting Osama bin Laden in “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Her latest, “A Most Violent Year,” is a dark drama of family and business set in New York at the beginning of the 1980s. Chastain plays the daughter of a Brooklyn gangster, moving toward a higher social and economic position by keeping the books of a heating oil company owned by her husband. He’s played by Oscar Isaac, Chastain’s pal since they were acting students at Juilliard.

Just as Chastain has flickered between science fiction, period crime tales and romance, Isaac has played a Russian security guard, a secret agent, the king of England in “Robin Hood” and a 1960s folk singer in Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

“We went to college together, so maybe that’s why we’re similar,” she said in a recent phone conversation. “That’s where I first saw his work and he first saw my work, and we’ve remained friends for 12 years. And I’ve always thought we ought to work together.”

Playing a cadaver

Isaac was the first of the two to score a major role, in “PU-293,” a 2006 film about the Russian black market for plutonium. Directed by longtime screenwriter and Minneapolis native Scott Z. Burns, it went to HBO rather than theatrical release, but Isaac and Chastain celebrated it with a private screening at Burns’ house in Los Angeles.

“The three of us went upstairs, and they grabbed guitars and I grabbed a triangle or something, and we all started playing music,” she said.

Chastain was thrilled for Isaac “because he’s such a wonderful actor, but at the time I was thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, I want to work, too.’ ”

It didn’t happen instantly. In her early years, the biggest role she got was playing a cadaver in a TV pilot.

“The character I played had a couple lines and then she gets killed,” Chastain said. “The whole episode is about basically my corpse. After we had shot it, we needed to reshoot some things. So they brought me back just to lie there as a corpse.

“I remember it was San Francisco, it was raining, it was cold, and I’m lying on the ground, a dead person. And I’m thinking, ‘Wow, this is the life.’ ”

 

‘The Debt’ pays off

By 2010, though, she had a premiere of her own for Isaac to attend. “The Debt,” her first major film, was a thriller in which she played a Mossad agent hunting a Nazi surgeon in 1965 East Germany. She learned German and Israeli accents, took intense Krav Maga fight training for four months and studied medical experiments to prepare for the role.

“We’ve been very good friends; he’s just wonderful,” she said of Isaac. “He showed me his audition for the Coen brothers film on his iPhone over Thai food.”

Working with him is a gift, and not just because of their friendship, she said. “When I watch a performance he’s giving, he just makes me want to be better. And I knew that working with him would bring out the best in me. Because it really forces me to be present.”

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Welcome to Oscar-Isaac.com, your ultimate and unofficial fan resource for rising actor and singer Oscar Isaac. You may recognize him as the Blue Jones in "Sucker Punch", Standard in "Drive", Orestes in "Agora", Joseph in "The Nativity Story" or his most recent film "Inside Llewyn Davis" where he plays LLewyn Davis. We aim to provide you all the latest news, images, fan media and more - on everything Oscar Isaac related.
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