Oscar Isaac

Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada is a Guatemalan-American actor. He has played lead film roles in the tragicomedy Inside Llewyn Davis, for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination, the crime drama A Most Violent Year, and the science fiction thriller Ex Machina. In 2006, he portrayed Saint Joseph, husband of Mary, in The Nativity Story. He also portrayed José Ramos-Horta, former president of East Timor and co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, in the Australian film Balibo, for which he won the AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
He has appeared in the Star Wars sequel trilogy as X-wing pilot Poe Dameron, and in as the titular mutant supervillain Apocalypse. He also headlined the 2015 HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero as politician Nick Wasicsko, which earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film. In 2016, Time named Isaac one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list. In 2017, Isaac was described as the "best dang actor of his generation" by Vanity Fair.

Early life

Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala to a Guatemalan mother, María Eugenia Estrada Nicolle, and a Cuban father, Óscar Gonzalo Hernández-Cano, a pulmonologist. He has two siblings, an older sister, climate scientist Nicole Hernandez Hammer, and a younger brother, journalist Mike Hernandez. Isaac's family settled in the U.S. when he was five months old, and he was raised in Miami, Florida. He has described his evangelical Protestant upbringing as "very Christian." He has also said that he has French origins, describing himself as "definitely a big mix of many things " and is considered a notable French Guatemalan.
Isaac caused trouble at his private grade school, Westminster Christian, when growing up. "I set off a fire extinguisher in the gym, defaced a mural, just stupid stuff", he said in an interview. He liked to make kids laugh. At one point, his teacher had to screen off his desk from the rest of the class with a piece of cardboard. Eventually, he was expelled.
Isaac's entry into professional acting began at the Area Stage Company, Miami Beach, when Artistic Director John Rodaz cast him in a play. He also acted in Miami-based City Theatre's Summer Shorts short play festival in 2000–2001. While in Miami, he played lead guitar and sang vocals for ska-punk band The Blinking Underdogs. Other band members included Nick Speck, Bill Sommer, Alan Mills, Keith Cooper, and Matt LaPlant. The band enjoyed some success, opening for Green Day and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Isaac spent his musical years living a "straight edge" lifestyle. Isaac put music aside after being accepted into the acting program of New York's prestigious Juilliard School in 2001. While a student there, he worked on one of his first films, All About the Benjamins. He was part of the Drama Division's Group 34.


Early work (1996–2012)

Isaac made his acting debut in the 1996 crime drama Illtown, credited as "Pool Boy". Next, he appeared briefly in 2002's All About the Benjamins and made an appearance on the television series four years later. Isaac garnered recognition in his first major film role in 2006 as Joseph in the biblical epic The Nativity Story, opposite Keisha Castle-Hughes. He appeared as Romeo in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park performances of Romeo and Juliet and as Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Isaac was awarded the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor of 2009, for his role as José Ramos-Horta in Balibo. He had a small role in Guerrilla, Part Two of the Che Guevara biographical film Che. Isaac played King John in the 2010 film Robin Hood. He portrayed a security guard in the Madonna-directed film W.E. and starred in the crime drama Drive, both of which were released in September 2011. He had a role as a musician in 10 Years. He performed his own song "Never Had" in the film. "Never Had" and "You Ain't Goin Nowhere" were included in the movie's soundtrack.

Breakthrough (2013–present)

In 2013, Isaac starred in the dramatic comedy film Inside Llewyn Davis, written and directed by the Coen brothers, where he played a talented yet unsuccessful folk singer in Greenwich Village in 1961. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. For the role of Llewyn, Isaac was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the 2014 Golden Globes.
He co-starred with Jessica Chastain in J. C. Chandor's film A Most Violent Year, replacing actor Javier Bardem. In 2015, Isaac portrayed Nathan Hamlet Bateman in the science fiction film Ex Machina and starred in the 6-episode HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, receiving universal critical acclaim and winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for his performance as politician Nick Wasicsko.
Isaac co-starred in the epic space opera film ', released on December 18, 2015, playing Poe Dameron, an X-wing pilot. He reprised the role in ', released on December 15, 2017, and in ', the final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
Isaac played X-Men villain Apocalypse in the film
', which was released on May 27, 2016. Also that year, he played the lead role in the historical drama The Promise, with co-star Christian Bale, in a story about the Armenian Genocide.
In 2016, he was the narrator for the Nike ad "Unlimited You" created by Wieden+Kennedy. In November 2016, the first episode of the podcast series Homecoming was released. It is a six—episode psychological thriller from Gimlet Media, co-starring Catherine Keener and David Schwimmer; Isaac voices a soldier trying to rejoin civilian life.
In July 2017, Isaac starred as Prince Hamlet in The Public Theater production of Hamlet alongside Keegan-Michael Key, Ritchie Coster, Gayle Rankin, Roberta Colindrez, and Anatol Yusef. The production, directed by Sam Gold, ran until September 2017. His performance received acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Also that year, Isaac appeared in the black comedy Suburbicon, directed by George Clooney and written by the Coen Brothers. It was his second role in a Coens-written film, after Inside Llewyn Davis.
Isaac co-starred with Natalie Portman in the film adaptation of the novel Annihilation, playing her character's husband. Directed by Alex Garland, the role is Isaac's second collaboration with the director, after Ex Machina. In late-January 2019, Isaac was cast as Duke Leto Atreides in the upcoming Denis Villeneuve film Dune. In 2019, Isaac was cast in the Paul Schrader film The Card Counter and starred in the action-adventure film Triple Frontier directed by J. C. Chandor as Pope, an ex- CAG operative. Isaac will star in and produce The Great Machine, an adaptation of the comic Ex Machina. He will also star in London, a science fiction film to be directed by Ben Stiller.

Personal life

Isaac is an accomplished singer and guitar player, having played since the age of twelve. He has been dubbed a sex symbol and "the Internet's Boyfriend" by multiple media outlets, most notably Rolling Stone magazine, though he has expressed skepticism about the label.
In December 2007, he became engaged to longtime girlfriend Maria Miranda. He met Danish film director Elvira Lind in 2012, and they married in February 2017. They have two sons and live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


2006'Robbie PaulsonEpisode: "The Healer"
2015Show Me a HeroNick Wasicsko6 episodes
2018–2019Star Wars ResistancePoe DameronVoice; 4 episodes

YearTitleVoice role
2015Disney Infinity 3.0Poe Dameron
2016'Poe Dameron
2020Poe Dameron

2016HomecomingWalter Cruz

2005The Two Gentlemen of VeronaProteusShakespeare in the Park
2006Beauty of the FatherFederico García LorcaManhattan Theatre Club
2007Romeo and JulietRomeo MontagueShakespeare in the Park
2008GraceTomManhattan Theatre Club
2011We Live HereDanielManhattan Theatre Club
2017HamletPrince HamletThe Public Theater
2020Three SistersPerformerNew York Theatre Workshop

Awards and nominations

2009AACTA AwardsBest Actor in a Supporting RoleBalibo
2009Film Critics Circle of Australia AwardsBest Supporting RoleBalibo
2012ALMA AwardFavorite Movie Actor: Supporting RoleFor Greater Glory
2013Gotham AwardsBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013Hamptons International Film FestivalBreakthrough PerformerInside Llewyn Davis
2013International Cinephile SocietyBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013Toronto Film Critics AssociationBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013International Cinephile SocietyBest EnsembleInside Llewyn Davis
2013National Society of Film Critics AwardBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013San Diego Film Critics Society AwardBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013Vancouver Film Critics Circle AwardBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013Empire AwardBest Male NewcomerInside Llewyn Davis
2013Chicago Film Critics Association AwardBestInside Llewyn Davis
2013Georgia Film Critics Association AwardBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013Golden Globe AwardBest Actor – Motion Picture Musical or ComedyInside Llewyn Davis
2013Independent Spirit AwardBest Lead MaleInside Llewyn Davis
2013Saturn AwardBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013New York Film Critics Circle AwardBest ActorInside Llewyn Davis
2013Online Film Critics Society AwardBest Actor Inside Llewyn Davis
2014National Board of Review AwardBest Actor A Most Violent Year
2014Gotham Independent Film AwardBest ActorA Most Violent Year
2014Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association AwardBest ActorA Most Violent Year
2015Florida Film Critics Circle AwardBest Supporting ActorEx Machina
2015Online Film Critics Society AwardBest Supporting ActorEx Machina
2015San Diego Film Critics Society AwardBest Supporting Actor Ex Machina
2015Austin Film Critics AssociationBest Supporting ActorEx Machina
2015Detroit Film Critics SocietyBest Supporting ActorEx Machina
2015London Film Critics' Circle AwardBest Supporting Actor of the YearEx Machina
2015Golden Globe AwardBest Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmShow Me a Hero
2015Satellite AwardBest Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmShow Me a Hero
2015Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Actor in a Movie/MiniseriesShow Me a Hero
2017San Diego Film Critics Society AwardBest Supporting ActorSuburbicon