Is Oscar Isaac Related to Erik Estrada?

Oscar Isaac is in high demand in Hollywood these days. Having been compared to Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, Isaac has been in some high-profile roles lately, namely his role as Poe Dameron in the Star Wars universe. Based on his actual last name, Estrada, some have speculated that he may be related to Erik Estrada, who portrayed Ponch in the police TV drama CHiPS. But it turns out they’re not.

Oscar Isaac’s career highlights

Oscar Isaac
Oscar Isaac attends the UK special screening of Marvel Studios’ original series “Moon Knight” at British Museum on March 17, 2022 in London, England. | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Isaac was born in Guatemala in 1979. His first major acting role was in All About the Benjamins in 2002 as a guy named Frank, although not a stand-out role for him. The actor’s first memorable role was in the movie Drive with Ryan Gosling. His appearance in the film, albeit brief, was memorable just the same. From there, his film credits include Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013 and Ex Machina in 2014. 

Isaac made his blockbuster debut in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015 as Poe Dameron. According to Isaac, there was an implied romantic relationship between Dameron and Finn. He and fellow actor John Boyega, who portrayed Finn, didn’t hold back the intimacy between them in their scenes. However, Disney shied away from the relationship because they were afraid to approach the subject. 

Isaac told Variety in 2019, “There’s like an intimacy that was very just, like, there. And I think the fact that neither of us shied away from that while we were shooting as well, I think it was just like, these are two guys that are happy being intimate with each other emotionally. So it wasn’t actually a total shock [that] people, you know, saw that in there.”

A common last name starts a rumor

There has been speculation among fans that Isaac may be related to Erik Estrada of the TV series CHiPS. Estrada portrayed Officer Francis “Frank” Poncherello on the show, which aired from 1977 to 1983. Estrada was considered a sex symbol in the ’70s and ’80s.

Even though the two actors may look a little alike to some people, they are not related. They’re not even from the same country: Isaac’s family is from Guatemala, while Estrada is from Puerto Rico. 

Oscar Isaac lost out on a role due to his name change

It’s not uncommon for actors to have stage names, and Isaac is no different. Isaac’s full name is Oscar Isaac Hernandez Estrada. Isaac dropped the Hernandez Estrada from his name for his acting career because he felt that the names were too common, and he wanted to set himself apart. When he attended Julliard, he also feared that he would be typecast because of his heritage.

However, he lost the opportunity to appear in a movie directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Sonnenfeld said he wanted only Cubans for the role, so he skipped Isaac because of his name. Ironically, if Isaac had left the Hernandez in his name, he may well have been picked for the role. 

Even though Isaac isn’t part of a famous Hollywood pedigree, he is a talented and committed actor in his own right. In his latest work in the Disney+ series The Moon Knight, Isaac plays a neurodivergent superhero who an Egyptian vigilante god is using as an avatar to balance the scales of justice. The show is a definite divergence for Disney due to its graphic violence. A new episode is released every Wednesday beginning March 30th and will run for six episodes through May 4th.

RELATED: ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’: New Shocking Secrets About Poe Dameron’s Past Will Answer Many of Fans’ Questions