Oscar Isaac: More Than Just Poe Dameron
In 2015, the actor known as Oscar Isaac became a new and welcome addition to the Star Wars universe. He sauntered onscreen in The Force Awakens as Poe Dameron, a dashing and headstrong pilot of the Resistance. Although his character was originally slated to die early on in the movie, the script was later modified after he pushed for a larger role.
Poe’s epic onscreen return, swooping in to save the day in his T-70 X-wing fighter, elicited a collective sigh of relief amongst audiences that had already grown attached to his character during his limited screen time in the opening portion of the film. Isaac reprised his role as Poe Dameron two years later in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and will be back once more in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in December.
After getting a taste of Isaac and his acting skills within the Star Wars universe, fans of Poe Dameron may find themselves thinking, “Okay, so where else can I see this guy?” Well, I have great news! Isaac has a lengthy filmography to catch up on!
As a huge fan of Isaac’s work, the biggest thing that stands out to me when he is onscreen is his innate ability to seamlessly blend into every role that he plays, regardless of the location or the time period. His star status is not the least bit distracting when he effortlessly transforms into the character that he is portraying.
Below are some recommendations for those looking to further explore Isaac’s filmography.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Inside Llewyn Davis is personally my favorite role that Isaac has held in his acting career. Along with acting, Isaac is also an incredibly talented musician with a beautiful singing voice. Those that are looking to appreciate two of the actor’s biggest talents will certainly love this film.
The movie’s synopsis on IMDb is as follows:
Follow a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles — some of them of his own making.
Fun Fact: Fans of the television series Supernatural will quickly recognize a familiar and beloved rendition of “Fare Thee Well” — a folk song which has been covered in various tunes and styles by countless artists for over a century now — that is performed by Isaac.
Adam Driver also holds a minor role in this film, which makes for an ironic connection to the Star Wars films.
A Most Violent Year (2014)
Upon initially reading up on A Most Violent Year, I was uncertain if it was a movie that I would enjoy. However, I can promise you that Isaac’s role as the smart and driven Abel Morales (alongside the very talented Jessica Chastain as his onscreen wife) is one that absolutely cannot be missed by fans of his.
IMDb’s summary of the movie is:
In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history.
Show Me a Hero (2015)
Show Me a Hero is a six-episode television mini-series that aired on HBO, based on the 1999 nonfiction book of the same name, which was written by Lisa Belkin. It focuses on the six-year period of political and social turmoil over public housing in Yonkers, New York.
IMBb’s summary of the film is:
Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasicsko takes office in 1987 and has to deal with the serious subject of the building of public housing in the white, middle class side of the town.
Isaac’s portrayal of Mayor Nick Wasicsko is outstanding from start to finish, and his leading role is supported by a large and incredible cast that truly does this drama justice.
The Promise (2016)
Looking for a period piece with drama, romance, and copious amounts of Oscar Isaac? Fantastic! The Promise has got you covered.
On IMDb, the movie’s summary is:
Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris – a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
As a big fan of period pieces, I was really looking forward to watching this, and it absolutely met my expectations. Isaac’s ability to truly embrace and become a character shines brightly in this film as its powerful and compelling story unfolds.
The Two Faces of January (2014)
How about a thriller with a dash of romance and some beautiful sets and filming locations? If you are looking to toss Isaac into that mix as well, then you should check out The Two Faces of January.
The movie’s summary, via IMDb, is:
A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who flee Athens after one of them is caught up in the death of a private detective.
Isaac plays Rydal, a charming Greek-speaking American that is part tour guide, part tourist scammer, who ends up entangled in a complicated situation that spirals out of control.
Triple Frontier (2019)
When Netflix first announced Triple Frontier, I was instantly intrigued. Oscar Isaac, alongside a star-studded cast…on a heist mission? Count me in.
IMDb‘s summary of the movie is:
Loyalties are tested when five former special forces operatives reunite to steal a drug lord’s fortune, unleashing a chain of unintended consequences.
To be entirely honest, some aspects of the plot itself certainly left a few things to be desired. This also is not my typical genre of film, though, so I was able to forgive and breeze over many things throughout. However, the acting and performances are what truly solidified this movie for me. I was pleased but not surprised to find that Isaac, as he usually does, developed a strong chemistry with his castmates throughout filming that translated fabulously onscreen.
Those are just a few of Isaac’s notable films, but he has plenty more incredible acting credits that should be watched and appreciated as well. Check out his IMDb page here to see what else he has been in!
One of my favorite things about being a fan of Isaac’s acting is that I constantly find myself exploring different genres of film to check out various movies that he has been in. These are types of films that I may not have thought twice about otherwise, but later discovered a new appreciation for. Isaac’s versatile acting skills have allowed him to branch out into an impressive variety of roles, and I truly look forward to seeing what else he will do in the future.
Catch Isaac in two of his upcoming films later this year, as he has a voice role for Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (in theaters on Oct. 11) and will be returning as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (in theaters on Dec. 20).