Capone sits with Jason Isaacs for GOOD conversation about HARRY POTTER, GREEN ZONE, and how to love Paul W.S. Anderson!!!
Hey folks. Capone in Chicago here.
A few weeks back, I interviewed Viggo Mortensen about a film coming out in very limited release this week called GOOD. Set in the early days of the National Socialist moment in Germany, GOOD centers on a German professor (Mortensen) who wrote a harmless novel years before World War II that inadvertently served the Nazis as a justification for their theories of racial purity and the killing of the Jewish people. The book serves as such a great inspiration and blueprint for the Final Solution that the professor is elevated through the Nazi ranks almost without any ambition on his part to do so. Jason Isaacs play's Mortensen's best friend, Maurice, who just happens to be Jewish. The changing dynamic of their relationship serves as the films metaphor for how ordinary people who never had a prejudice thought in their life could inch by inch be pushed into such deplorable circumstances and deeds.
Isaacs in one of the great character/lead actors working today. Most people recognize him from his role as the white-haired Lucius Malfoy in the HARRY POTTER films. But I remember him going all the way back to his early work in British cinema, including perhaps the only Paul W.S. Anderson film worth watching more than once, SHOPPING. He has made fairly memorable supporting appearances in such films as DRAGONHEART, EVENT HORIZON, SOLDIER, and ARMEGEDDON. But for many it was his prisoner-killing portrayal of Col. William Tavington, the evil British officer in THE PATRIOT, opposite Mel Gibson, that solidified Isaacs in their mind as a force in acting.
Since THE PATRIOT, he's been one of the busiest actors on the planet with roles in such films as BLACK HAWK DOWN; WINDTALKERS; THE TUXEDO; PETER PAN (in which he played Mr. Darling and Captain Hook); NINE LIVES; and FRIENDS WITH MONEY. Isaacs has also done his fair share of TV acting with a memorable three-episode stint on "West Wing," a recent hilarious turn on "Entourage," and a leading role on the recently concluded Showtime gangster series "Brotherhood."
Much like the interview I had with Mortensen, Isaacs and I didn't really have a time limit…and the man is a great talker…and he'll answer any question you put before him. I can't think of a better set of circumstances. I've always dug Isaacs as a solid, all-purpose performer, but I was lucky enough to find out he's a great guy to converse with on top of that. Just to put this interview in full context, we actually spoke at the end of October 2008, so his references to "Brotherhood" might make more sense in that time frame. Enjoy Jason Isaacs!
Jason Isaacs: So this is for the fantastic Ain'tItCoolNews.com?
Capone: It is. I just got around to watching the episode of "Entourage" that you're in. I had no idea you were even in it.
JI: Ah right. That was really quite fun. I had such a great time doing that.
Capone: I'm not used to being surprised by "Entourage," but that was a great little twist about your character.
JI: Me too! My agent goes, "Listen, you're going to be in L.A. anyway, and they wanted to know if you wanted to do an episode of 'Entourage.'" And I said, "Are you kidding? I love that show; I'd kill to do it. What is the part?" And he said, "I don't know." And I said, "Whatever it is, I'll do it." So they sent the script over, and I suddenly got to the last scene and was like, "Oh yeah!" I'm in!
At should say that as far as Ain't It Cool News, I'm a total techno-geek. Even before my children arrived, I was on bulletin boards before there was a world wide web. I've been on Ain't It Cool News since its very, very first text-based construction. I have it on my bookmarks and go to it constantly. I love the breadth of it and the passion for film of the feedback, and how it maintains a sort of outsider status among the, let's face it, mainstream establishment of review sites. And I mean that in all the right ways. Like the Olympics used to be amateur, there's an amateur approach that you are not part of the establishment. I love it.
Dean Devlin [producer of THE PATRIOT and GODZILLA, among many other titles] is a friend of mine, and I remember he was one of the first people to go, "We should invite this guy to the set." It was one of the very first set visits web writers ever did, because that didn't used to happen.
Capone: Mel Gibson returned the favor by coming down to Austin a couple of times for screenings of PASSION OF THE CHRIST and APOCALYPTO. We weren't feel like outsiders then.
JI: Do you have a name you write under?
Capone: I write as Capone.
JI: Oh, you're Capone! And Moriarty, who I've met, has always been unbelievably nice about me. And it's weird when you meet people who have been nice to you because you think, "I'm going to blow it." And they're going to think, "That guy's a dick, I'm never going to say anything nice about him again." But he was really charming and lovely. And, hey, there's no social obligation for you guys. If you see something and you think it stinks, you have to call it like it is.
Capone: Are you still friendly with Paul W.S. Anderson? I thought I'd read somewhere you might be making a new movie with him.
JI: I'm very friendly with him, and he's a lovely guy who was very helpful to me early on in my career. But I've just never been available when he's been making films lately. I've read a lot of his scripts and saw cuts of DEATH RACE and stuff, but I never see him. He lives in L.A.; I live in London.
Capone: At one point I thought I'd seen you in a cast list for a film called MAN WITH FOOTBALL.
JI: I don't even know if that's a film. I said to him, "What is this film we're making together?" [laughs] I hadn't seen him in ages, and he had a baby with Milla [Jovovich], and I went 'round his house to see him. I never come to L.A. anymore because I've been making "Brotherhood" for years and doing other things. L.A. is a place I go to find work, and I wasn't really available for a time. I was in L.A. for the Golden Globes this year, which didn't happen, so I had time for social things like calling on old friends, like Paul. So I called Paul and went to see the baby, and saw a cut of DEATH RACE. And I said, "Hey, do you know we're making a film together?" And he said, "Yeah, what the fuck is that?" I had no idea. But I'd love to work with him again because there is a shorthand--I know this is cliché. As an actor, your job is to feel loose and free and you're going to have fun and remove every trace of fear and anxiety from your body so you can do your best work. The last thing you want to think is, "Geez, all those people by the monitor are wondering how I'm going to fuck up their film and waste their $100 million." And when it's someone you like and likes you and likes your work and you like their work, you just feel free to go nuts and reach for stuff.
I'm doing GREEN ZONE with Paul Greengrass as soon as we finish "Brotherhood" next week. You get the same feeling, when it's an old friend of yours, you get to do your best stuff. So I'd love to work with him again.
Capone: Paul gets a lot of crap on the internet…
JI: Especially from you guys, are you kidding?! [laughs] He is an absolute hate figure for you guys. But if you spent time with him, you'd think he was a really nice guy. He loves the kind of films that he makes. He just likes simple, cracking, bold-edged storytelling. Every time I see what Paul is up to, I ask him, "Is this really what you want to make?" And he's like, "Are you kidding? I can't wait to make it." It's great that he loves those films and likes that genre and that he likes to work on those types of stories with those types of pallets. There are people out there, not just in film, who are worthy of that kind of venom, and he's just not one of them. It's so odd for me to read it.
