A Prank Almost Cost Oscar Isaac His Role In Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Oscar Isaac has been a very busy man these last few years – so much so that he plans to take a break from acting after Star Wars: Episode IX. And to make things just a little more stressful, a co-star from one Isaac’s many projects this decade decided to mess with the actor as he tried to land his now-familiar role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Speaking to GQ, Isaac recalled how Albert Brooks pulled a quick prank on him while he was scheduled to meet with director J.J. Abrams in Paris.

“I was doing A Most Violent Year, and I found out that [director] J.J. [Abrams] wanted to meet with me for a part, and that I needed to fly to Paris,” Isaac recalled. “I remember, I actually still have the voice message saved, ’cause I remember in between shooting I got a message from an unknown caller, and it was a voice, it was like, ‘Hey Oscar, it’s J.J. Ya know, you don’t have to come all the way out to Paris. What’re you gonna do, play a droid? You don’t need to be doing that. Actually, this is Albert Brooks.’ ‘Cause Albert was in the movie, so he really had me going for a second there, and I’m very happy that I still have that voice message.”

Once Isaac spoke to the real Lucasfilm team, he got another fake-out of sorts, with the initial story planned for Poe being much shorter than the one we got.

“Then I ended up going out to Paris and I met with him and [Lucasfilm president] Kathy Kennedy and [writer] Lawrence Kasdan and we sat in an office, and they pitched me a story. It’s like this heroic guy, he’s a first person, he’s in the crawl, you know, when they describe him,” the actor detailed. “He’s Leia’s number one pilot, and he shows up, and you have this scene with Max Von Sydow. And then the main bad guy shows up, and then you die, spectacularly.”

While Isaac was hesitant about taking on the role at first, he soon accepted his fictional death, only to be told that there’d been a change of plan.

“I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve done that so much where you set up the main story for the main characters. And then Kathy, to her credit, she was like, ‘Yeah, you did that for us in the Bourne movie.’ I was like, ‘Yeah. But let me think about it.’ And then I went home and kind of thought about it. I thought, ‘You know what, I gotta do this. I gotta do it.’ And then when I called them to let them know I wanted to do it, he said, ‘Actually, we’re changing it up, he’s in the whole movie now. It’s gonna be really cool.'”

Despite the high body count of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and especially The Last Jedi, Poe Dameron is still very much alive and well, with the character seen traveling with Finn and Chewie in some Episode IX set photos. And while plot details are in short supply for this upcoming trilogy-closer, the actor did let it slip a few months ago that the recently depleted Resistance will be engaging in some guerilla warfare to overthrow the First Order.

What’s more, Isaac has previously mentioned that the atmosphere on set is a little looser this time around, and that the team seems more open to trying out new things on the fly. We’ll see what results this fresh approach yields when Episode IX hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.