Oscar Isaac on ‘The Card Counter,’ Befriending Timothée Chalamet and Not Confining Latino Actors to ‘Very Specific Stories’
Oscar Isaac is one of the hottest actors working in Hollywood, showcased by his distinct and invigorating performances in films such as “The Card Counter” from Paul Schrader, “ Dune ” from Denis Villeneuve and “Scenes from a Marriage,” the limited series that just completed its run on HBO. Knowing firsthand about the hustle of making it in Hollywood, both as a Latino and wanting to “be seen” by his peers, he’s mindful of choosing projects and keeping his family first and foremost.
On this edition of the Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast , Isaac sits down to discuss various topics, including his chemistry with his co-star Tiffany Haddish in the Focus Features’ “The Card Counter,” where he plays an ex-military prisoner and a traveling gambler with a checkered past. The two developed a powerful bond, recommending books to one another and developing a substantial friendship. He continues by talking about sending an email to co-writer, producer and director Denis Villeneuve for a chance to have a role in “Dune,” which led to a surprising music-loving connection with his on-screen son Timothée Chalamet.
Listen to the full interview with Isaac in the latest edition of Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast below:
Isaac talks working with his “A Most Violent Year” co-star Jessica Chastain on the HBO limited series “Scenes from a Marriage,” a reimagining of the Ingmar Bergman classic film, touching a bit on the nudity scene (and the hint of it given in “Dune”) that’s had social media buzzing. The 42-year-old actor then drops subtle hints and information regarding his upcoming role in the superhero series, “Moon Knight,” the latest venture from Marvel Studios, which just wrapped shooting. “Speaking with Kevin [Feige], I told him I’m going to come in with these big ideas, and if you don’t like them, that’s fair,” he says. “And immediately, we saw it all. I found so much room to do things that I’ve never done before and had been curious about and wanting to do. I could not wait to get to set, and it was the biggest workload I’ve ever had in my career and most challenging; by the sheer amount of stuff we had to do in eight months, and even yet, I couldn’t wait to get to set and work.”
Also, on this episode: Jeffrey Wright , an Emmy and Tony Award winner, discusses his role in Wes Anderson’s new movie, “ The French Dispatch ,” where he plays Roebuck Wright, an amalgamation of James Baldwin and A.J. Liebling. He’s been best known for his memorable roles in films such as “Broken Flowers” and “The Hunger Games” franchise and has been receiving supporting actor awards buzz since the film debuted at the Cannes and Telluride Film Festivals earlier this year. His hilarious and scene-stealing turn has led him to be cast for the next Anderson project, currently shooting.
Before wrapping up our conversation, Wright drops some hints regarding the upcoming season of HBO’s “Westworld,” along with some pre-DC FanDome breadcrumbs regarding the new and gritty interpretation of director Matt Reeves’ “ The Batman ,” in which he plays Commissioner Gordon opposite Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader.
And in the Variety Awards Circuit Roundtable, the panel is discussing Ben Affleck’s roles in Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” which opens in theaters this weekend, and George Clooney’s “The Tender Bar,” which screened for BAFTA and attendees of the BFI London Film Festival recently. In addition, we’re talking about the lack of women of color being considered contenders for the best actress race. This category still has only one winner, with Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball”) in 2002.
Variety’s Oscars edition of the “Awards Circuit” podcast is hosted by Clayton Davis, Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Jenelle Riley and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in movies. Each week during Oscar season, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday.