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 lifeÓscar 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 lifeIsaac 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 Paulson||Episode: "The Healer"|
|2015||Show Me a Hero||Nick Wasicsko||6 episodes|
|2018–2019||Star Wars Resistance||Poe Dameron||Voice; 4 episodes|
|2015||Disney Infinity 3.0||Poe Dameron|
|2005||The Two Gentlemen of Verona||Proteus||Shakespeare in the Park|
|2006||Beauty of the Father||Federico García Lorca||Manhattan Theatre Club|
|2007||Romeo and Juliet||Romeo Montague||Shakespeare in the Park|
|2008||Grace||Tom||Manhattan Theatre Club|
|2011||We Live Here||Daniel||Manhattan Theatre Club|
|2017||Hamlet||Prince Hamlet||The Public Theater|
|2020||Three Sisters||Performer||New York Theatre Workshop|
Awards and nominations
|2009||AACTA Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role||Balibo|
|2009||Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards||Best Supporting Role||Balibo|
|2012||ALMA Award||Favorite Movie Actor: Supporting Role||For Greater Glory|
|2013||Gotham Awards||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Hamptons International Film Festival||Breakthrough Performer||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||International Cinephile Society||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Toronto Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||International Cinephile Society||Best Ensemble||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||National Society of Film Critics Award||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||San Diego Film Critics Society Award||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Empire Award||Best Male Newcomer||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Chicago Film Critics Association Award||Best||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Georgia Film Critics Association Award||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Golden Globe Award||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Independent Spirit Award||Best Lead Male||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Saturn Award||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||New York Film Critics Circle Award||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2013||Online Film Critics Society Award||Best Actor||Inside Llewyn Davis|
|2014||National Board of Review Award||Best Actor||A Most Violent Year|
|2014||Gotham Independent Film Award||Best Actor||A Most Violent Year|
|2014||Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award||Best Actor||A Most Violent Year|
|2015||Florida Film Critics Circle Award||Best Supporting Actor||Ex Machina|
|2015||Online Film Critics Society Award||Best Supporting Actor||Ex Machina|
|2015||San Diego Film Critics Society Award||Best Supporting Actor||Ex Machina|
|2015||Austin Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actor||Ex Machina|
|2015||Detroit Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actor||Ex Machina|
|2015||London Film Critics' Circle Award||Best Supporting Actor of the Year||Ex Machina|
|2015||Golden Globe Award||Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film||Show Me a Hero|
|2015||Satellite Award||Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film||Show Me a Hero|
|2015||Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries||Show Me a Hero|
|2017||San Diego Film Critics Society Award||Best Supporting Actor||Suburbicon|