Capone: I'm not one of the knee-jerk haters. I actually had fun with SHOPPING, RESIDENT EVIL, and DEATH RACE. How does he handle all of that disdain?
JI: You know what? He's a really remarkable man. One of the reasons I like him so much is that he's remarkably optimistic and positive about everything in his life. And there's no question that SOLDIER was a setback for everybody involved. There's no way to reconstruct the experience; it was an out-and-out failure for everybody. And Paul just retrenched, locked himself in his lovely house, wrote some scripts, worked his way back, never felt sorry for himself, never got bitter or blamed the marketing or the poster, never got jealous of anybody else. He just went, "Okay, well that didn't work. Now I'm going to do something that does." He did a pilot for FX. He wrote a script for someone else to direct. And finally RESIDENT EVIL was the thing that put him back at the Hollywood top table. There was no part of him that became embittered by the process. He thought, "I got very well paid to learn a very expensive lesson to follow your guts." He had a great script for SOLDIER, which was not the script that they shot. And God knows, everyone should be allowed failures. I don't really understand baseball statistic, but if you bat .450. you're one of the greatest players ever. If that statistic was applied to a film director, you'd be a Hall of Fame film director.
Capone: Most of his movies make money. There's no denying that.
JI: Right. And more important for me, the end result is one thing and it's key if you want to keep being in films like he does, but the process of making them is really my experience. You write your articles; you don't read it. So my experience has been, I have a great time making stories with him, and that's important.
Capone: I did not have a chance to meet Paul at ComicCon this year when he brought the DEATH RACE footage, but I would have liked to.
JI: He has a relish. You know what I really enjoy in filmmaking? There's nothing greater than a relish from everybody who can't wait to tell the story, and they're enjoying themselves. There are two types of directors to me who sit behind the monitors watching--and the end result may be the same, but for an actor the experience is very different. There are those who call "Action" and wonder what's going to fuck up. How is this person going to get it wrong? How is the camera going to move wrong? How is the scenery going to be wrong? What will we have to correct to get what I need? And you feel that; you feel that negativity, that fear. It may produce good results, but it's not as much fun as an actor. Then there are the ones who sit behind the monitor and go "What awesome magic is going to be unleashed now?" And you see it sometimes, they sit there biting their knuckles or shouting out things that need to be cut out of the soundtrack later. They get up if it was good and say, "That was great. Hey why don't we do one like this?" And all you feel is positive energy.
Capone: I've always been a fan of Paul's film SHOPPING, which you were in. And it was probably the first time I'd ever seen Jude Law in anything.
JI: Yeah. Paul came from a world…he'd written a couple of episodes for television…but he came from Newcastle, and he and a couple friends of his set up a little video company and wanted to make fabulous, glossy commercial flicks, at least that's what Paul wanted to do. That was not the climate at all in England at the time at all for filmmaking, and he made SHOPPING, which didn't look like any other British film at the time. And it got him MORTAL KOMBAT. It's just like Roland Emmerich, he made a sci-fi movie for film school in Germany, and it was big at the German box office, because he's always wanted to tell stories like that. He loves them. There's nothing cynical about either of their approaches to storytelling.
Capone: I interviewed a director earlier this year who went to film school with Michael Bay, and he told me a similar story. "He's always made movies like that."
JI: Well, I was in ARMAGEDDON. He is a phenomenon on set, really something to watch.
Capone: We should talk about Maurice and GOOD for a little while. The character of Maurice is a reminder, sometimes an unpleasant reminder to John [Mortensen's character] of where he came from and who his friends used to be. What kind of man is Maurice to you?
JI: One of the reasons I couldn't wait to play him is that he was nothing like any of the Jewish characters I'd seen in films set in the 1930s. To be strictly honest, I don't think I've seen a film set in the '30s about the Jewish experience. Some journalists have said to me, "This is not a film about the Holocaust." And I say, "Are you insane? Have you watched this?" It's set in 1933-36. The Holocaust barely comes into it until the end of the film, but this is about a society will all kinds of very powerful modern parallels, which is why I wanted to make the film. And Maurice is a guy who is absolutely German to his core. He fought in the first World War. He unapologetically carnivorous and misogynistic. He's a big character. He fucks and he eats and he drinks, and the reason that his first World War buddy likes to hang out with him is that he's got a very sedate, dull suburban life. And he love the kind of light and energy that comes off Maurice, and the fun and scabrous wit. And what was really engaging was to watch the dynamic of that relationship change, as a microcosm of Germany generally. There's no message in this film; these people are representative. They are very specific individuals. Viggo and I were both very careful when we were shooting and researching the film, we only read contemporary stuff. We didn't read anything retrospective. I read diaries from the time, listened to recordings from the time. I read books and newspapers from the time, so that nobody had hindsight.
I like the unapologetic nature of Maurice, and how he dominated the friendship. You watch that power paradigm shift gradually, and I thought that was incredibly engaging. What it cost Maurice to lose his dignity--the kind of incremental change in his life--I had to chart, because obviously you film things out of sequence. Not only that, I was shooting "Brotherhood," so I'd go over to Hungary for a week, came back to do two weeks of "Brotherhood," went back to Hungary for a week. As I get off the plane, I had to turn into Maurice from having been a Providence gangster. So I had to have very specific reference points: "Okay, this scene in 1935. At this point, I can still practice as a doctor but I can't employ my maid. This scene, I've still got money in the bank, but there's been two boycotts. I had to know exactly where we were in this gradual erosion of my life. We made the costumes get slightly bigger as time went on because he was getting skinnier; he couldn't afford meat any more. And his apartment, they were brilliant at taking some of the paintings away, because he was hocking his possessions. So you see this beautiful art deco thing--he's clearly a very wealthy single man when you first meet him--then you see the same place bare later in the '30s.
