It's honestly not hard to love Oscar Isaac. The actor practically exploded onto the scene with hard-hitting films such as [Inside Llewyn Davis](movie:250255) and absolutely shines in the upcoming [A Most Violent Year](movie:967523) (more on that soon) but to geeks everywhere, he'll be known as the title character of [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) and one of the pivotal cast members in the upcoming Star Wars by the end of this decade. While he's certainly hitting the press circuits for A Most Violent Year, Isaac hasn't exactly been shy about his excitement for his future in a galaxy far, far away.
After (obsessively) reading several interviews with him this week, here's some of the best takeaways we've gotten so far:
He Supports John Boyega
After the predictably vapid YouTube backlash over a Black Stormtrooper (where angry commenters on the Vii trailer revealed that they were either racist or knew nothing about the original trilogy), Isaac's young colleague took to instagram for a classy response. The actor described his thoughts on Boyega's casting and the response in an interview with IGN Movies:
What's great about it is, it's like, 'Are you a racist? Here's a perfect way of revealing that to everyone!' [Laughs] What I loved about the trailer too is, like, the giant middle finger of the first thing you see, right off the bat: John's face -- BAM! So it is, yeah, 'Just deal with it.'
One thing I loved about the original trilogies was how much camaraderie between cast members that we saw in all of the behind-the-scenes footage - it's really nice to know that the same goes for the sequel trilogy, too.
The Story will be Driven by Emotion
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Isaac detailed the very "real" feel of the film, and talked about how it's similar to the original trilogy:
I think the biggest thing, the most important part of the story, is the emotional aspect of it. I think that's what most of us were keyed into: 'What is the emotion of the thing?' The spectacle is secondary to that.
... If you watch Harrison Ford in [the originals], he doesn’t give a f—, you know? He’s just being a real person. He’s funny. You can even hear little ad-libs and things like that. ... There’s less of a formality, I think.
One of the biggest gripes I had with the prequels was that they felt empty: where I could totally believe that Han and Leia were head-over-heels for each other at the end of the original trilogy (which arguably had much less romance than the prequels), I didn't believe for a second that Padme and Anakin were in love. I took to the comics and the books for a believable romance. While it may have just been a compatibility issue between Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman, they were acting out the romance that was partially responsible for kicking off the Galactic Civil War. That's a big deal!
It's a huge relief to see that the actors felt relaxed and had fun on set. Comfortable actors make for great acting.
He Did Some Flight Training Before Filming...
This is pretty cool! The actor took to the skies in a simulator (and played with X-Wing toys?) to prep for filming. Well, at least he had a reason to play with X-Wing toys. That's more than I've got!
I did a little bit on a simulator, just for a day... but ultimately it was more about my imagination. I remember some of my prep was getting a little ship and just playing in my room with it and thinking about the things I used to say when I was doing that.
... and was going to fly with Han Solo himself in real life!
As if we needed any more reason to be peanut butter and jealous of this guy, Harrison Ford offered to take Isaac up in one of his action hero helicopters (the ones Ford uses to rescue lost hikers - no, I'm not kidding, and Harrison Ford will always be my hero for this) when they met early on the set.
It's funny, because I spoke to Harrison before [shooting] ... He was just like, 'Whenever you wanna go up, we'll fly.' I was like, 'That's amazing!' Then, scheduling-wise, we couldn't find the time to do that. Ultimately, he was like, 'Well, you know, it's space. So it's a little different when you're flying in atmosphere.'
Even having a chance at that is enough to make my heart explode. I'm gonna need a new medical plan by the time this movie premieres.
He's living out a Childhood Dream (Obviously)
This one's a given, but the actor touched on how he, like the rest of us, is a huge fan of the franchise.
It was totally like living out a childhood dream. Being on those sets and being surrounded by those people -- talking to Anthony Daniels, seeing him getting suited up, and Peter Mayhew putting on the suit again -- that was incredible.
You can read more of the IGN interview here - it's really awesome!
A personal note: Out of everyone, I'm honestly extremely excited to see Oscar Isaac in an X-wing. It may not mean much, but as someone of hispanic descent, seeing "one of us" flying through the air in one of my favorite fictional ships of all time was just so huge for me.
Stay tuned for more Oscar Isaac in my upcoming review of A Most Violent Year and more!