Monday, October 12, 2009

Male on Monday: Jason Isaacs


Can't decide if you prefer the hero or the villian in the story? This week our columnist, Annie West, discusses a Male on Monday who's great as either: Jason Isaacs.

We seem to have a tradition here at the Pink Heart Society, of choosing many of our Males on Monday from the acting profession. Here's another, someone I'm so glad hasn't already been featured!

I remember the first time I saw Jason Isaacs in a film. I was enthralled by the energy and vibrancy he brought to his role. Forget Mel Gibson (the hero). This guy stole the show.

He's the villian we love to hate (and he seems to revel in such roles) but he makes a fine hero as well. He's compelling to watch, and I tell myself it's not just because of his dark hair, good looks and gorgeous eyes. This is a man with charisma and personality.

Jason Isaacs is a British actor with a cv that includes film, television and stage. He was born in Liverpool to migrant parents from Eastern Europe. He has a law degree from Bristol University but followed that up by studying at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where he met his wife. He's quoted as saying:

I did a three year law degree but all the time I was constantly off somewhere in a room screaming and shouting and taking my clothes off. It was where I found my friends and found my feet, and my girlfirends as well. I just got totally addicted to it. People say, 'Well, why did you stop doing law?' Well, do you know any lawyers? [This is] a lot more fun.
Some of you would recognise him as the delightfully sinister Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, complete with long wig. No one could match him, I'm sure, for that air of supercilious hauteur and clipped, condescending tone. Personally I rather like the fact that he loves those books and was desperate to find out what happened to his character.

I first saw him in 'The Patriot' where he plays the appallingly vicious Colonel William Tavington opposite Mel Gibson. The verve with which he embraced the sheer villainy of his character was terrific, and made rivetting watching. That performance won him a nomination from the London Film Critics' Circle.

Other films include 'The Tuxedo' where he plays a very likeable 007 type spy, 'Black Hawk Down', 'Passionada', 'Peter Pan' (where he is both Mr Darling and Captain Hook) and 'Good'. He starred in the fast paced TV action triller 'The State Within' as well as the long running 'Brotherhood'. On stage he played Louis in the critically acclaimed Royal National Theatre production of 'Angels in America, Parts 1 & 2'.

The more I researched him, the more I found to like. He's a family man with two little girls. He says 'Every time I make a plan, God laughs at me'. I can relate to that. He's also got the rather appealing quality of not taking himself too seriously:
I was always bullied, I've never been the bully, I'm a terrible coward. I'm scared of people, I'm scared of horses [laughing] I'm scared of spiders, so you know, the chance to have this army [in 'The Patriot'] and every time I twitch an eyebrow to have a whole village of people quiver, to have one of the biggest, butchest superstars in the world be terrified when I ride into his house, it's very cheap therapy for me.'
If you haven't had the pleasure of watching Jason Isaacs at work yet, let me recommend him. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these few photos to be going on with... In writing this I've discovered a couple of new movies I just have to check out. Research - it's never ending!
Annie's just realised that by sheer coincidence the
hero of her next manuscript has dark hair, stunning eyes and a voice rather like Jason Isaacs'. Amazing! However, it will be some time before that book is available. She has to write it yet!

If you're interested in one of her other yummy heroes, check out her website for details, or grab a copy of her recent release: THE SAVAKIS MISTRESS. Or maybe even snaffle a copy of her next US book: BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE.



32 comments:

  1. Great blog, Annie and I had NO idea that all those parts were played by the same actor. I've seen a few but never associated him with the Malfoy character.

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  2. Annie, I'm in love! What a great blog. Jason Isaacs has amazing presence and that, more than his looks, makes him a compelling actor, IMO. I love an actor who can play the villain as easily as the hero. There's no doubting he made the better career choice, btw. Imagine the waste of him as a lawyer!

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  3. Fiona, how lovely to see you. Isn't it amazing what you can learn from blogs? And of course writing them provides great research and inspiration for books!

    Annie

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  4. Christine,

    I think you're right. There's a presence or an intensity about some actors that just make you want to watch them. And Jason Isaacs really is versatile. I have the feeling he revels in his villainous roles as well as his honourable-man-against-the-odds ones. I'm on the lookout now for 'Good' as it sounds like something different again for him.

    Yes, I'm so glad he gave up the law! Wise move.

    By the way, I have to say again, I love the cover for your WICKED LITTLE GAME!

    Annie

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  5. Hi Annie!

    Fabulous blog! Jason Isaacs is brilliant as Lucius Malfoy - he really drips with venomous superiority. But I can see that I have "research" to do - it's so long since I saw The Patriot that I can't remember the finer details. I do have to say though that Jason's self-deprecating humour about his part as the evil colonel is very, very appealing.

    And aren't you kind - you've provided me with a ready made list of movie research! LOL

    :)
    Sharon

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  6. My goodness--what a versatile chap Jason Isaacs is! While he revels in those villainous roles, I'm glad to hear he's a softy in real life.

    Have fun with that new hero of yours, Annie!

    ~ Vanessa

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  7. You know, Annie, I've never seen JI in anything and he sounds absolutely my cup of tea. You know how I love those Brit sexy superstars! Yes, I know you know - because I rave about them all the time. Clearly Mr Isaacs is a secret you've been keeping all to yourself, you sly fox! I must do some more research. Yum! What a wonderful post - and you're right, he sounds absolutely gorgeous. I love a star who doesn't take himself too seriously. That's one of the (many) things I really like about Richard Armitage. Yeah, I know, I couldn't resist mentioning the irresistible Mr Armitage!

    And hey, your next hero is shaping up to be drop dead gorgeous!