So I loved that it was a character from that time that I had not seen before. And that friendship reflected things I hadn't seen about that time period. But mostly what I liked about the story generally and why I got involved in the first place was that I find modern life really difficult. I mean, I've got two little kids, and I struggle to do things that I am ethically okay with, that I go to sleep at night not thinking, "Fuck, I just completely sold myself out." Or more importantly, will my kids judge me and find me wanting? I don't know what I should do about the fact that we torture in my name or that we'd done away with the right to silence. I don't know what we should do about in Britain that asylum seekers are locked up behind barbed wire fences and are given no appeal and are sent back to places. Sometimes there are these economic migrants--a phrase that seems to be on par with leper or a being from outer space--when I think of them, I think it means someone who has come here looking for a better life. And what's the sin in that? I don't know what to do about the fact that probably everything I'm wearing is made in China by people working in conditions I would find abhorrent. But I know what I can easily do if I'm not careful: I could rationalize everything. I can say, if I don't buy this stuff from China, yes they're kids and yes they work in conditions we wouldn't allow in the west, but they need to work. I can rationalize why I don't give money to every homeless person in the street, because I give to a homeless charity. I don't want to pull a $20 out because they might drink or take drugs, but either way I'm not taking money out of my pocket. I can rationalize why I don't give more of my money to charity, when I know that an extra $3 can pay for a cataract operation.
My life is a morass of rationalizations to make me feel okay with the things that I'm ignoring. And the temptation is to go, "You know what? Fuck it. There's just too much of it. I can't draw a line in the sand anywhere. All I can do is vote, hope the representatives make the right decisions." They shouldn't take planes for leisure, but I'll vote for a higher airport tax. But while there isn't one, I might as well get on the plane because it's going anyway. You could drive yourself insane with this stuff, and the film reminds you to do, even though it's complicated, never to lose sight of the fact that we do have a moral compass or we need to have one. And you need to draw a line in the sand, no matter how difficult it may be or how shifting the ground is. I think it does it. I call it an ethical thriller. It does it in a great storytelling fashion, so you're not quite sure what these people are going to do next. What they don't do, any of them, are any of the things I expect them to do. It's Viggo Mortensen, it's Aragorn for God's sake [laughs], surely he should be joining the partisans and hiding people in his attic and getting a machine gun. Maurice should be grateful and slide off somewhere and cower in the corner. None of the characters do what you expect them to.
Capone: That scene between the two of you where you are essentially begging him for a train ticket that you're not allowed to buy yourself is really hard to watch.
JI: The history between them is so prevalent in that scene. It reminds me, I did a film called NINE LIVES, and there's a scene with Robin [Wright Penn] and I, none of it is about what happens between us. It's all about our history.
Capone: You're talking about the scene in the grocery store?
JI: Yeah. It's all about everything that has happened to us previously. And that scene with Viggo and I, which is somewhere at the heart of the film, that's all about everything that has happened to us previously and how this impacts on us and how difficult it is when friendships change in light of external circumstances. It was easier to think about McCarthyism by writing about the Salem Witch Trials. These are very difficult times for us ethically. Should I be marching up and down Pennsylvania Avenue with a placard? I don't know. What should I be doing? By looking at a different time period, the film reminds us that we should be monitoring ourselves, always, for what we're doing and what we're ignoring.
Capone: Viggo said something similar. The film isn't a call to action, but a call to just be aware of your surroundings.
JI: That's the first step. Look, the highest aspiration of any great story is that you're not bored, you're engaged, you want to know what happens next. If you don't do that you're fucked. You have to wonder what's going to happen next. I certainly did when I read it. But then after that, if you can aspire to anything else beyond that, it's that people don't do, "Oh that was good; let's eat." You want them to go somewhere to eat and start arguing, the fall out, they throw cutlery. I remember going to see [David Mamet's] OLEANNA, and going to a restaurant after and screaming, but nobody noticed because everybody else in the restaurant was screaming, because it was right next to the theater. No one stands up and cheers at the credits of this film; they start thinking. And you want to know what the guy does afterwards. "Have I ever done things like that?" Was he making decisions at the time? In retrospect, is it easier to see how wrong he was?
Capone: That ending, my God. I don't want to give anything away, but I never would have guessed that would be how that film ended. But of course, that's the moment where Viggo sees what all of his concessions have been building up to.
JI: But what did he do? Who knows what he did afterwards? Who knows who he became? It's important. It's an unusual film, narrative wise. Both of what watch hundreds of films, they all have essentially the same narrative structure, and they all resolve themselves in the same way so that you feel resolved and the chapter has been closed and you feel distant from it. "And that's what I would have done, rolled my sleeves up and kicked some ass." This film is more adult, and the only way we're going to find an audience is by being championed by the press. It's touch to go into a multiplex and be surrounded by CGI films. But I'm an audience for films like this. I love sophisticated, grown-up storytelling that doesn't tell me what to think and is specific and human and not predictable.
Capone: And concludes in a way forced you to talk, or at least think, about it.
JI: That's the most important thing you could ever hope for.
Capone: You have a history of playing villainous characters. In fact, there are entire online communities devoted to earlier antagonistic characters. What do you think of those sites?
JI: First of all, I'm amazed by it. Who wouldn't be amazed by the thought that there are people somewhere else who spend a lot of time thinking about them? It's weird. In the UK, I had a stalker for a long time, which is very difficult and scary and dangerous, and I had to go to court and have her dragged away from outside my house, this very mentally unstable person. I was nervous at first when I first saw this stuff appearing. But actually, these women--I've met them, they're mostly women--are so lovely and so devoted that they run websites and archive material that I don't even remember being in. If I paid a team of graphic designers, I couldn't have websites like these women run. And I'm disproportionately represented on the internet, considering where I live on the great fame totem pole. They are so kind, and they come to wherever I am. They all made a pilgrimage to Providence [where "Brotherhood" shot] and brought gifts for my wife, my family, my kids. When I was on stage in London doing "The Dumb Waiter," there were people who came to every single night of the production, people who came from all over the world. But I'm not like Viggo; I can walk down the street anywhere, anytime, and people, if they recognize me, are very pleasant. So I'm not mobbed anywhere. But I have this unbelievably devoted band of misguided women [laughs] who think the sun shines out of my Levis. Who wouldn't like it? They are so supportive. Some of the worst things I've ever done, they tell me "Oh, that was genius." It's like having a team of affirmation counselors.
Capone: And you work so often, sites like that can be helpful to point the fans toward appearances in movies or TV shows that they might not know about.
JI: Hey, when I want to know when something is coming out or when an article has been published or when something is on TV, I go to the fan sites. That's the only time I go, because my friends sometimes go on the message boards and create fictitious characters and go on the message boards and start scurrilous rumors about me [laughs], and then send me the link to some debate about whether I have had a baby with a makeup artist. Or whether I wear a wig everyday.
Capone: You seem to have made a transition from villains to men in the military.
JI: I was in BLACK HAWK DOWN because, well, it was Ridley Scott. And now there are films about Iraq. Hopefully I'm going to be in the best one, GREEN ZONE. Back in the same place, some uniform shooting a very different film in a very different time.
