One of the best panels from Salt Lake's Fan Experience that I had the privilege to attend was Jason Isaacs panel. The man can tell a story, and came out with a strong confidence, even foregoing a regular moderator. He allowed the fans two minutes to get photos but asked that they didn't take anymore, so that we could all live in the moment together and enjoy it
He kept calling out people who were taking a long time, pointing to specific ones in the audience and asking what was so fascinating about 70 pictures of him just standing there talking. Once all the cameras were down he covered a lot of his most asked questions.
Does he like playing the bad guy
He never sees his characters as fully bad. They are flawed characters, most likely acting in fear or desperation. He likes the layers of characters, and the backstory for them.
Did he like being in Harry Potter
He honestly hadn't wanted to play the role of Lucius, as he was already working as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the time. He did not want to do two fairy tale villains at the same time. He initially auditioned for the role of Lockhart, but they had him read for Malfoy. He told his agent that if it got offered then he didn't want it, but after everyone from his adult friends to his godchildren were asking him to consider it, he read the books and agreed to do it.
He shot Chamber of Secrets and Peter Pan at the same time
He would shoot for 3 days as Hook and then spend 4 days on the Harry Potter set.
He truly loved playing Captain Hook and the story of Peter Pan
While the title of the book is "Peter Pan" it is actually Wendy's story. He mentioned that always from the beginning Mr. Darling and Hook were played by the same actor, and of course in his version it was no different. Peter Pan was a way for her to escape from the terror of having to grow up, because back then having to move out of her room with her brother's meant having to become a lady and prepare for marriage. So the story is between her having to chose between the boy who is a child and being drawn in by the idea of adulthood, in the Freudian way of having her father be Captain Hook whom she finds attractive. Jason mentioned that Rachel Hurd-Wood (Wendy) was lovely and over the long shoot had grown up in front of his eyes, like Wendy. He especially appreciates the story now, because his daughter is 14 and on that cusp herself. She still has her teddy bear, but girls her age are wearing make-up and doing more advanced things.
His favorite scene was his first scene for Harry Potter in Dumbledore's office
He was really intimidated by Richard Harris
He came up with a lot of stuff himself
Originally they wanted him in a pinstripe suit and his regular hair, but he really wanted to look like the character who had blonde hair. As he was shooting Peter Pan at the same time, he knew that he would have to wear a wig for one. Since he figured it would be better than bleaching his hair, he opted for a wig for Malfoy. As he knew that the character is one that is really stuck in the past as well, and really proud of his wizard heritage, he insisted that they use fur cloaks and stuff that looked like it was passed down through generations. He wanted to be able to pull his wand from his staff. He also came up with the idea of kicking and hitting Dobby as they left Dumbledore's office.
He had no idea what Avada Kedavra meant when he said it
He had to say a spell to Harry but they hadn't given him one. A producer then threw out that spell. He got a lot of hate mail asking "How could you try to kill Harry Potter?"
He is really great at impressions
Not only did he imitate Richard Harris brilliantly, but he crashed the voice over panel and did great impressions of both Sean Connery and Ian Mckellan.
Jason Isaacs is an incredible man with a hilarious sense of humor, and he was amazing to talk to and watch talk. A really great story teller.