Filmoria.co.uk — He’s fast becoming one of the go-to, up-and-coming actors within the Hollywood community, and now Oscar Isaac follows up his leading man performance in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis with a tale of betrayal in the short film, Ticky Tacky.
Due for its festival world premiere in the summer, Ticky Tacky has a brilliant new trailer showcasing the tale of Oscar Isaac’s wealthy businessman who finds himself at the hands of a betrayal by those closest to him.
Set in the confines of what looks to be his office, stacked full of books and expensive furniture, we see Isaac as he breaks down following the deceit and hatching a plan for revenge. The 15-minute short certainly looks to be an intriguing and laughter-filled event, with the main star revelling in a role that clearly has him utlilising his acting chops and really selling his character.
Ticky Tacky also stars Erika Rankin, Tim Rock, Helen Rogers and Julian Shatkin, and is directed by Brian Petsos.
USAToday.com — The ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ folksinger says he loved playing a working blue-collar guy.
After nine years in the trenches, Oscar Isaac, 34, hit gold as a folk singer in Inside Llewyn Davis. “When I got the audition material, at the bottom of the page it said, ‘Llewyn is NOT Bob Dylan,'” Isaac recalls. “Llewyn’s not the poet genius. He’s the workman, blue-collar guy. I loved that.”
A Juilliard graduate, Isaac describes Llewyn as “not wholly likeable, but also absurd and tragic.” He is thwarted at every turn. Something Isaac can likely relate to, after missing out on an Oscar nomination after months of positive buzz about his performance. “I’ve had moments … but I’ve never felt passed over, even when I’ve literally been passed over.”
Before we know anything about Llewyn Davis, the rising folk singer at the center of Joel and Ethan Coen’s superb new film “Inside Llewyn Davis,” we see him singing on stage. That’s for the best; as a person, Davis is rudderless, but as a musician he’s immaculate. In a hushed Village club, Davis strums an acoustic guitar and sings a rendition of “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me,” a lament that’s piercing in its vulnerability. Filmed simply and intimately, the scene leaves no doubt about Davis’ artistry though his position in 1961’s Greenwich Village music scene is never less than precarious.
It’s an affecting introduction to the character, as well as to the actor who plays him. For several years, Oscar Isaac has worked consistently in supporting roles: the villainous King John in “Robin Hood”; the haunted ex-con Standard in “Drive.” But “Inside Llewyn Davis” is this Juilliard-trained actor’s first major lead role. That it just so happens to be in a movie directed by his favorite filmmakers is perfectly in keeping with the film’s exploration of how talent and chance mysteriously intertwine, elevating some to stardom while leaving others to be forgotten footnotes.
“This movie is a recognition that there’s very few shooting-star geniuses—and even for those people, I would say that luck plays a huge role,” says Isaac, sitting in a Los Angeles conference room as part of a busy day of promotion that will include photo shoots and Q&As. It’s a hectic schedule, but Isaac seems energized, understanding how good fortune has brought him to this moment. “You know, [the Coens] have been working on this movie for 10 years. Had they gotten it together five years ago, I’m not in it—or if it was five years [from now]. In my career, I’ve had a lot of that: The right thing at the right time got me the job, and then someone saw that, and that got me the next thing. It could just have easily gone the other way, and still could.”
Amiable and thoughtful, Isaac is not much like the stoic, sardonic Davis, a luckless talent at a personal crossroads who’s frustrated by his going-nowhere solo career amidst the blossoming folk revival. And because the Coens, masters of an ambivalent tone previously evident in “A Serious Man” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” only reveal hints of his backstory, Davis (like the film itself) is open to interpretation: His life is either a dark comedy or a moving meditation on the unseen forces that shape our destiny.
Backstage.com — Oscar Isaac graced the cover of Backstage on November. He chated with Backstage about his role in the Coen brothers “Inside Llewyn Davis”.
Oscar Isaac On How To Avoid Being Typecast
Actors are always anxious about being typecast—especially minorities, who have had less access to film and television roles. But Oscar Isaac’s career would seem to be a happy exception, not only by his playing characters with real dimensions but also from so many different nationalities. (Although he’s Guatemalan-Cuban, he’s portrayed everyone from Russian hoods to the King of England.)
“It’s something that I’ve been very conscious of from the get-go, from doing theater in Miami,” Isaac says. “I’m very happy to have the heritage that I do, but I’m not wanting to be ‘the Latino actor.’ I just want to be ‘an actor.’ Going to [Juilliard] and studying classical theater, it was about being able to play characters with all sorts of different circumstances from different parts of the world. For me, that’s incredibly important and much more interesting. So I have been fortunate, but it’s been an effort.”
And it’s meant turning down certain parts, he admits. “I have said no to things that people would be like, ‘How could you say no to that?’ It’s because it goes down a direction that I’m fighting not to go down.”
Express.co.uk — PLAYING struggling folk singer Llewyn Davis, in the Coen brothers’ latest award-winning comedy, was a role Oscar Isaac had been preparing for for 34 years.
Oscar Isaac is about to become very famous for playing a complete nobody. The hugely talented, classically trained actor, who was born in Guatemala and raised in Miami, gives a star-making performance playing a struggling folk singer in 1961 New York in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis.