Capone: What a cast on GREEN ZONE too. Are you done filming that already?
JI: We filmed it, but didn't film the ending because of a potential SAG strike, and Matt [Damon] had to go off an honor a commitment somewhere else. As soon as I finish "Brotherhood" next week, I get straight on a plane to Morocco to shoot the ending, which I just read this morning.
But I do play a lot of military guys. As I get older, I get promoted. I was Col. Tavington, then I was Major something. When I first got started, I was in a series called "Civvies," which was very successful in Great Britain. I was a Sergeant in that, so I'm moving up in the ranks. They are all very different. You said there is an amazing cast in GREEN ZONE, and there is. But almost everyone on the screen, apart from a few actors, are real members of the military who are just back from Iraq and Afghanistan, including Iraqis who served as translators; there are an awful lot of those people around. None of them fit my preconceived notions of what soldiers would be like. It was really a privilege to work with them.
I think the reason that Tavington worked so well in THE PATRIOT and the reason I didn't take any villain roles for many years after that, really not until Lucius Malfoy and Captain Hook came around, was because Tavington felt like a real person in the sense that he had a reason to want to win the war and do the things he did. He killed his prisoners because in those days a lot of people decided to kill prisoners because it was too expensive to transport and feed them. He wanted to rule by terror; God knows we've all wanted to do that a lot. For Britain, the tide of the Second World War only turned when we started carpet bombing cities. So this is a guy who had a huge investment in winning the war; he had nothing to return to in England. The backstory we created for him said that if he won the war, he was going to be a major land owner, a force to be reckoned with. And if they lost the war, there was nothing for him. All he was trying to do was win, and one of the difficulties I had with the parts I've been offered and turned down since then was that I had no idea how to play someone who can say and do things just to make the audience go "Oooh." Actually, it never really works, because you can only hate someone that you believe in. If something is written in a cartoon way to twirl and invisible mustache at you, you know it. And almost always, the heroes are smarter and stronger and more able. But in THE PATRIOT, Roland is such a skilled storyteller and Mel is such a talented and smart actor, they wanted to make the character powerful and believable.
Capone: And then Malfoy arrived.
JI: Malfoy and Captain Hook arrived the same week, and I thought I couldn't do both. You can't possibly do two children's films, so I thought that I'd do PETER PAN because it's a long job, it's two parts--Mr. Darling and Captain Hook--and everybody I knew verbally beat me. So I instantly changed my mind for fear of assault and battery from my various godchildren. And I did both, thank God, PETER PAN is a beautiful and stunningly good film. It wasn't initially successful, but now on DVD, it's become a staple in everyone's house who has kids. Apart from that, I got to live on a beach in Australia for a year making this, what I think is, a classic film.
And then HARRY POTTER, it's been such an enormous part of my life for years now, and almost everything else I do, I knock myself out to try and make things real--I research them, I over-research them. I steep myself in it and torture myself at night trying to make something interesting and believable and human. But then you suddenly get handed a wand and full-length velvet cape, and you're sharing scenes with some of the biggest and best scene stealers who have ever lived. You really have to hit the ground running. To give that much joy to so many people and to have such a laugh doing it feels like an embarrassment of riches.
Capone: I know that Lucius is not in the sixth book, but I heard you might still make an appearance in THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE.
JI: I'm not in the sixth book, but I might be a moving painting for a frame. I'm not in the film essentially. Luckily they let me come and say hello to everyone for a day and put my costume on, but essentially I'm not in the film. Number Seven and Number Eight, no one has read the script yet. I've seen the book; I know I'm in the book. I would hope given they are making two films of it, all of my bits will make it in the movie. I wish they'd make 10 films out of it, are you kidding? First of all, here I am in Chicago, I'm shooting in Rhode Island, I'm off to Morocco, I very rarely get to sleep in my own bed and take my kids to school. So one of the great things about HARRY POTTER is that I get to live in England. Apart from that, who would not want to go and do that. Just to set in the makeup chair and look to my left and see Michael Gambon, look to my right and see Maggie Smith, or sit and hang out with Gary Oldman talking magic. I keep pinching myself.
I've been asked before, do you resent the fact that you're best known for that role. What a ridiculous question. I love the work on a lot of the jobs I do, particularly that one. Why would I mind? I don't even care about being known for anything. Most think I aspire to disappear into, but with HARRY POTTER, if you tell a kid you're in it, or even their parents, they light up. You can actually give a thrill to someone just by doing nothing. For a lazy person like me, that's a real treat.
Capone: How did you end up in Edgar Wright's GRINDHOUSE trailer?
JI: Oh, Edgar and Simon very sweetly offered me a part in HOT FUZZ that I couldn't do because I was off doing this thing called "The State Within," which was a miniseries. I played the hero of the miniseries, and it wasn't to play the hero in HOT FUZZ. I really want to work with them because I really loved "Spaced" and SHAUN OF THE DEAD, but I thought that it had been a long time since I played the hero in something and carry something, so I said, "I can't do it." And they gave me a lot of stick for it because HOT FUZZ was so successful. But then Edgar phoned me up and said, "You still want to work with me?" I said, "Alright." No money, took about a half hour in the freezing cold and pouring rain, and I'm on the screen for about three frames. Alright. And the girl in the little sequence that I was shooting was named Georgina. She's English but she lives in New York, and I asked her if she was an actress, and she said "No, I'm a fashion designer." And I said, "You're kidding, what are you doing here?" And she said, "My boyfriend's in the film business." She married Harvey Weinstein; she didn't tell me who he was. And I'm saying things like, "How's that working out for him? Are you guys going to stay in New York or movie back to London?" I wish she'd told me; I wouldn't have embarrassed myself so much.
Capone: Which part in HOT FUZZ did they have in mind for you?
JI: Oh, that wouldn't be fair. It's so unfair to do that.
Capone: Actually I wondered if it was a part that maybe left the film when you couldn't be in it.
JI: It's in the film, and another actor is playing it. And I'm sure every part I've ever played has been offered to somebody else first too. THE PATRIOT was offered to a very well known British actor who had no yet answered, and they were getting anxious about whether he was going to answer, so they did what productions often do and said to the casting director, "Look, can we just get some other people on tape just in case this guy says no?" And they saw my tape and they really liked it, and they said, "Let's just go with that guy. Can we do that?" And they phoned this other actor's agent and said, "Is that alright?" And he very sweetly said, "Sure. Fine." That happens all the time. There are a lot of things I've turned down that went on to be very successful. If we start talking about it, I might start weeping onto the table.
