Marvel Studios’ next Disney+ original series Moon Knight is a trippy experience that will take is in the mind of Marvel’s most interesting anti-heroes.
Moon Knight goes in a different direction than other Marvel Studios productions. It delves into mental health with some horror elements and, of course, that comic book actions we enjoy. The show follows a former U.S. Marine named Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. He makes a deal with the Egyptian moon god Khonshu and becomes his avatar and is bestowed with his abilities. At the same time, Spector also suffers memory lapses and becomes Steven Grant, a nerdy museum worker who is the complete opposite of Marc Spector.
Speaking with the cast during a press conference moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Devan Coggan, Isaac was asked how he approached scenes where Marc and Steven had conversations with each other. The actor revealed that Marvel Studios hired Isaac’s real brother, Michael Hernandez. For those who don’t know, the accomplished actor’s full name is Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada.
“Well, the first step was to hire my brother, Michael Hernandez, to come in and be the other me. It’s the closest thing to me there is on earth. So, he came in, and he would play either Steven or Mark. He even did the accent and everything,” Isaac revealed to Coggan. “So, that was really helpful, to have someone that’s not only a great actor but also shares my DNA, to play off of. But that was something that I didn’t anticipate, was how technically demanding that was going to be, of having to show up and decide which character I was going to play first and then try to block that out, give my brother notes, and then do the scene and then switch characters and then figure it out. Because one of the fun, I think, maybe if not the most fun thing about acting, is acting opposite somebody and letting something spontaneous happen that you didn’t expect. But there wasn’t really an opportunity to do that, and still having to try to find what makes it feel spontaneous and not all planned out. So, that was challenging.”
Well, the first step was to hire my brother, Michael Hernandez, to come in and be the other me. It’s the closest thing to me there is on earth. So, he came in, and he would play either Steven or Mark. He even did the accent and everything.
Isaac was also asked about Steven’s accent and how he developed it, revealing it was a product of the show taking place in London. That only happened because New York was overdone as a setting in Marvel properties.
“I don’t know. It was set in London. And when I asked why, the answer was that “We just have too many characters in New York,” Isaac revealed. So it seems like let’s just change it up. Let’s make him an ex-pat in London.” I was, “Okay.” I love English humor, like The Office and Oscar Stath Lets Flats.”
And there’s just so much of that humor that I find so funny. And I thought, there’s an opportunity here to maybe make something. What if we make him English? I was, what if he Peter Sellers was approached with a Marvel project? What would he do? And so, I started thinking about that. And that led me to Karl Pilkington from An Idiot Abroad, and not so much for the accent but just for his sense of humor, where you can’t tell if he knows he’s being funny.
And then I thought about the Jewish community in London and where a lot of that community is from. And Enfield is an area. And sort of listening to accents that are kind of Northeast London. And then, just committed to that and found the sky. It wasn’t just about accent, but it was also about his timidness, but also wanting to connect with people, but not quite knowing how. So, yeah. Yeah, Russell Kane is a comedian that I listened to as well.
Moon Knight begins streaming on Disney+ March 30.
Photo: Disney+/Marvel Studios / Moon Knight