A Minute With – Oscar Isaac on the hustle of acting and ‘Star Wars’

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – From playing a struggling folk musician to an ambitious heating oil entrepreneur, actor Oscar Isaac is all about the hustle.

After his breakout in 2013’s “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Isaac’s profile is on the rise with roles in the upcoming “Star Wars” and “X-Men” films.

Isaac, 35, spoke to Reuters about the notion of ambition in his latest film “A Most Violent Year” and those pesky “Star Wars” questions.

Q: Did Abel Morales’ ambitions in “A Most Violent Year” resonate with your own?

A: These tales of ambition are fascinating, and the rise to power, what power means. For me, I’ve never been interested in that, although ultimately it’d be great to find a story and be able to make it and to some extent, you do need a sense of power to be able to have that happen.

But what I’m trying to do is not be so goal-orientated, Abel is very goal-orientated. For me, it’s less about a goal and more about a state of mind.

Q: Is there an aspect of “selling out” as you become more successful in your own career, and take on bigger roles?

A: Between my Llewyn Davis and Abel Morales, the people tend to admire Abel a lot more, and it’s very telling that they pick the person who’s ambitious, goal-orientated, hyper capitalist.

I think there’s been a shift. I’m in “Star Wars” and going to be in “X-Men,” I believe people can say that I’ve sold out, but I think there’s a different feeling nowadays about ‘hey man, you’ve got to hustle.’ This country is based on the hustle, hustle for your dollar, whatever you’ve got to do, and you give props to the person that hustles the most. There is a sense of whatever you can get away with, more power to you.

Q: How are you planning to dodge “Star Wars” questions for a year? Are you allowed to drop any tidbits to satisfy curiosity?

A: No permission to satisfy curiosity. We finished shooting (in November), and there’s a trailer out already so that’s just a testament to JJ (Abrams, the director) and how much he loves what we’ve made.

And it’s also how much he loves the fans, that after three weeks being done shooting, he releases a trailer and it’s so representative of what the movie’s going to be, which actually has an intimacy, a vitality to it.

(Editing by Mary Milliken and David Gregorio)

A Minute With – Oscar Isaac on the hustle of acting and ‘Star Wars’