Capone: THE PATRIOT was a huge turning point in your career. It wasn't the first time I remember seeing you, but it was the first time I made myself remember your name from that on.
JI: I was lucky. That was a great part. I went on videotape in my own front room with my own little video camera. And when I heard they wanted to fly me out to Hollywood to meet me, I'd presumed it was to make this famous actor sign because I knew it had been offered to him, and it was just a bit of leverage to scare him. When I got there, they put me up in this hotel and had a car come pick me up. It was a Mercedes, and I thought, "They might just be serious about this." So it was the first time I'd been a part of a nice big American film. I had a nice big part in THE SOLIDER, but the film didn't do very well.
But in terms of career strategy, whatever that is, I was offered a lot of villains afterwards, and I didn't do any of them. And if I'd wanted to be much richer, I probably should have done them. But I decided to be willfully perverse and play third, fourth lead drag queen in SWEET NOVEMBER and then go do a studio play in London. That window of opportunity does not stay open. They don't keep offering lovely big juicy parts if you keep turning them down. So it was a while before I got back in the rooms where they might offer me big parts, and that's when PETER PAN came along.
Capone: Hey, you got to work with Jackie Chan [in THE TUXEDO].
JI: [laughs] I did. It was an amazing experience. I have to say, I've worked with an awful lot of superstars, and when you get to know them, they become very human to you. Nice or not nice, it depends. But the more time I spent with Jackie, the more of a superstar he seemed. I couldn't believe he wasn't triplets and they were pacing themselves coming out of the dressing room one at a time. The amount of stuff that he did for charity and for business and for preparing sequences that might or might not be used in the film and delivering sandwiches and holding the lights. Clearly, when they make films in Hong Kong, everybody does everything. It was interesting because I saw this work ethic that I'd never seen before or since. I thought that he was incredible. If there was a piece of dirt on the set, he'll help someone sweep it up. He'll do the clapper board. He'll stay long after he's finished.
And then when we were asking about this childhood, I asked him if he remembered his first karate move, and he said yes, and he did this little move with his foot in the air. And I asked how old he was when he learned that, and he said he was four. And I asked, "How do you remember it so well?" And he said, "They used to balance a pint of water on his foot, and if you spilled any water, they'd beat you with a bamboo cane until you bled." And then he started to tell other horror stories about the orphanage where he trained--although he wasn't an orphan. It was a performing-arts orphanage, where they would run around in circles holding water on arms stretched out wide, little kids, and the first person to spill was beaten until they bled. If there is any mess in the dormitory, again, beaten. No education of any kind. It was all dancing and singing and acrobatics and karate. So he has this unbelievable work ethic, but it's driven by something…as the Jesuits said, "Give the child before they're seven, and I'll show you the man." That's who he is; he's a force of nature.
Capone: I appreciate all the time you've given us. I truly am a great admirer of your work. Thanks.
JI: No, the pleasure's mine. I love to work. It's a rare privilege in my business. The truth is the bit in front of the camera is my least favorite bit. I love being able to just for a while, like in GOOD, immerse myself in the 1930s, and live that life in my imagination, not just the bits in front of the camera but spend weeks and weeks doing it. Playing a brain-damaged gangster in "Brotherhood," I've spent some time with people who are brain damaged and spent a lot of time reading about it and thinking about it. And spending time with criminals to be honest with you, and learning about that. And with GREEN ZONE, I'm so looking forward to getting back to that because of Paul's style is unbelievable, but to also be with the soldiers again who will have had adventures since I saw them last that absolutely dwarf anything that's happened in my life. That's the real privilege. The payoff is that I get to be in front of the camera and prance around and put on funny voices.
Lovely to meet you, and you know I'll be reading it because I'm on there every day.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Dec. 30, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST
yeah i think he's a great actor. ironically, it was his double portrayal in Peter Pan that got my attention.<P> to think there was a time when i thought he was just a more talented, better looking Julian Sands clone...pfft.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:20 a.m. CST
yeah pretty sure he was considered for timothy dalton's role, eh? the casting agent was looking for a 'timothy dalton type' only no one realized dalton wasn't doing anything else. sorry isaacs, dalton's gotta eat
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:21 a.m. CST
unlike most of you guys, i was first and second and didn't even give a crap. until now.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:22 a.m. CST
The more interviews like this on the site, the better. Lots of detail on many parts of Jason Isaacs' career - everyone sounds like they're having fun during the interview as well. <p> I guess time constraints usually stop people from being able to talk to each journalist as much as this, which is a shame as the benefits with the interesting subjects are obvious.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST
Great actor and seems a thoroughly nice guy.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:24 a.m. CST
It's a greater test of skill if you actually read the article first at normal speed and then try and write a relevant paragraph about the article first. If you happen to then have the first post, you've really earned it.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST
by Darth Busey
Good interview with a very good actor. Jason, you play a fantastic asshole. Keep up the good work.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST
Thanks for all the great work, especially on Brotherhood.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:35 a.m. CST
...I seriously love his hair in the Harry Potter movies (yes, I know, this sounds gay, but so what? Grow up, it's almost 2009. :D ). The point is: My hair really looks like that in terms of length and thickness (10 years without a real haircut, baby!) and I pray to Satan every day to make my hair grey, because I think it looks so fucking cool. Yes, I know, I could bleach it, but after 10 years with this hair you would be protective too.<br> Uhm...yeah, this post was pointless.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:36 a.m. CST
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST
When people lament that they live in a time where every movie seems to feature largely interchangeable boy-men like Shia LaBeouf, Emile Hirsch, Tobey Maguire or Jake Gyllenhaal -- all fine actors, just pretty and slight -- they forget that they also live in a time of severely underrated actors like Jason Isaacs and Stanley Tucci and Don Cheadle and numerous others who make nearly every film a little better (and often a lot better) just by being in them. Isaacs is one of those great actors like J.T. Walsh or Raul Julia who won't be missed until we don't have him anymore.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST
ha ha ha! no he's probably rickey henderson. but you know what, there are alot of british tyuping a-holes here, aren't there?
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST
by Comfortably Spit a Rat
...head of research, pretty much the smartest man on the planet, you might wanna listen to him." Isaacs stole pretty much every scene he was in...Not easy, considering who he was up against
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST
And he's a scouser, sound, if your here Jay, well done laaa, and AvP and Death Race are decent films, there I said it.
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST
by sean bean
[leaves a second of silence for Jason to say hello back]
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST
Greengrass could shoot a trip to the supermarket and it would be amazing.
