As one of the most badass superheroes, of course Oscar Isaac needs to transform his body to appear more muscular and fit. However, Moon Knight wasn’t the first time Oscar had to physically train insanely in order to get a body that looked more ‘finished‘.
Previously, this Guatemalan-Cuban actor had done weight training and boxing for his antagonist role in the film Ex Machina (2015). This time, Isaac is collaborating again with the same trainer from the science fiction, namely Joshua Holland.
Not only physical training, Isaac also learned various martial arts and fighting styles because his character is complex and has a variety of personalities. This Golden Globe-nominated actor has studied several fighting techniques in the style of street style, spinning kick as in Brazilian Capoeira, Olympic wrestling style, judo, and various other combat techniques. In addition, Isaac also studied weapons training and classic boxing styles.
Interestingly, the Instagram account of Isaac’s production house, Mad Gene Media, uploaded a clip of Isaac’s stunt training. The clip shows Isaac punching and pretending to stab his opponent with the Moon Knight’s signature knife. That is, it is likely that most of the stunt actions that Moon Knight does in the series will be carried out by the actor himself.
“Borrowing” Black Widow’s fighting style
If you pay attention, Isaac’s fighting style is similar to Black Widow’s signature style. Seen several times in his combat movements, Isaac seems to use the ‘leg scissors’ technique which is indeed Black Widow’s mainstay style when fighting.
In his first appearance in Iron Man 2 (2010), the character played by Scarlett Johansson slaughtered Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) in Tony’s boxing sparring arena using his trademark style. However, the ‘leg scissor’ technique is often used by this iconic Marvel female superhero throughout her appearance. Starting from fighting Hydra soldiers, the Russian mafia, even against the Winter Soldier.
In-depth research on Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
In one of his interviews with Fandom, Isaac also mentioned that he wanted to make Moon Knight’s dissociative identity disorder the focus of his series. To be able to deepen his role, Isaac read over and over again the book “A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder” by Robert Oxnam.
The book is an in-depth personal account of the author’s struggles. Not only that, this book also describes how the author struggles to live with various personalities in his head until he finally accepts the mental condition he has.
This research is a provision for Isaac who really wants to focus on breaking the stigma related to mental health issues through the characters he plays.
Practice conversation a la Marc and Steven with his sister
Playing two very different characters interacting with each other at the same time is not easy. Steven as a museum employee has a british accent with a sweet and innocent character, while Marc as a ‘mercenary’ certainly has a stronger and intimidating character.
Oscar Isaac also has to master how to play the two characters by emphasizing the differences in facial expressions, intonation, accent, and gestures. The hardest part is making the conversations between the two characters he plays feel spontaneous and flowing.
This became a fun challenge for Isaac. To help him explore both roles, the actor enlisted the help of his younger brother, Mike Hernandez, to become his alter ego.
“He is the closest person to me. So, he came to play Steven and Marc alternately, even using both accents (British and American) when trying to talk. Then, we would exchange notes and change characters, then replay the scene,” said Isaac in an interview with looper.com.