Celebrity sta­tus a new ex­pe­ri­ence for Isaac

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - MICHELE MANELIS EN­TER­TAIN­MENT WRITER

Os­car Isaac isn’t quite a house­hold name. But with a star­ring role in A-list packed minis­eries Show Me a Hero, plus turns in block­busters such as XMen: Apoca­lypse and Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens, anonymity will soon be a dis­tant mem­ory for the on-the-rise Isaac.

The hand­some 36-year-old can’t quite be­lieve his luck. “I’ve been act­ing for a while but it wasn’t un­til In­side Llewyn Davis (for which he was nom­i­nated for a Golden Globe in 2013) that doors sud­denly opened for me” he says. “Since then it’s been non-stop work.”

Isaac’s most re­cent per­for­mances were in the sci-fi flick, Ex Machina and 2014’s A Most Vi­o­lent Year.

“It’s a lit­tle em­bar­rass­ing when I’m stopped in the air­port or on the street,” he con­fesses. “By na­ture I can be a lit­tle shy in those sit­u­a­tions so it’s not the most com­fort­able.”.

Cur­rently on screens in Show Me a Hero, Isaac is in good hands. With the minis­eries di­rected by Paul Hag­gis ( Crash) and cre­ated by David Si­mon ( The Wire), it’s a true ac­count of the build­ing of low-in­come hous­ing in Yonkers, New York in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

It was a sit­u­a­tion which af­fected the black com­mu­nity and re­mains a sub­ject that par­al­lels with to­day’s racial is­sues, Isaac says. “When you watch the show you re­alise the myth of post-racial Amer­ica.”

The al­ways-in­tense Isaac plays Nick Wa­sic­sko, a mem­ber of the Yonkers City Coun­cil who’s asked to run for mayor in what is as­sumed to be a los­ing cam­paign. With­out ques­tion, Show Me A Hero is Isaac’s show, sup­ported by vet­eran play­ers as Wi­nona Ry­der, who makes a welcome come­back, Cather­ine Keener and Al­fred Molina.

Isaac may be a lit­tle bash­ful when it comes to fame, though af­ter the re­lease of Star Wars later this year (in which he plays an X-wing pi­lot) life as a celebrity will be his new nor­mal.

“I went to the Star Wars Cel­e­bra­tion.” He pauses, shak­ing his head.

“For those Star Wars fans it was like a re­li­gious ex­pe­ri­ence and they were wor­ship­ping the golden calf. It was wild, and the ec­stasy they were in, the cul­tural phe­nom­e­non of Star Wars tran­scends race, re­li­gion, gen­der and age. It’s amaz­ing to be a part of that.”

“It’s a lit­tle em­bar­rass­ing when I’m stopped in

the air­port”

OS­CAR ISAAC I S ST IL L

NEW TO FAME

SHOW ME A HERO, SHOW­CASE, MON­DAY, 7.30PM

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