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:05 p.m. CST
by Star Hump
I don't know how many of you guys follow Brotherhood, but his performance in season 3 was absolutely astounding. I forgot I was watching Jason Isaacs! He was uitterly immersed in the part. I hope he gets a Best Actor Emmy nomination because he deserves it. I'm really sad to hear that the show has ended. It was truly excellent, largely in part to Isaacs. Great interview Capone. Thanks.
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:10 p.m. CST
and you're a decent human being with your head on straight. you'll know you've arrived when Danny Glover's Dickblood says something awesome about you. Pity you didn't say more about Green Zone, though. Cannot fucking wait.
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:12 p.m. CST
he was the best part of electra unfortunatly he got killed 5 minutes in. Hopefully they let him wizard duel in the deathly hollows finale.
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST
by Nosferatu Jones
Very classy and very funny. GREAT stuff, Capone!<p>But Paul W.S. Anderson still sucks! HA!!!
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST
by Conqueror Worm
Damn, I've just got into Brotherhood, needed a fix after The Wire finished, and I'm loving the show, just heard its been cancelled after its 3rd season. Gutted.</p> And Season One has not even been released on DVD in Great Britain yet! Although Virgin On-Demand are showing the first few episodes, I just came across them the other week.</p> Jason is the best thing about that show, and thats saying something - because everyone is great in it, even the music is great, they played Radiohead over a closing WIRE-style montage for one of the episodes and I forgot I was watching television!</p>
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:34 p.m. CST
by Motoko Kusanagi
Write "love" on a sack, beat that fucker and put him into a sack, throw the sack into a river and hurl the river into space.
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:35 p.m. CST
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST
'various members of Fairport Convention' and a token woman. Motoko, big laff for your 'hurl the river into space' idea
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST
What a great guy!
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST
As success is the opposite to fail isn't it?
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
Back before they basically conned Daniel Craig into thinking Bond would now be a well-written and more human role - and then put him in a Bourne movie starring James Bond - the next logical step for Bond should have been Jason Isaacs. Halfway between Dalton's Bond and Brosnan's Bond, and he'd have been fucking perfect. Hell, he's practically Bond in THE TUXEDO!<P> From EVENT HORIZON to SOLDIER, from the HARRY POTTERs to BLACK HAWK DOWN, when I see Jason Isaacs' name on the credits I know there will be one fantastic performance in the movie I'm about to watch... and it will be his.<P> Jason, you are a legend. Keep doing what you do - you're damned good at it!
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST
by spud mcspud
What, you didn't like MORTAL KOMBAT? How can you NOT like MORTAL KOMBAT?<P> Flawless victory. Anderson wins.
Dec. 30, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST
My wife is a huge Jason Isaacs fan and she just hunted down "The State Within" this past week because of him. She bought The Brotherhood on Unbox and I may end up watching it.
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:16 p.m. CST
Yet it isn't available on goddamned dvd! One of my favourite actors today, and this interview just further cements it. You US talkbackers, try & hunt down Civvies, you won't regret it.
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:25 p.m. CST
Think for yourself and don't let AICN decide your opinion of a movie before you ever see it. The only reason Anderson is one of the most despised directors today is because of AICN hating on him, which inspired other Internet writers to share links to their hate, which inspired the whole of the Internet to be a flock of sheep. If you watched any one of his movies without knowing he made it, would you still hate it? Highly unlikely.
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:30 p.m. CST
because of this interview. <P> thankyou capone and mr Isaacs for this interview.
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:31 p.m. CST
by Twisted Knacker
After reading this class interview I was just going to recommend Civvies. First time I'd seen him and was immediately impressed. Also his portrayal as Harry H Corbett in 'The Curse of Steptoe' recently deserves a mention too. Great performance.
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:38 p.m. CST
by Conqueror Worm
Men loving Men is only cool when it's Sir Cliff Richard.</p> It mentions in the interview that Jason Isaacs friends like to login and say stuff about him, maybe thats whats going on on this TalkBack. </p> I like Jason an that, but people are proper going for it.
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:40 p.m. CST
by Sir Loin
Let's face it, he can make even the smallest role memorable. And it's impossible to think of anyone else playing Tavington or Malfoy. It's also awesome that he goes back to the BBS days and spends time with us here. Thanks for the great interview!
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:45 p.m. CST
He is a genuinely nice guy, a pleasure to chat with. And a hell of an actor. I've met Paul W.S. Anderson, too, watched him on set, and Isaacs is right about him. Anderson is passionate about his work, cheerful and warm as a director. He's a really nice guy.
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:45 p.m. CST
by Dark Knight Lite
One of the few horror movies that was worth a fuck in the '90's.
Dec. 30, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST
OK so we've got sourpuss Craig as Bond, can the producers get Mr. Isaacs cast as a double-o in the next installment? Even as a small role, he would definately rock.<p>Kudos to Capone for a fine, fine interview.<p>BTW, child abuse = future superstar?? Who knew that shit about Jackie Chan? Whew!!
Dec. 30, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST
I'm sure PWS is a swell guy, and a positive, cheerful force on set. And you do get his sense of love of genre in his efforts. But like a child with ADD, it seems like he's, wouldn't it be cool if we did this, and then this, and this...and so on.
Dec. 30, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST
a good book.. though it reads like a movie.. there might be some embellishments but its amazing. he and sammo were 'brothers' at the school!
Dec. 30, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST
Dec. 30, 2008, 2:11 p.m. CST
What a severely underrated film. And Isaacs is the difference. It would've been a good film without him. It is a great film with him.
Dec. 30, 2008, 2:20 p.m. CST
Okay, so I know it wasn't great by a long shot, but for some reason I saw this twice in the theater. It's remarkable cheese and simply one of the loudest films ever. Every time Kurt Russell or Jason Lee land a punch, it's like a bomb going off. And just for laughs, watch the "war walking" montage in the beginning. Flippin' brilliant!
Dec. 30, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST
I agree. His Hook is outstanding. It's so easy to overplay the role and he is really right where the character needs to be to make him a really nasty piece of work.
Dec. 30, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST
One of my favorite shows out there and his portrayal of Michael ranks up there as one of the best. He is so authentic in that role you don't realize he's an actor and you think he's got to be up in Providence right now getting into some shit with Nazzoli.
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:04 p.m. CST
You know, they say that David Fincher and James Cameron are assholes. Personally, I'd much rather see a movie by an asshole named James Cameron than a movie by a nice guy named Paul WS Anderson
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:13 p.m. CST
...in Germany? The Video release was longer, but is still not uncut.<br> And to make it worse: The German title of it is "Star Force Soldier".
