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Thoughts and feeeels about Jason Isaacs

[personal profile] isagel asked: Tell us your thoughts and feelings about Jason Isaacs, please. :)

Well. Let me tell you. I have many many many thoughts and feelings about this man. He is truly one of my favorite men in the whole world, and I love him as an actor and also just as a person, because he's really amazingly awesome (he is a huge comics fan, and apparently had an amazing collection when he was young).

Most people know him as Lucius Malfoy. The first time I saw him was many, many years before that, and I remember thinking, "wow, that guy's HOT." But it wasn't for a while -- quite a few roles, actually -- until he became one of my favorite actors. He has such a wide range -- he can play a mustache-twirling bad guy like his English captain in the Revolutionary War in The Patriot, or a brutal American thug in Brotherhood, or a sexy and sweet English prime minister in The State Within, or a mousy American dad in indies like The Chumscrubber. He can do just about anything. And that's a huge deal for me -- a guy can be very pretty, but if he doesn't have chops, I generally am not going to be much of a fan.

It's his roles in two recent short series that really showcase how amazing he is, though -- as Michael Britten in the short-lived American show Awake, and as Jackson Brodie in the British series Case Histories. In both of those he plays cops; a working one in LA in Awake and a former one in Edinburgh in Case Histories. The characters have some wonderful similarities: they're both dads who adore their children even if they don't always get how to be a dad; they have a weakness for broken people and as much as they try to avoid getting caught up in people's lives, they always do; they are good at their jobs but not always good at people. And they're both, of course, hotasses.

But he can also play cold, scary killers, and he's very believable in those roles as well. His dark coloring with pale blue eyes can read as really handsome or scarily vicious, and he's got a slammin' bod, so he can use that cold competence to play hardass soldiers too, as in Black Hawk Down and The Green Zone.

The funny thing is that he's really self-deprecating about that, and I remember an interview he gave about being too chicken to watch horror movies because he's a "big girl's blouse." He has a fabulous, plummy voice (I much prefer his normal accent, but he does a flawless American accent, one of the best I've ever heard -- he's great at doing regional inflections and not many Brits can do that), which I often wonder about whether that had something to do with him being cast as Malfoy pere.

I also get a kick out of the fact that he has made a bunch of movies with William Fichtner, one of my favorite actors of all time. They don't always have scenes together, but it's kind of adorable that they keep showing up in the same films, and there's one photo out there that I think was taken at the premiere of Black Hawk Down where they are basically wearing the same outfit. You can tell that the one big scene they had together at the beginning of that movie, they were having a ball being shitty to each other.

The way English actors flip between movies, stage, and TV has always appealed to me -- it's something that I think reflects poorly on Americans that we seem to think TV is lesser, and so you're only "big" if you make it in movies. It's always great that you'll see Jason in these weird little indie films, then a TV guest spot, then a series, then a big huge movie, then a small cameo in a mid-range film, and voice work in games or animation. I guess for a long time he thought he was never going anywhere in his career on this side of the pond after Peter Pan tanked, but he's worked steadily for years and I'm looking forward to everything he does from here on out. Especially if he does another series of Case Histories, because that's just the best.

Speaking of Peter Pan, if you've never seen that version (it came out in 2003), I'd highly recommend it. He's an excellent Hook, but where he really shone was as Mr. Darling. If I hadn't already been in love with him, I would have fallen for him then. In short, Jason Isaacs is dreamy, talented, and adorable.

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Comments

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kirbyfest
Dec. 6th, 2013 04:05 am (UTC)
I believe they've already filmed S2 of "Case Histories." THANK GOODNESS.
cesperanza
Dec. 6th, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)
He is really really great. I saw him onstage in London in Pinter's Dumbwaiter and thought he was amazing. I also really liked him in Awake (though I'm glad the show didn't go on - that was a premise for a novel not a TV show IMO!)
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