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  8. Hi Sharon,

    Yes, he's great as Lucius Malfoy, isn't he? I found it so interesting to see him as a hero. He makes a terrifically suave 007 type in the Tuxedo and I admit to being glued to the screen for 'The State Within'. Glad to help with the movie list!

    Annie

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  9. Vanessa, yes, I am having fun with this new hero. And rest assured it's pure coincidence that his eyes are rather like Mr Isaacs'!

    Annie

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  10. Anna, believe me, you'll like him. He has such presence on screen, as Christine says. You have some research to do, dear. Actually, I'm planning on a little more research myself.

    And speaking of my next hero, I'd better get back to him. He's an inch away from kissing the heroine after a rather emotional scene and I think the poor guy is getting impatient.

    Annie

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  11. Hmmm, Annie, what a delicious post to wake up to on a Monday morning - thank you! xx Abby Green

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  12. Hi Abby! Glad you enjoyed the post. Hope it puts you in the mood for a productive day.

    Annie

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  13. Really, Nell? How terrific. I'm not sure how well known he is even though he's been in quite a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing more of him.

    Annie

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  14. Annie it's amazing that of all those movies you refer to, I've only seen Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy and Mr Darling/Captain Hook and had no idea who he was.

    He has a marvelous, sexy voice and I think that is an essential for a hero. There's something about British actors...

    I look forward to your "Jason Isaacs" inspired hero. I'm sure he'll be gorgeous - as all your heros are!

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  15. Hi Annie

    I think he is a wonderful actor I loved him in the Harry Potter movies and I loved The Patriot but I didn't know they were the same person thank you for making my day.
    I think he has the most wonderful voice.
    The hero in your book sounds great but then I love all of your heros

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  16. Ah, now this is fascinating Annie... I like to think I have hawk-like eyes when it comes to spotting hot hero totty and had already marked out Captain Hook, but I completely missed the fact that Mr Darling is played by the same gorgeous man! Education and visual indulgence in one lovely post-- thanks so much for that!

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  17. Fabulous post, Annie - he's very talented as well as utterly gorgeous - and very underrated.

    He was superb in Hook. I kept thinking, "Wendy, ditch Peter and go with the Captain." And then, as Mr Darling, he was just so... marryable *g*

    Best of all, though, is his voice. Utterly beautiful.

    Thanks for such a great post.

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  18. Ahh Jason Isaacs *swoon*

    Thanks for the list of films I had missed him in. He is brilliant in Harry Potter. His voice is to die for (up there with Sam West but not quite at Alan Rickman but close)

    Biddy

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  19. Oh yes, yes, YES Annie, he's gorgeous. I spotted him years ago in Peter Pan and he's brilliant as Malfoy. Don't remember him in The Patriot. Clearly I need to go and watch it again.
    Sarah
    x

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  20. I've had my eye on Jason Isaacs for years. I don't remember where I first saw him, but I think he was playing a priest and I started having Thorn Birds fantasies. In fact if they ever remake Thorn Birds, I nominate him as Father Ralph. He would make a great hero if they ever make a film of any of Sue Margolis's books.

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  21. And this post has been sitting in the PHS folder for ages which has meant I have not able to do him. I have definitely used Jason Isaacs as inspiration for a hero though. Excellent choice.

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  22. Hi Kandy,

    I haven't yet seen this version of Peter Pan but I'm so looking forward to it.

    I'm with you on Jason Isaac's voice! I find that often it's a actor's voice that really makes an impact on me. Interestingly, when I finally got to my ms late yesterday I found myself writing a passage where the hero's voice was the key factor. Needless to say I was enjoying myself!

    Thanks for the vote of confidence on this next hero. Fingers crossed I can convey him the way he's appearing and sounding in my head. As for delicious heroes, I'm so looking forward to you next one.

    Annie

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  23. Hi Helen,

    Yes, he's a bit hard to spot isn't he? It took me a while when I saw the first Harry Potter film to work out who he was. Glad I've made your day!

    Annie

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  24. Ah, India, we're allowed to slip up occasionally (G)! You can't make all the connections. I have to say I really, really enjoyed searching for the pics for this post. The long flowing hair and the swashbuckling air work so well! How nice that we're on the same wavelength.

    Annie

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  25. Hi Kate,

    Another vote for Mr Isaacs' voice! Obviously we're onto something here. As you say, he's very talented, so utterly believable and that drags me in every time. I can imagine you barracking for Wendy to go off with the captain.

    Annie

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  26. Biddy, another fan? Hey, I'm so glad I posted this blog. I had the sad feeling I was the only one out here with a soft spot for him.

    Well, of course, is there anyone else with a voice like Alan R's? But Jason I's is just lovely to listen to. You know, I think I'll have to go and rent a DVD this weekend to listen (and watch) again.

    Annie

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  27. Hi Sarah,

    Enjoy watching 'The Patriot' again. He really is compelling in it.

    Annie

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  28. Elisabeth,

    Now that's interesting. Actually I could imagine him as a very interesting priest. No wonder you were having Thorn Bird fantasies!

    I was thinking yesterday how great he'd be in one of those gothic-style roles where you didn't know till the end whether he was the hero or the villain. What a treat that would be!

    Annie

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  29. Ah, Michelle, the reason that post was sitting for so long ready to go is that I knew if I didn't snaffle this topic someone else would! I was so thrilled when I discovered no-one else at the PHS had blogged about Jason Isaacs. Like you I've gone to blog in a Male on Monday spot to discover someone else has beat me to it with a particular individual. No way was I missing out this time!

    Annie

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  30. Oh my, he is just the ultimate bad boy, isn't he? And there is something about supercilious hauteur that makes my pulse speed up.

    Thanks for an inspired Male on Monday, post Annie!

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  31. Hi Michelle,

    I couldn't agree more about the speeding pulse. Strange that! But he makes a great hero too, believe me. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Annie

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