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:26 p.m. CST
agreed it's a good book and yeah his entire love life was embelished I think. Lots of skeletons he just didn't talk about. I love jackie but his book definietly glosses over his modern personal life. Which is fine, it's his right. Also check out his documentary "jackie chan: my stunts" half best of compilatioon half exploration of how jackie runs his stunt crew. Most fo teh guys featured as his stunt team are now the main guys in fight choreography. The lone white australian dude you see often did the fights for hellboy 2(he played the villan in gorgeous and was usually featured in jackie's climatic fights).
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:27 p.m. CST
I never said I had any love for Anderson's movies. I just said that I found him to be a nice person with an inspired work ethic.
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST
...last night on cable as I went to sleepy land. Checked AICN today and here's an interview with Jason Isaacs. Love it when that kind of thing happens. Big fan of 'The Patriot', but I'm a HUGE fan of 'Event Horizon'. I know it sometimes gets hate here, but what doesn't?! I took three groups of people to see EH in the theater. <br><br> To Mr. Isaacs directly, thank you for your portrayal of Lucius Malfoy. Thank you for getting it right. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job, even when you may not have the largest part in each film. And thank you for expressing joy in the "real world" about having the opportunity to do so. I won't explain the happiness this brings to the people who've read each book multiple times, because clearly you already understand it. Just, ya know, thank you. And I too hope they don't cut any of your parts from films 7 and 8 (and of course wish they'd do 10, as well).
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST
For the good work you've done lately. It's actually brought me back to checking the site daily.
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST
<P> And since he reads the site, I know he'll read this. Mr. Issacs, thanks for all the great roles. <P> How come you aren't putting yourself in the running for "Doctor Who", though? Don't wait. Go get it!
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST
by Horace Cox
I remember watching THE PATRIOT and scanning the credits to find the name of the asshole who played Tavington - because surely he had to be a prick in real life to portray such a magnificent bastard. Subsequently as I have seen Mr. Isaacs in films, I still recall my initial exposure and reaction to his work, and marvel at his range and the skill with which he practices his craft.<p> Looking forward very much to GOOD, so keep up the good work and thanks for taking the time to come slumming with us AICN'ers Jason!
Dec. 30, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST
i wanted him to die a terrible death and i got my wish when Mel stuck his bayonet through his throat. Great acting from Mr. Isaacs. He would make one hell of Lex Luthor, or Brainiac
Dec. 30, 2008, 4:03 p.m. CST
Mr. Isaacs, you're a great actor. I've enjoyed you in every single movie I've seen with you so far. Coincidentally I saw "Soldier" a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't bad at all, I enjoyed it.
Dec. 30, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST
by lex romero
Covered such a range of stuff, and Isaacs seems to be not only a genuinely down to earth nice guy, but one who is incredibly passionate about what he does and enjoys every minute of it. <br><br> It's great to hear an actor being able to flip between talking about how he loves really getting deep into roles and doing research, and then the next talk about how lucky he is to spend a year living in australia or kick back with gary oldman on a film set. <br><br>More actors like this please.
Dec. 30, 2008, 4:15 p.m. CST
Just wanted to chime in as one of the legion of adoring fans and say thanks for the great, candid interview. And good for you for standing up for your buddy, Paul Anderson. This little article may just spawn a revisionist view of his work. Its already happening above. I smell a "Temple of Doom" style re-appreciation coming on and it all started here. And it all started because we like and, more importantly, respect you and your work. I'll be trying to check out "Brotherhood" as soon as I can and I can't wait to see "Good".
Dec. 30, 2008, 4:16 p.m. CST
LOL about your hair. That's some funny posting, pal. I hope Satan hears and answers your prayers. N'Amen.
Dec. 30, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST
Dec. 30, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST
I had to make a dummy of him to go in those stasis tubes and he came over on the set to have a look. He was really enthusiastic about it and loved the detail although, he told me, his legs were hairier than I had made them and to illustrate this he dropped his pants right there and then. I couldn't help but admire that level of commitment. Really nice guy.
Dec. 30, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST
by Conqueror Worm
Looking forward to Good.</p> I'm liking this pro-German anti-Nazi approach to film-making recently, what with Downfall and Valkyrie, and now with Good. </p> Perhaps we'll finally get to see a CALL OF DUTY where you can play as a German during blitz-krieg, that would be cool.</p> "Ze British are koming!"
Dec. 30, 2008, 5:18 p.m. CST
This guy has a versatile acting range from Harry Potter to Brotherhood.Evil did a cameo appearance in Resident Evil as Dr. Willliam Birkin (During the last 7 minutes of the film.) and would have liked to see him in the sequel but I guess he was smart enough to opt out since the consensous for RE was lackluster.<p>If he would bulk up a bit, Issacs would have made for a great Frank Castle, but that wasnt the case.Great actor and no doubt I will check out Greenzone.
Dec. 30, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST
next to rickman, he plays the best bad guys...because he loves the characters he plays, and puts a bit of humor in each <p> the patriot wouldve sucked without him...brotherhood is nowhere without his character...and i want to see malfoy kick the living shit out of harry
Dec. 30, 2008, 5:42 p.m. CST
by Mr. Zeddemore
I've never seen so many people react so positively to an article here. <p> Isaacs is like Cheadle for me, even when they're in a showy role they play it so subtly that sometimes they get overlooked... but the two of them are just that good at disappearing into their characters. Take Malfoy for instance... Isaacs doesn't once ham it up, he plays the character's despicableness subtly.
Dec. 30, 2008, 6:08 p.m. CST
Can't think of any one else who could have ever played that character now; he ownes that role. And the wig looks *guh,drool,woof* on him. Was a good interview, Cap. I like when they go on and don't stick to a script too.
Dec. 30, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST
The way you wrote that made me think it definately isn't coming back. Does anyone know the status of the show, whether it will be back for a fourth season or not?
Dec. 30, 2008, 7:07 p.m. CST
by Jaws Wayne
I already knew the man is a class act in real life too, having watched some long interviews with him on the 2-disc SE of Event Horizon (Go, get it !). Mr. Isaacs played my no.1 all-time favourite bad guy in the Patriot. Mr. Isaacs, if you're reading, keep doing what you do so well, because as you will have found out by now, we think you totally rule as an actor. Cheers !
Dec. 30, 2008, 7:13 p.m. CST
Jason Isaacs seems like a ridiculously nice guy.
Dec. 30, 2008, 7:26 p.m. CST
by Turd Furgeson
Great interview. And now we know he comes to the site.. Good stuff.
