With Harry Potter, Peter Pan, Event Horizon, and now Star Trek under his belt, Jason Isaacs has definitely earned a place among the stars of genre fiction. We were lucky enough to attend his panel at FanExpo 2017 in Toronto, and here is what we learned about this fascinating actor!
He was relieved to finish his role in Scars
Scars was a recreation of interviews with a violent man named Chris, in which Isaacs portrayed the leading role, a job which he says definitely took a toll on him. “This is a man who thought nothing of killing stabbing, burning, running people over…when I was done with that part, I felt so bleak and I felt that every person I was going to come across was carrying a knife.”
He believes in staying childlike on set
“Acting silly a very silly job, and the job is to stay childlike…I’m just clowning around, really trying to stay childlike,” Isaacs said, describing how he likes to keep things light on set. He went on to describe how he likes to play music and crack jokes in an attempt to keep the youthful spirit alive.
The key to a good movie or TV series is finding the humanity
The importance in finding the humanity in characters was something that was repeated, whether he's playing a hero or a villain. Everyone believes they are doing the right thing and no one looks at themselves as the bad guy. Isaacs went on to say that with that attitude in mind, he had no preference working in TV or movies, saying, “For me there’s no difference between making a tiny low budget movie, making a TV series, making a giant movie…it’s all about interacting with another person and finding something human.”
He considers Draco the most interesting character in the Harry Potter series
When asked about the relationship between Draco and his father Lucius, Isaacs described how he wanted to show why Draco was such a bully, saying that his attitude was something he was passing forward after being mistreated by his father. “Harry is always going to do the right thing…but Draco grows up in this awful household without love…and people pass that stuff forwards.” He went on to say that by making the difficult move to break the chain of abuse in the Malfoy family made Draco an interesting and even heroic character.
On being cast in Star Trek and living up to the franchise’s legacy
How exactly does one live up to the expectations surrounding such a mammoth franchise like Star Trek? “I try not to think of the previous years of Star Trek…I looked at it like it was a miniseries set in space, because the boots are too big and you’d never be able to fill them.” In spite of this, Isaacs did describe himself as a huge Star Trek fan, and even shared some of his favorite episodes with the audience.