Why Moon Knight Director Calls Oscar Isaac A ‘Genius’ For The Way He Portrays Multiple Identities In The Marvel Show

Another day, another new hero entering the vast fictional world known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Oscar Isaac made his formal debut in the superhero franchise as the mysterious Moon Knight this past week. So far, he’s received positive reviews from critics and fans, with many arguing that he elevates the show to top-tier MCU status. Isaac has also received praise from his colleagues, including series director Mohamed Diab. Now, Diab has opened up about why the actor is a “genius” for the way he tackled the titular hero’s multiple identities on the show. 

Within the show, Oscar Isaac takes on the tricky task of portraying two characters: the meek and sincere gift shop employee Steven Grant and the suave yet deadly mercenary Marc Spector. The two are as different as day and night - if that remix of Kid Cudi’s song of the same name (which was featured in the Moon Knight trailer) didn’t already tell you that. Despite the difficulties that come with juggling the two distinct characters, Isaac’s performance works well. Mohamed Diab spoke with CinemaBlend’s own Law Sharma during the press junket for the show (which is streamable with a Disney+ subscription) and discussed the approach the Isaac took: 

The first couple of days, or maybe the first couple of weeks, Oscar said, ‘I only want to be Steven or Marc. I think he needed more time to be absolutely confident he [could] do that. I know he can. He’s a genius. So one day, we started doing those reflections scenes, and I just told him, ‘Let’s try to [get the two characters filmed in one day]. It doesn’t have to be two days. Let’s just try to do this.’ And all of a sudden, the camera is just panning back and forth, and he turns from Marc [to] Steven in seconds. He [inhabits] them, and you have to know that it’s not easy. He gets even taller when he’s Marc, it feels like he gets taller, because he is a different character.

Though only one episode has aired at this point, it’s already clear to see how the Ex Machina alum sought to switch up his performances for both of the characters. Steven feels a lot more introverted, which shows through his posture. Meanwhile, Marc is more abrasive and confident, perfectly conveying that through his body language. Mohamed Diab went on to shower more praise on his lead actor for his strong work:

Creating two of them was such an interesting thing. Knowing the moment that, okay, now we got the voices of the two of them was very important for us, Oscar specifically. And I think Oscar did an unbelievable job. He carries the show, portraying those two different characters, who are ironically not the real Oscar Issac. He is completely different from the two of them.

There’s certainly a lot to love about the actor’s work, and some could argue that fans have been more enamored with his character’s daytime aliases than his supernatural alter ego. Steven in particular has received a lot of love from fans on the Internet, even though some were initially skeptical of the wild accent the star was using for the role. It does appear to be growing on people, though and, all in all, I’d say the Star Wars alum could ultimately give viewers one of the MCU’s most unique and endearing protagonists.

It’ll be interesting to see how Oscar Isaac continues to develop the new Marvel hero. One can only hope Moon Knight, should he appear down the road, will evolve in interesting ways, not unlike heroes such as Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Wanda Maximoff. But with Isaac’s genius at work here, I have no doubt that will end up being the case.

Disney+’s Moon Knight drops news episodes on Wednesdays. Be sure to check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule for more on what’s coming to the small screen this year.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.