Dec. 30, 2008, 8:18 p.m. CST
by Tin Snoman
Isaacs is pretty great. I have family in New Bedford, MA, where he shot a little indie movie with Emmy Rossum and Seymour Cassel a few years back. My cousin said he was a class act all around. I guess he likes hanging out in southeast New England, having shot Brotherhood in Providence. Anyway, Tavington in The Patriot is one of the all time screen villains. Good to see that he continues to get work in challenging, quality productions.
Dec. 30, 2008, 8:36 p.m. CST
1)Stallone Q&A before "Rocky Balboa" came out. 2)Jason Issacs 3)Bruce Willis before "Live Free or Die Hard" (Remember how no of us believed it was really Willis until he got Black Box privilges?
Dec. 30, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST
by I Dunno
How fucking novel!
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:43 p.m. CST
Jason Isaac is the second coming. In 2012 Obama will lose the Presidency to one of Jason Isaacs' stool. Jason Isaac fucked my mom once and she said it was the best she ever had. In 2015 Isaac having finished his metamorphosis to an enlightened state of being, will fart and accidently destroy the East Coast of America ushering in the new Ice Age...... or something like that.
Dec. 31, 2008, 12:58 a.m. CST
just overall well done, and now even a bigger fan of Issacs, and I didn't think that was possible
Dec. 31, 2008, 1:01 a.m. CST
Demon Dave and the Core's scientific advisor
Dec. 31, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST
He's brilliant playing characters you love to hate, the Patriot and Black Hawk Down being the two big ones for me and I really can't wait for Green Zone and I'm very curious about Good. But the only time I've ever seen such unanimous ball washing on this site is.... well... pretty much every time someone brings up Joseph Gordon-Levitt, great now I've gone and done it. Well at least this time I understand the adoration.
Dec. 31, 2008, 1:41 a.m. CST
As a Rhode Islander for some reason it was just weird watching that show when it was practically filmed in my back yard. But now that its over and gotten such great reviews I'll have to get into it. Would love to have heard his thoughts on his time in my hometown and his thoughts on the show. Much rather read about Brotherhood, BHD, and Green Zone than Paul WS Anderson, because lets face it love him or hate him hes pretty irrelevant in the overall scheme of things.
Dec. 31, 2008, 2:41 a.m. CST
The Last Minute. I really love that film.
Dec. 31, 2008, 2:54 a.m. CST
I can't get that show out of my head now! Funny how there's always a few folk who don't like it when talkbackers are positive. By the way, Event Horizon kicks all kinds of ass! SEAN PERTWEE FOR THE DOCTOR! You know it makes sense.
Dec. 31, 2008, 3:05 a.m. CST
by slappy jones
name slips my mind right now but he is good in it....friends with money??
Dec. 31, 2008, 4:40 a.m. CST
Good work again Capone, and big hats off to Jason Isaacs for being such a thoroughly decent chap. He's got a reputation in the industry for being a lovely fellow, and it seems well-deserved. Plus it's nice to know that he checks into AICN daily (the great What Is Isaacs' Login Debate may now officially begin) as well as him being a regular listener to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's movie reviews on Radio 5 Live in the UK (he gets weekly shout-outs, as does David Morrisey). A top geezer.
Dec. 31, 2008, 5:07 a.m. CST
...Was Mr. Isaacs in a ham contest with Mel Gibson. Evidently, he was the only who knew he was overacting in a crappy movie.
Dec. 31, 2008, 5:29 a.m. CST
by Tom Cullen
Definitely one of those character actors who always gives 100% to any role he takes on, so you know that if you see his name in the credits then regardless of the quality, or lack thereof, of the film in question, there will be at least one thing worth watching. And reading this he comes across like a really cool and down to earth guy too. <p>It's a shame there wasn't really any Brotherhood talk though, he was an absolute powerhouse on that show, and the fact that he never even got a globes or emmy nomination in his three years on that show is an absolute crime. His performance on that show is probably my favourite of anything that I've seen him do, just amazing work. <p>That reminds me, I still need to watch The State Within, I've been meaning to get to that for a while now...
Dec. 31, 2008, 5:34 a.m. CST
by Tom Cullen
Yep, Brotherhood is done, very sad to say. But at least the way season 3 ended gave the show some sense of closure. <p>Now, of course, Showtime could change their minds and bring it back, but the chances of that happening are about as likely as HBO making those promised Deadwood movies, if not less. And this (abreviated) season was so damn good too...
Dec. 31, 2008, 5:47 a.m. CST
For Empire magazine back in February elicited the following response: http://tinyurl.com/9dw6x4 Manlove notwithstanding, Mr Isaacs is awesome.
Dec. 31, 2008, 9:36 a.m. CST
by Bumpasses Dawg
Great interview. Really illuminating as to what a great guy he is.
Dec. 31, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST
by Jaws Wayne
Just came back from the mall to pick up some lighters, browsed the small DVD bargain section, saw Peter Pan, took it out, paid for it. Now Mr. Isaacs, this is the movie that´s gonna be watched on the last evening of the year with my family. Hope you´re good in it, otherwise I´m gonna take back all the nice words that I wrote about you earlier, and send you a bill for 5 bucks and change in the first week of the new year. Haha. Hope all of you have a really nice year ahead of you, cheers.
Dec. 31, 2008, 5:34 p.m. CST
thanks for not mentioning Brotherhood in your interview at all. Seriously, you could have asked what he thought about the series/season finale or something. No you ask him about some shitty Entourage episode instead.
Jan. 1, 2009, 7:24 a.m. CST
It isn't because he makes the type of films he does. At least not films like Event Horizon. It's films such as Resident Evil and Alien Vs Predator that causes us this grief. <br><br> If he writes his own film and we don't like it then fair enough. There won't be any venom in that, we'll just think "ok, not my taste" and move on. <br><br> However when he takes much loved franchises such as Resident Evil, Aliens and Predator and writes his own thing, we're going to be a little pissed off. <br><br> His Resident Evil was nothing like the original game at all and he probably killed off the much loved Alien franchise for good. It has gone from a classic series of intelligent science fiction to something more along the lines of Freddy Vs Jason. <br><br> If Anderson wants to be liked a little more here all he has to do is do his own thing. However killing off a classic franchise such as Alien will never go down well with a community of movie nerds.
Jan. 1, 2009, 6:10 p.m. CST
The campaign starts here. To whoever also suggested Issacs = Who - this is a thoroughly acceptable compromise.
Jan. 5, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST
...that being so damn good at playing the villain has actually tainted peoples' opinion of Jason Isaacs? People hated Tavington soo much that they can't see past it to the actor underneath. Now that is mad skillz.
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