Oscar Isaac is a lot of things: a Juilliard School graduate, a ukulele player and a fan of the late, great Puerto Rican theater and film actor Raul Julia. He’s also potentially one of Tinseltown’s next great leading men.
Despite his reluctance to admit it, Isaac would be hard-pressed to deny the evidence: he burnished his bad-guy bona fides as a brainwashed assassin in The Bourne Legacy, showed off his comic timing as ballad-crooning rock singer in Channing Tatum and Rosario Dawson’s 10 Years and tackles drama as a teacher helping transform an inner city school with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis in Won’t Back Down, out now.
Still, he says, “I have a feeling the anxiety of, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m never going to get a job again,’ maybe never goes away, no matter how much it seems the contrary,” says the Cuban and Guatemalan actor, 32.
Considering his past, that anxiety is understandable. As a child of divorced parents, the actor admits he clung to acting as a way of coping with family drama. “My shyness would go away and certain big emotions that I didn’t understand were given focus,” Isaac says. “Acting is a way of being able to explore specific parts of myself.”
And he’s done plenty of exploring, following in the footsteps of his idol, Julia, as soon as he graduated from Juilliard in 2005, when he landed a leading role in Shakespeare in the Park’s revival of Two Gentlemen of Verona—a role that had earned Julia a Tony nomination in the ’70s.
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