One of this spring’s most anticipated television series is “Moon Knight,” the Disney+ series that stars Oscar Isaac as a veteran with dissociative identity disorder who receives the power of an Egyptian god. Much has been made about the show’s unapologetic weirdness and brutality, with fans hoping that the series can marry the charm of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the creative pedigree of prestige television.
Oscar Isaac is one of the rare actors who can step between blockbuster filmmaking and serious acting with ease, so expectations are high for his take on the obscure Marvel character. In a new interview with NME, Isaac details his process for embodying the complex character. The actor revealed that he has found inspiration in some very unexpected places — primarily, British comedy.
“I thought, ‘What’s an energy that I haven’t seen in the MCU before? Like, what if someone asked Peter Sellers to be in a Marvel movie,” Isaac said. “And then I thought of Karl Pilkington,” he adds. “I was watching a lot of ‘An Idiot Abroad,’ not so much for the accent, but for the comedy of it: like, you often don’t know if he knows he’s being funny. And there’s something a little bit naturally introverted about him, which I really liked a lot.”
The fish-out-of-water nature of those films and shows helped Isaac put his role into perspective, so he continued to dive down the rabbit hole of British comedy. “I also listened to Russell Kane, the comedian, because he comes from [Enfield],” he said. “And I put in a bit of Russell Brand, even though he’s much more loquacious. And then, really, it was about finding the [character]’s emotional place. Like, why he is kind of mumbly and inward.”
Even with some help from classic cinema, Isaac stressed that playing a character with so many personalities was a daunting task. “Generally, the fun part about being an actor is reacting to something, right?” he said. “Like, [your scene partner] does something different, which changes the way you do it and keeps you present. But sometimes, I’d show up on set and it would be a scene with myself. So I’d have to figure out, ‘Well, who do I want to be first?’”
“Moon Knight” begins streaming on Disney+ on March 30.