78 Venice International Film Festival 2021
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10 fun facts you might not know about Oscar Isaac

The actor and producer has taken over Hollywood

Oscar Isaac’s name is everywhere. The Cuban and Guatemalan actor starred in 3 movies released this year: The Card Counter,The Addams Family 2, and Dune, which hits theaters tomorrow October 22nd. Plus he’s the star of HBO’s Scenes from a Marriage alongside Jessica Chastain, which is the reason we all got to see the sexiest armpit sniff of all time. We all know Isaac is talented, but read some fun facts about the star below.

Opening Night of Shakespeare in the Park 2007 Production of Romeo and Juliet - After Party Arrivals©GettyImages
Isaac at the opening night of Shakespeare in the Park 2007 Production of Romeo and Juliet

HE’S WEARING JOSH BROLIN’S FACIAL HAIR IN DUNE
Dune actress Rebecca Ferguson revealed on Instagram last week that she cut actor Josh Brolin’s facial hair that was later used for Isaac’s beard in the film.


HE WAS IN A CHRISTIAN SKA BAND
Isaac’s parents were evangalical Christians and back in the late 90s and early 2000s, Isaac was the lead singer and guitarist for a Christian ska bank called the Blinking Underdogs. The band opened for bands like Green Day and played at festivals like Warped Tour. He told Jimmy Kimmel he was actually in several bands with just as interesting names like Petrified Frogs, Closeted Heterosexuals and The Worms, but the Blinking Underdogs was the most successful and his last.


HE WAS ONCE CAUGHT IN A HURRICANE
Okay, this isn’t so much a “fun” fact but it is interesting. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew destroyed Isaacs‘s family home in Florida. Isaac was only 13 at the time and was in the home with his mother, uncle, siblings, and cousins, per Men’s Variety.

HE USED TO TRANSPORT DEAD BODIES BEFORE ACTING
Before acting Isaac had a lot of part-time jobs he says he was terrible at. Long with being a grocery bagger and gold club waiter he worked as an orderly at the hospital where his father was a pulmonologist. It was the longest job he had and he told VICE his duties included, “taking people to do X-rays, bringing the deceased down to the morgue.” His experience could have helped his admission to Julliard. “When I applied to Juilliard, they asked, ‘What other jobs have you done that qualifies you?’ I put the hospital down because you get to see the extremes of humanity there—life and death,” Isaac explained.

HE ALMOST JOINED THE MILITARY
Isaac starred in Triple Frontier with Ben Affleck as a former U.S Army Delta Force operator but he almost joined the Marines and the Reserves in real life. He told Esquire he was interested in doing “combat photography” but his dad was against it. “I had to have the recruiters come all the way down to Miami where my dad was living and they convinced him to let me join. I did the exam, I took the oath, but then we had gotten the money together to record an album with The Worms. I decided I’d join the Reserves instead.” Everything changed once he realized combat photography wasn’t a real path in the reserves. “I said I wanted to do combat photography. They said, ‘We don’t do that in the Reserves, but we can give you anti-tank?‘ Ha! I was like, ‘it’s a little different to what I was thinking,” the producer said.

HE WAS EXPELLED FROM SCHOOL IN 7TH GRADE
Isaac was a bit of a YOLO rebel when he was younger and admitted that he was expelled from a private school in seventh grade. “I‘d petted some animals I wasn’t supposed to pet,” Isaac told Details. “The school was built around this guy‘s ranch, and there was a big wall, and we never knew what was on the other side. Me and my friend jumped over and found all these exotic animals—guard emus and the craziest tiny little beavers. We just started petting them all. Why wouldn’t you? But the guy complained.” Well, we all agree we would pet exotic animals we got the chance, that wasn’t all he did, “I sprayed a fire extinguisher in the gym and defaced a mural. Wrote curse words on all the stairs up to the library, like s**t, f**k, a**, all the way to the top step. Yeah, it was just stupid, stupid,” Isaac added.

HIS SISTER IS A FAMOUS CLIMATE SCIENTIST

Build Series Presents Smart Girls Panel©GettyImages

Isaac’s sister Nicole Hernandez Hammer is a sea-level researcher, climate-change expert, and environmental-justice advocate. She is the Project Director for the Clean Energy States Alliance, where she works on low and moderate-income solar. She was even invited by First Lady Michelle Obama to be a special guest at the 2015 State of the Union because of her activism and initiative on climate change, per Esearch. Isaac has marched in the streets of New York himself for the Climate Justice Youth Summit in 2019 and narrated the climate documentary Time to Choose.

HE SENT HIS AUDITION TO JULLIARD A DAY LATE
While visiting New York Isaac passed by the acclaimed Julliard and decided to apply. He see in the addition a day late but he was so talented they let him in any way. He barely made it off probation for the second year but managed to graduate. “In the second year they would do cuts,” Isaac told Esquire. “If you don’t do better they kick you out. All the acting teachers wanted me on probation because they didn’t think I was trying hard enough.” Extra fun fact: his co-star Jessica Chastain was also a fellow student.



HE CHANGED HIS NAME TO GET MORE ROLES
Like many Latino Hollywood stars, Isaac changed his name in hopes of getting more roles and not being typecast. His full name is Oscar Isaac Hernandez Estrada so he didn’t change it too drastically. “When I was in Miami, there were a couple of other Oscar Hernandez’s I would see at auditions,” Isaac said. “All casting directors would see me for is the gangster or whatever, so I was like, ‘Well, let me see if this helps.’” While it worked out in the end, he did lose one role because of it. A casting director wanted to bring in Isaac to audition for a Barry Sonnenfeld movie but Isaac leaving off the Hernandez cost him the chance. “And he was like, ‘No, no, no! I just want Cubans,’” Isaac said about Sonnenfeld.

He got his uncle a role in Star Wars
Isaac has his family back. His uncle was a super fan of Star Wars and he was able to get him a part in The Force Awakens. Isaac explained on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon that his uncle came to visit the set and brought custom-made T-shirts for everyone. Director J.J. Abrams later asked if he wanted to be an extra in the film.

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