If there’s one big risk to take in the entertainment industry, it’s taking a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that famously rag-tag studio supported by noted Hollywood underdog, Disney. During The Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actor Emmy Roundtable, Oscar Isaac reflected on the major leap for his career that was Moon Knight.
“Moon Knight felt that way. Like, ‘Man, I’m going to go down hard with this thing,’” he said. “Just the level of embarrassment that it would be, once you throw on a cape, you know what I mean? And you’re out in front of it. It’s like, ‘Holy shit, I’m really doing this thing.’”
Isaac knows what he’s talking about, coming from one of the least-well regarded X-Men movies of all time. And in fairness, playing dual roles on the show was definitely a swing, given the hokey British accent and general zaniness of the lesser-known comic book character.
So committing to the superhero franchise was no easy decision for the multi-franchise veteran. “[It] was so much about, like, ‘Is this the stupidest thing? Is this a smart thing?’ It was such mental torment just to make the decision.”
Would that all our most difficult decisions come with a Disney check at the end of the day... Samuel L. Jackson (who also very much knows what he’s talking about re: the MCU) pointed out that the big tentpole flicks allow actors to pursue more meaningful artistic endeavors, but Isaac insisted that Moon Knight checked all the boxes.
“The trick with this one was, like, ‘Can I do both?’” he said. “Can you smuggle in the thing that matters to me, the reason why I like doing it, so every morning when that alarm goes off, I could be excited to get to work and not just be like, ‘I’ve got to get through this to get that check or whatever.’ And it seemed like this was an opportunity, maybe because of the TV landscape, where there seems to be a lot more risk-taking, to do this bizarre thing that happened to be in the case of a superhero genre film.”
Perhaps we have reached the point where the MCU is such a monolith that it might contain both blockbusters and small, character-focused art pieces under its own umbrella. Whether the latter category includes Moon Knight, a series that prominently featured giant, CGI Egyptian animal gods, remains up for debate.