Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Briggs From Green Zone Looks So Familiar

It's safe to say that people are fans of Matt Damon and his work with Paul Greengrass. The pair worked together on "The Bourne Identity" sequels — "The Bourne Supremacy" in 2004 and "The Bourne Ultimatum" in 2007 — before reuniting one more time for "Jason Bourne" in 2016. However, in the midst of all of that Jason Bourne goodness, Damon and Greengrass combined forces on a more realistic action film called "Green Zone" in 2010.

Since "Green Zone" is currently streaming Netflix, a lot of people are checking it out and talking about it, more than they probably have in the last decade or so. To give you a bit of background on the 2010 film, it's centered on US Army chief Roy Miller (Matt Damon) as he seeks weapons of mass destruction during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by US forces.

While much of "Green Zone" is focused on Miller's slow realization that the intel he was given was bad and that there are no such WMDs, there are antagonists who also get some solid screen time. In addition to the film's big bad Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear), there's also a special operations commander Miller has to go toe-to-toe with — Major Briggs, played by Jason Isaacs.

Isaacs wears a handlebar mustache as Briggs, so he might not seem immediately familiar to you, but Isaacs is an actor you've most certainly seen many times before. Here are a few examples of where you might recognize him from.

Jason Isaacs as D.J. in Event Horizon

On April 6, 2021, freelance writer Elle Hunt asked the following question on Twitter: "Is 'Alien' a horror film?" She followed up the question by explaining her "argument" by saying "horror cannot be set in space." As you might have guessed if you've ever been to Twitter, people had very strong reactions to this argument. For many people, there was an obvious example of a horror movie set in space — "Event Horizon."

The 1997 Paul W.S. Anderson film may not have been a massive hit at the time, but it's gone on to achieve cult status. "Event Horizon" tells the story of a ship (named the Event Horizon) which disappeared after utilizing its black hole travel technology. The ship suddenly reappears, causing a motley crew to investigate. That crew includes a number of notable actors: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Sean Pertwee, and, of course, Jason Isaacs.

In addition to the haunted house in space concept, arguably the most notable thing about "Event Horizon" is some of its grizzly body horror. We see people's eyes removed, we see all sorts of dismemberment, and when it comes to Isaac's character D.J., we witness something truly gross — his body strung up, and his torso completely opened, with his organs removed. It's so ghastly that Isaacs actually wanted to keep the prop (per Cinema Blend). Considering how popular "Event Horizon" has become in the decades since its release, it's a shame Isaacs doesn't still have his own gutted torso — it probably would be worth a fortune.

Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise

There are plenty of places you might have seen Jason Isaacs before, but there is one role which nearly everyone knows him for — Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter franchise. 

While both the "Harry Potter" books and films focus predominantly on the young wizards of Hogwarts, there are a few adult characters who remain important. Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris/Michael Gambon), Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), and Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) represent the adults whose intentions are primarily in the right place, but there are a number of more villainous grown-ups, too. Yes, there's Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), but there's also Bellatrix LeStrange (Helena Bonham-Carter), Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), Barty Crouch Jr. (David Tennant), and, of course, Lucius Malfoy.

Lucius Malfoy is evil due to a sadly common factor — his prejudice. Malfoy joins the Death Eaters in no small part because they align with the idea that magic-users should all be of pure blood. 

However, despite Lucius' beliefs, they are ultimately not the guiding principal for his entire life — his family is. There's an argument to be made over just how villainous Lucius Malfoy actually is. Ultimately, despite his former inclinations, Malfoy does not entirely side with Voldemort, because he cares more about protecting his son Draco (Tom Felton). In a world full of magic spells and supernatural entities, there is something extremely human about Lucius Malfoy — a man who is defined primarily by status rather than magic, a villain whose hatred is founded in bigotry, and whose survival comes more from luck than anything else.

Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca on Star Trek: Discovery

In 2005, "Star Trek: Enterprise" aired its final episode, "These are the Voyages...," thus bringing a close to a period where, from 1987 onward, there had always been a Trek series on the air. At the time, nobody knew when, or if, we'd ever see Star Trek television show again. It may have taken awhile, but eventually, 2017 ushered in a new CBS streaming platform, and with it, "Star Trek: Discovery."

"Discovery" has no shortage of heroes — Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Saru (Doug Jones), and Tilly (Mary Wiseman), just to name a few. However, one of the show's stand-out characters is its Season 1 captain — and villain — Gabriel Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs. What makes Isaacs' turn as Lorca shine is that he's genuinely played as a shades-of-gray character for most of the season, rather than a straight villain. Yes, he has decidedly un-Starfleet ways of doing things, but he (mostly) seems to have his crew's best interests at heart. It isn't until we get a trip to the mirror-mirror universe that we learn Lorca's true nature — and it's exciting watching Isaacs take that subtle turn from manipulator to outright monster.

While Lorca was killed by the end of "Star Trek: Discovery" Season 1, Isaacs' portrayal was so fun that fans still occasionally hold out hope he may somehow reprise his role as Lorca again.

Jason Isaacs as Hap in The OA

When you look at the (long) list of Netflix shows which got canceled before their time, one title usually tops the list: "The OA." Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling's series about angels, community, and the ability of the human psyche to generate true miracles only lasted two seasons, but the potential to continue exploring the strange identity of Prairie Johnson, aka OA (Brit Marling), was enormous. 

And of course, one of the characters who made "The OA" so interesting was its antagonist, Dr. Hunter Aloysius 'Hap' Percy (Jason Isaacs). Hap, as is the Isaacs standard, seems like a good guy at first. As OA tells her backstory, including the time where she was blind, she delves into what, at first, appears to be a trusting and safe alliance with Hap. Then, Hap winds up locking OA in a glass cage for further experimentation. Much of the first season of "The OA" revolves around the idea of people facing mutual adversity through the use of meditative movements, and, in his own way, Hap is a big part of where those movements come from.

Unlike "Discovery," "The OA" keeps Isaacs as part of the cast into its second season, as the series delves into concepts like the multiverse, and this — in a truly startling twist, that shouldn't be spoiled — leads to Isaacs playing a character other than Hap, who is nonetheless quite familiar. "The OA" was such an unusual series, with such unlimited potential, that it's a shame Isaacs and the rest of the cast didn't get to keep going with it.