In a new interview with the New York Times, Oscar Isaac talks about the new production of Hamlet (directed by Sam Gold) at the Public Theatre, his mother Maria Eugenia's death in February, and his first son's birth in April.
He and partner Danish documentary film maker Elvira Lind named their son 'Eugene' after Oscar's mum..
Hamlet runs at The Public Theatre in NYC until September 3rd, co-starring Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele) as Horatio, Gayle Rankin (Glow) as Ophelia, Roberta Colindrez, Ritchie Coster, and Charlayne Woodard.
-Oscar spent the fall and winter caring for his dying mother Eugenia at hospital, reading her Hamlet (Oscar doing Shakespeare was her favourite thing)
-Reciting Hamlet to her felt like the right thing: "Sometimes it felt like the only thing. I didn’t know how to process any of this, but this I knew how to do."
-On his mother's death: "I know it happens to everybody, but it'd never happened to me [...] I know people's mothers have died, but this was mine."
-Oscar notes that son Eugene has his mother's lips and hands, and when he acts he's thinking of them both.
-He's doing Hamlet for his mum: "It's to honor her life, but also her death, which was so awful."
Oscar in character in The Public's "Hamlet" pic.twitter.com/v7KSMiPJk7— best of oscar isaac (@oscarisaacposts) 6 July 2017
-NY Times calls his Hamlet 'antic, mercurial, unpredictable'
-Met Sam Gold at Julliard, and they have been wanting to do Hamlet together ever since - he signed on two years ago as didn't want to wait until he was too old to reasonably play him: "You can only be so old and be upset that your mom remarried."
-They agreed on visual imagery in the play - syringes, IVs, PICC lines, and the look of a man who had spent long hours at the hospital visiting a loved one.
-Sam Gold worried that the play would trigger Oscar so badly he wouldn't be able to make it through the show. However, Oscar used the play's words to contextualise what he was going through, "the feeling that grief can just make you want to stop".
-He kept things fun, light and dynamic in the rehearsal room, and brought a Ping-Pong table in for everyone to play with.
-When reciting the "to be or not to be" speech, he is thinking of his son Eugene when he says 'to be', as although it's about dying it is also about choosing to go on living: "You have a child, and you must - you must for their sake - you must say yes to life."
NEW: Oscar Isaac photographed for The New York Times (7/6/17) pic.twitter.com/u7rO1qI6RE— best of oscar isaac (@oscarisaacposts) 6 July 2017
Sources: NY Times, NY Times Theatre Twitter, bestofoscarisaac twitter 1, 2, NY Times Insta, official show photos
I saw the play and met Oscar last Thursday - highly recommended, amazing production, and he's the sweetest softest loveliest etc!
Any other ONTDers going/gone?