Category: Inside Llewyn Davis

Ethan Coen: “We were screwed until we met Oscar”

Ethan Coen: “We were screwed until we met Oscar”

“I don’t know how else to describe it. We were screwed until we met Oscar.”

Cannes 2013: Oscar Isaac sings fresh tune in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Cannes 2013: Oscar Isaac sings fresh tune in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

The British reporter at the press conference had a question for Oscar Isaac–the same question on a lot of reporters’ minds. “Where have you come from?

It was a logical query for Isaac after seeing him in the title role in “Inside Llewyn Davis,” the sideways folk tale from Joel and Ethan Coen that’s inspired — somewhat — by the life of early folk-revival musician Dave von Ronk.

As the tortured, can’t-catch-a-break strummer, Isaac is on screen in nearly every scene of the movie, offers plenty of subtlety and showcased some impressive singing chops to boot. He smiled quietly at the question, though, and offered only that he had to find a different way into the real-life Ronk. “I’m not a six-foot-four Swede,” deadpanned the actor, who appeared at least five inches shorter, and not Scandinavian.

So where has the 33-year-old come from?

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Oscar Isaac gets his big break: Inside Lleyn Davis

Oscar Isaac gets his big break: Inside Lleyn Davis

Joel and Ethan Coen had almost given up on casting the lead for their film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” The part, a folk musician in early 1960s Greenwich Village, demanded the elusive combination of someone who could both carry a movie and perform the songs central to the film. Until they met Oscar Isaac.

“It just didn’t happen until he walked in the room,” says Joel Coen. “There was a point at which we wondered if we’d written something that was essentially impossible to cast.”

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