top of page

Oscar Isaac Discusses Reasons and Prep for Doing "The Card Counter"


For years, Isaac has built himself up in some of the biggest blockbusters of the last decade...though it's never been a particularly good experience for the Julliard-trained performer. Beyond what he described as a miserable experience when he did X-Men: Apocalypse, he co-starred in the sequel Star Wars trilogy. Ultimately Isaac felt that while he enjoyed the challenge of those films, starring in films like Star Wars is, as he simply put it, “not really what I set out to do.” And while he will co-star in the upcoming big budget adaptation of Dune along with starring in the upcoming Marvel series centered on Moon Knight, Isaac took to starring in Paul Schrader's upcoming crime thriller The Card Counter because, as he revealed in a new interview today, “I’ve been in green screen space land for quite a few years and I was desperate to do a character study,."

This interview was spoken by Isaac to the press at the Venice Film Festival which kicks off this week. Not only are both his new films Dune and The Card Counter making their world premiere there, but so are selected episodes from his new HBO limited series Scenes from a Marriage (in which he reteams with his regular co-star Jessica Chastain). While talking to the press he spoke on how films like that of Schrader are what he craves doing more than anything:

“What I set out to do was to make handmade movies, and to work with people that inspire me. Paul [Schrader]’s movies, the things that he’s made, it’s in my DNA. I’m not alone, obviously. [For] every actor of a certain generation, those are the films that made them who they are, so that’s certainly my case. It feels like for me a personal turning point and that, as far as I’m concerned, it has nothing to do with the finished product. It’s the process of doing this.”

In regards to that process, Isaac got to talking a little about how he prepared to play William Tell, the ex-military interrogator-turned-gambler that is the center of Schrader's new film, and it actually involved him going back to basics...and to school:

"In prep I wore a mask. I went back to my theatre school at Juilliard and worked with one of my favorite teachers there who does a lot of body work. We did three days in a studio where I put on a neutral mask."

Without a doubt, Isaac sounds to have put a particular level of investment in his performance in The Card Counter which will most likely be a contender for award season. But, ultimately, sounds like Isaac is just happy to be doing the kind of performing he set out to do when he first enrolled at Julliard all those years ago.

The Card Counter is set to be released in theaters on September 10th.

13 views5 comments
bottom of page