You’d never know it given his resume, but Jason Isaacs is incredibly charming and down-to-earth. When he first took the stage at Comicpalooza, he voiced how weird he felt to be up there instead of in the audience where he felt he belonged.
A life-long, self proclaimed nerd, Isaacs credited comics like Daredevil, Spiderman, and Green Lantern as the books that launched him into the genre. He’d raid the second hand bin as a kid when his family went into town for fish and chips each weekend. He described his relationship with comics as very physical because he’d get paper cuts from pages quickly followed by salt (from the fish and chip) in his wounds.
Originally from Liverpool, he went to school in London and was bullied because of his accent; which he learned to hide at an early age. After answering an ad in University for “someone who can speak with a northern accent,” he was cast in his first play. From there, he auditioned for drama school because of his competitive spirit and the fact that an audition only cost $10.
When asked about Lucius Malfoy, he recalls having quite a bit of input into the final result. He changed his wardrobe (from a suit to robes because “why would someone who hates muggles dress like one?”), he added the long blond wig, and at Daniel Radcliff’s encouragement gave Lucius Malfoy the villainous voice fans have come to love/loathe.
Isaacs is very animated as he tells behind the scenes stories from his many films. Going back to his nerd roots, he used to film his co-stars before there were smartphones. He deviously notes that he’s got 12 hours of footage from Peter Pan that he’d love to share but won’t for fear of the reprisal!
But he doesn’t just talk about his blockbusters, he also seems surprised that the audience remembers his more obscure work like horror film Event Horizon or the short-lived Showtime original series Brotherhood.
He’s drawn to what he describes as “believable characters.” They won’t always be the popular ones, but they are the characters that he is both curious about and convinced they could actually exist. When asked what his dream role would be, he quickly replies, “the next one that’s being written.” It seems Isaacs lives in the moment, stating he doesn’t “covet other people’s lives, wives, or money.”
So what’s next for Jason Isaacs? He’s fresh off the USA series Dig; which was about a fanatical religious group bringing about the end of days. Without giving us a name, he’ll be heading down to the Australia/Tasmania area for his next project. He ends his panel by telling fans he doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. But his advice is to follow passions — that is a good start.