Oscar Isaac is one of the hottest properties in Hollywood. The Guatemalan-born actor — full name Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada — has captured the hearts of fans of the silver screen, thanks to his performances in films such as “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Ex Machina,” “A Violent Year” and the Star Wars sequels VII and VIII. Below is a look at Isaac’s early life and his rise to fame in Hollywood, at the acclaim for his movies and also at one of his latest movies “The Card Counter.”

Early life and progression to Hollywood

Oscar Isaac is the son of a Guatemalan mother, María Eugenia, and a Cuban father, Oscar Gonzalo Hernández Cano, who was a pulmonologist. Although Oscar himself was born in Guatemala, he was raised in Miami, Florida. He was just five months old when the family moved to the US, and they didn’t immediately settle in Miami but lived in Baltimore and New Orleans before making Miami their home. Oscar didn’t immediately turn his hand to acting, however, and instead played the lead guitar and sang in his band, the Blinking Underdogs.

In 2005, Oscar graduated from the Juilliard School, a private performing arts observatory in New York. He’d already appeared in front of the cameras before this time, however, on both the small screen and the big screen. On TV, he’d appeared in the series “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” (2001), and in terms of the big screen, in the film “All About the Benjamins” (2002).

In the year after his graduation, Oscar appeared in the film “The Nativity Story” as Joseph, which was his first major film role. He also had a small role in the biopic “Che: Part One” (2008). Other roles would see him start to share a screen with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Uma Thurman in “The Life Before Her Eyes” (2007); “Body of Lies” (2008), which also stars Leonard DiCaprio and Russell Crowe; “Agora” (2009), with Rachel Weisz; and “Balibo” (2009), which is based on the story of the “Balibo Five,” a team of Australian journalists captured by Indonesian militia in the East Timorese town of Balibo.

Breaking through

Many consider Oscar’s breakthrough role to have been as the eponymous music artist in the film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” It was a role for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. From there he would star in the crime drama “A Most Violent Year” (2014), the thriller “Ex Machina” (2014) and then the superhero movie “X Men: Apocalypse” (2016). But it was work as Poe Dameron in “Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens” (2015), “Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” (2017) and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (2019) that would transform him into an international star.

As well as regular drama, Oscar has starred in the historical drama “Operation Finale” (2018), which was also his first foray into production, and in the sci fi movies “Annihilation” (2018) and “Dune” (2021).

Oscar also delivers a fine performance in “The Card Counter” (2021), the story of an ex-military interrogator con who has turned to professional gambling and is haunted by his past. Whereas poker is often the game of choice in a lot of movies that feature card games, in this revenge thriller, Isaac is an enigmatic blackjack player called “William Tell” who tries to stay at the lower end of the gambling circuit and under the radar by operating as “Bill.” Unfortunately for Bill, two characters notice him: La Linda, who wishes to recruit him to her stable of gamblers, and Cirk, who wants to persuade him to seek revenge on a shared enemy. Bill decides to bring Cirk onto the casino circuit instead.

Oscar hasn’t just stuck to moviemaking, however, and he returned to TV screens in the lead role of three series: “Show Me a Hero” (2015), which earned him a Golden Globe Award, “Scenes from a Marriage” (2021) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Moon Knight” (2022).

Acclaim and reviews

When it comes to reception by critics, although one or two of his movies, such as “The Card Counter” haven’t, in some cases, quite received the praise the makers would have liked — although other reviewers have commented the movie is a slow burner and, as a result, not to all tastes — Oscar Isaac himself is well liked by fans and movie critics. Some critics consider him highly versatile and as possessing the skills to play any role successfully.

Another reason he has charmed the critics is his high level of charisma, and some believe his passion and enthusiasm for acting is the driving force behind it. Some attribute his acting talent for acting to this passion and charisma. Oscar is also down to earth and displays an approachable demeanor, which helps him to connect on a personal level.

Oscar Isaac’s journey to Hollywood has been a long one, but it has been worth it. Now he’s one of the movie industry’s biggest stars, thanks to his versatility in front of the cameras and his charisma.

Author: Sophie

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