Ethan Hawke on How Oscar Isaac Convinced Him to Join the MCU
Moon Knight is only days away from arriving, and while the introduction of Oscar Isaac’s new MCU character may raise some questions, TV Insider was present at the show’s virtual Global Press Conference to find some answers about the Disney+ series.
Focusing on Steven Grant (Isaac), a mild-mannered man who works in a museum gift shop, Moon Knight follows his journey to discovering the truth behind his blackouts and memories of another life. Over time, he learns that he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector.
What follows is an ensuing mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt — and we got some insight into the show’s inclusion of ancient mythology from the stars and creatives themselves. “We had a huge advantage, which is our director is Mohamed Diab,” Ethan Hawke gushes. The actor, who plays the philosophical and nefarious adversary Arthur Harrow, credits the Egyptian filmmaker with helping bring authenticity to the story and screen.
“The way Mohamed thinks … it’s a different rhythm than the one I’ve grown up in,” Hawke admits. “And it was wonderful the way he brought in other Egyptian actors.” As teased in the promos for Moon Knightthe adventure will span the globe as the European-based Steven is thrust into the action-packed world of Marc.
“I’m very humbled by what you said,” Diab shares, turning to Hawke. “But I want to say that … Ethan is someone that everyone sees as this great legendary independent actor, and joining the superhero world is something big. When Oscar first approached him and then I talked to him about it, we pitched him the idea, but I told him please don’t read the script.”
And so, Hawke went blindly into the project that Isaac and Diab pitched to him, but thankfully he was convinced. Together, Hawke, Isaac, Diab, and the rest of the team have been allowed to let their creativity flow and tell a story like no other in the MCU.
“Usually when there’s a huge budget, there’s a tremendous amount of fear and the people in charge are incredibly controlling and creativity is reduced. In my entire experience with [executive producer] grant [Curtis] and with Marvel, it’s the opposite of that,” Hawke acknowledges. “You guys have translated your success into confidence.”
And with that confidence comes good and bad ideas, as Hawke further acknowledged that you can’t always find great ideas without hitting upon a couple of stupid ones along the way. And Isaac confirms this, noting that there were “a lot of dumb ideas.”
“I’m really glad I did,” Hawke says of signing onto the project. “I think it’s better because of the way it evolved.” Through the collaboration process, the team was able to craft a compelling tale that may have turned out differently had Hawke not decided to sign on.
“Moral of the story,” Isaac says, “never read the script.” Follow them along for their adventure in Moon Knight when the series arrives on Disney+.
Moon KnightSeries Premiere, Wednesday, March 30, Disney+