Why Oscar Isaac Wasn’t ‘Totally Comfortable’ Filming ‘Moon Knight’

Marvel’s Moon Knight on Disney+ proved early on that it would be unlike any other Marvel Cinematic Universe series or movie. In Moon Knight, Oscar Isaac (Star Wars) plays a man with dissociative identity disorder (DID), which means he had to master several identities. In episode 1, fans met mild-mannered museum Steven Grant with glimpses of mercenary Marc Spector. And Isaac admitted that he “wasn’t totally comfortable” with the setup when filming started.

Oscar Isaac arrives at the 'Moon Knight' premiere at The British Museum
Oscar Isaac | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Oscar Isaac explains why he was uncomfortable at the start of ‘Moon Knight’ filming

Out of all Oscar Isaac movies and shows, he usually does not have to play several DID characters simultaneously. When filming for the Disney+ Moon Knight TV show, he requested a change to help him become more comfortable with the concept.

“You know, there’s a lot of fun in it as well, you know, figuring it out. But one of the things I did is because I wasn’t totally comfortable yet with switching between the two, I asked if we could start with Steven,” Isaac told Digital Spy.

Moon Knight Episode 1 focuses almost entirely on Steven Grant’s point of view. While Moon Knight, Marc Spector, and Egyptian god Khonshu had run-ins with Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), Steven felt clueless when he met the villain.

In addition to introducing fans to one of the most brutal Marvel vigilantes, it helped Isaac slip into the role too.

He remembered asking the Marvel Studios people, “could we just film for a couple of scenes with Steven first? Or at least, one week, we’ll do all Steven, and then come in the next week and do Marc, just to give me a chance to really wrap my mind around it.”

The ‘Star Wars’ Poe actor didn’t want the ‘Moon Knight’ identities to ‘feel like a party trick’

Separating the filming for him to play one Moon Knight identity each day helped the characters “really feel like these were really fully formed individuals.” Oscar Isaac did not want Moon Knight’s DID to “feel like a party trick.”

“And so they thankfully gave me the space to do that,” Isaac continued. “And as the shoot went on, and I got more comfortable or secure in what I was doing, I became more flexible between being able to switch between the two.”

While episode 1 mostly featured Steven Grant, he teased fans about seeing him switch more in future episodes. In Marvel Comics, Moon Knight allies like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange have difficulty keeping up sometimes.

“By the end, I could do it in the same take, in the same moment. I could switch between the two, and it could just be something as simple as, you know, the shoulders drop, or it’s in the eyes. That was a real journey, to get to that place.”

Oscar Isaac had to master at least 4 different personas for the ‘Moon Knight’ series

While juggling Marc Spector and Steven Grant felt taxing to Isaac initially, it was only the start.

In Marvel Comics, Moon Knight developed several identities over the years. In addition to Marc Spector and Steven Grant, cab driver Jake Lockley frequently appeared, too. A consultant identity called Mr. Knight also shows up in both comics and the Marvel show.

Once Isaac mastered switching between at least two Moon Knight characters, he still had more to go. However, he quickly slipped into the role, causing fans to call the show one of the better Disney+ Marvel shows.

Marvel fans can watch new episodes of Moon Knight on Disney+ on Wednesdays.

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