As Oscar Isaac took the stage at New York City Comic Con 2022 for his spotlight panel, the applause was, and I’m not being facetious here, deafening. A spotlight panel typically focuses on a single actor, and Isaac’s fans filled up the entire Empire Stage Room—the second-largest stage at NYCC. As the panel began, the moderator’s questions quickly turned to Moon Knight, Isaac’s Marvel vehicle that has him playing two to three different versions of his character, Marc Spector.
According to Isaac at the panel, Marvel’s Kevin Feige had been talking with Isaac for a while, attempting to find a good project with which to bring him on board. So when Moon Knight came to him, he was very excited. “I saw this opportunity to talk about something that’s often difficult to talk about, but using the language of comics, myth, and the literal underworld to talk about the underworld of the human psyche.”
As they discussed how Isaac prepared for the role of Marc Spector, he mentioned that he was lucky to have his brother Mike Hernandez on set with him. Isaac was able to run lines with Hernandez, switching roles and perfecting the mannerisms that helped make each identity within Spector distinct. “We would take turns playing different parts, and I would remember what he did and I’d do my version. I had my lines fed into my ear, I was acting at nothing. It was a bit of a puzzle to figure out.”
A fan asked what kind of preparation Isaac went through to make the characters so different. Besides having his brother on set to help him work through the differences in mannerisms, Isaac said that at first he requested not to have to play more than one character during each shooting day. “The physicality and the costumes really helped when thinking about how to play these characters. Like Steven was this tall person who always wanted to seem smaller than they are, so he was always collapsing on himself a little bit. Marc stands differently. As I got more comfortable with the characters during a long shoot—a very long shoot, it was seven months—I got more comfortable, more flexible, being able to switch between characters. Sometimes I would be able to do it just switching line to line.”
Isaac also mentioned that he had “so much fun playing Steven. He was so honest and funny and authentic. I loved how he was in the world, how he related to people in the world without a filter or judgment.”
Moon Knight was also praised by a fan for its sensitive and considered depiction of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The actor was asked what work he did to prepare for the role and learn about DID for his portrayal. “First, thank you for that question,” Isaac said, “that, for me, was the most important part. If [Moon Knight] wasn’t about us talking about DID, and committing 100% to diving into it in an authentic way, there was no point in doing it. We ended up researching a lot and talking to a lot of therapists who dealt with DID-affected patients. There was one book in particular by Robert Oxman,” Isaac said, referencing the 2005 memoir A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder, “that became my bible.”
Isaac expanded on this, saying that ultimately this kind of mental fracturing is a kind of superpower. “That someone can live through such horrible sustained trauma for so long and, as a way to survive, the mind finds a way to give birth to these other personas that can hold onto that trauma, that can help that human survive. For us that was deeply important,” Isaac said. He recalled a line from Moon Knight, when Marc is watching Steven turn to sand in episode six: “You are the only real superpower I’ve ever had.” Isaac said that line was “something that came out of all of these conversations about DID. I feel like this line is the whole point of the entire thing.”
When the moderator slyly asked if we’re looking at a Season 2 of Moon Knight, Isaac deflected—but barely. (He did show up on TikTok in August to maybe, sorta tease the return of Marc Spector.) But all he said into the mic was that the end of Moon Knight is not the last that you’ll see of his Marvel character.
Moon Knight is available to stream on Disney+.
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