No matter that he failed to nab an Oscar nomination (the picture as a whole was weirdly overlooked), he has already bagged a Golden Globe nomination and was the toast of the Cannes Film Festival where the picture won the Grand Prix. Now he is white-hot with a string of major movies on the horizon including thriller A Most Violent Year with Jessica Chastain and Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces Of January for British company Working Title.
“The irony is not lost on me; that I am being celebrated for playing someone that is not,” says Isaac, 34, as we chat in a London hotel room, the star as amiable and articulate as his character Llewyn Davis is dejected and monosyllabic.
A bleakly comic character study, the picture was inspired by Dave Van Ronk, a Greenwich Village folk singer who missed out on the big time, eclipsed by his protegé Bob Dylan.
GQ-Magazine.co.uk — Sad, strange, funny and folky, Inside Llewyn Davis sees the Coen Brothers reteam with producer T Bone Burnett for their most successful musical partnership since the Soggy Bottom Boys of O Brother, Where Art Thou? last left the stage. Loosely based on the career of singer songwriter Dave Van Ronk, the film focuses on the thwarted ambition of a musical misanthrope – played brilliantly by Drive‘s Oscar Isaac – in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1961.
Sitting in London’s Soho Hotel, Isaac possesses none of Davis’ prickliness but does share his character’s trademark intensity. He is, however, far better company; when reminded of his recent appearance inRolling Stone‘s “The Hot List” the 33-year-old recalls his girlfriend’s only response was, “You’re not thatcool”. We beg to differ: born in Guatemala, raised in Miami, Isaac is as comfortable acting on stage at the Juilliard School as performing in a dive bar with his old ska band The Blinking Underdogs. His CV also shows a resilience few can match: the praise he received for his supporting role in Soderbergh’s Che biopic must have been much needed after appearing in Madonna’s WE, Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch and the underwhelming The Bourne Legacy. To mark the debut of a film finally worthy of his talents arriving in British cinemas, we talk to Isaac about being intimidated by John Goodman, why not everything in the Coens’ universe makes sense and his worst ever audition.
GQ: On your first session together to help prepare you for the role, T Bone Burnett played you Tom Waits’ Bad As Me and left the room. What happened next?
Oscar Isaac: It never really changed – there was always that kind of vibe. He’d say, “play me a song”, I’d play a little something of it and then he’d say, “Do you want to smoke a bit of weed?” He kept saying, “Play it like you’re playing it to yourself.” I would have that stewing in my brain – “Play it like you’re playing it toyourself? What does that mean, man?” That’s how he works and its no wonder he and the Coens get along so well, because it’s the same thing. It’s kind of a crazy phenomenon: both T Bone and the Coens, their tone is so specific. You can easily tell what is a Coen Brothers or a T Bone Burnett piece of art. And yet it’s not an imposed, precise, calibrated, intellectualized, predetermined thing at all. It’s a weird thing when the vibe is set for that to just be drawn out of people. It percolates up! I was expecting a team of [musical] experts, fingerpickers, videos I had to watch, reproducing certain sounds. I think they did for [Johnny Cash biopic] Walk The Line because it had to be this qualitative thing. But with this one it was much more murky and ambiguous. So there was never a real conversation: “Do I sound like Dave Van Ronk?” “Idon’t sound like Dave Van Ronk?” “Do I just do what I’m doing?”
How helpful was Dave Van Ronk’s memoir The Mayor of MacDougal Street?
I went back to it, because as an actor it’s just about what inspires curiosity and creativity. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I grabbed on to Dave Van Ronk for dear life. But it’s impossible for me to be Dave Van Ronk – John Goodman’s character has a lot more to do with Dave Van Ronk than I do. Van Ronk was a huge Swedish f***ing howler – that’s not me. But his story, his thoughts about life, his humour, his aggression and his surliness – there’s a great description of Dylan first meeting Van Ronk in Chronicle where he has the music shop. “One winter day a big burly guy stepping in off the street – he looked like he’d come from the Russian embassy”. He’s very surly with the guitar and doesn’t want to talk to anybody. I really liked that. The Coens didn’t really refer to it that much again because they didn’t do such a departure.
Hollywood.com — Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac once fronted a Florida punk-ska band, called The Worms. The young movie star has revealed he was a singer/songwriter just like the one he plays in the Coen Brothers movie long before he started acting – and he once performed on America’s Warped Tour festival.
I’ve been playing music since I was about 12 years old, playing guitar and I’ve had bands. I studied singing a little bit at school. I went to acting school Julliard but I took singing classes, so I’d always done it. My very first band was a soft rock band named Paper Face and then that turned into a hardcore band and that turned into a punk-ska band. I grew up in south Florida, so we would play in a whole bunch of places down there. We even played in the Warped Tour festival for a couple of dates, which was really fun. We were called The Worms and we were a ska band; I was playing bass. I never recorded an album. It was more of a local scene. We never really went out that way. Similar to Llewyn, every time it looked like the next step was gonna happen I would do something to sabotage it a little bit. Maybe out of fear.
Meanwhile, Isaac will be able to reminisce about his days at drama school on the set of his next film – he reunites with Jessica Chastain on director J.C. Chandor’s The Most Violent Year. He explains, “We went to Julliard together.”