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

X-Men: Apocalypse's Oscar Isaac Opens Up About His Nightmare On-Set Experience

In 2016, the "X-Men" franchise film "X-Men: Apocalypse" premiered, following up 2014's time-traveling adventure "X-Men: Days of Future Past." While the earlier film wowed critics and audiences, earning a 90% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the 2016 movie didn't live up to expectations, even with a cast that includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, and Oscar Isaac as the main antagonist, Apocalypse. 

Directly inspired by the popular character from the Marvel comics, Apocalypse, also known as En Sabah Nur, is one of the first mutants and has a variety of powerful abilities, both superhuman and not. In "X-Men: Apocalypse," the character believes in continual evolution and sees mutants as better than humans. As a result, he wants to destroy all humans to allow mutants to take over. 

Along with his powers and strong beliefs, Apocalypse also has an intense physical appearance. Alongside the blue skin covered with gray lines, the character wears heavy silver armor and has an imposing size. But in order to look this way, Isaac had to go through a torturous experience everyday on set. 

Isaac had to wear a hot, inflexible, 40-pound Apocalypse suit

In a 2018 video interview with GQ, Oscar Isaac broke down his most iconic characters (at the time), and he revealed quite a bit about his tough experience filming "X-Men: Apocalypse" (via IndieWire). Apparently, when he agreed to do the film, he didn't know about the "excruciating" process he would have to go through to get Apocalypse's look. He said that in order to play the blue supervillain, he was "encased in glue, latex, and a 40-pound suit — [so] I had to wear a cooling mechanism at all times. I couldn't move my head, ever."

The suit was so heavy and encasing that his mobility was extremely affected, limiting many aspects of activity, including simply sitting. Isaac revealed that he "had to sit on a specially designed saddle," and the whole situation made him unable to really socialize with his fellow cast members at all. All he could do was sweat and film his scenes, while someone "rolled [him] into a cooling tent in-between takes" so that the temperature of the suit never overwhelmed him. Even if the film had been more successful, that's certainly a lot to go through for a movie role.

Getting the Apocalypse suit off was even worse

Unfortunately for Oscar Isaac, even after filming was done for the day, he still had a major ordeal to go through. In the interview, Isaac stated that "getting [the prosthetics] off was the worst part." He basically had to pull a double shift for the film, as the makeup artists and prosthetics staff members had to "scrape it off for hours and hours" in order to allow Isaac to go home looking like himself. 

With long-running movie series or television shows that involve extensive prosthetics, doing the same thing over the course of a few years can sometimes allow the team to make the process faster and faster as they get more practice. For example, another "X-Men" actor, Rebecca Romijn, who plays Mystique in the early films of the 2000s, told Looper in an interview last year that her makeup process to transform into the mutant character began as a nine-hour process, but after three films, they managed to get it down to seven hours. That's still quite a bit of time spent sitting in a chair. 

So was all of Isaac's torture worth it? Well, it's hard to say. But it looks like the experience didn't put Isaac off from starring in another Marvel project later on, as he will appear as the title character in "Moon Knight" when it premieres on Disney+ later this year.