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Director Mohamed Diab Raves About Oscar Isaac's Multifaceted Performance In Moon Knight - Exclusive

When filmmaker Mohamed Diab reached for the stars and pitched a 200-page presentation with his vision for the MCU miniseries "Moon Knight," he never could have imagined the perfect actor was waiting in the wings to bring his vision to life. The actor, of course, is Oscar Isaac, a Marvel movie veteran who not only played the titular villain in "X-Men: Apocalypse" but also took flight in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy and the 2021 adaptation of "Dune."

Naturally, Diab — who executive produces "Moon Knight" and directs four of the miniseries' six episodes — knew Isaac was well-equipped to walk onto a high-profile fantasy-slash-superhero project and deliver. But what Diab was also hoping for was Isaac's ability to realize the more subtle sensibilities of the character that he was aiming for with "Moon Knight" — an aspect of the filmmaking craft he honed as the writer and director of the character dramas "Cairo 678" and "Amira" in his home country of Egypt.

New on Disney+, "Moon Knight" stars Isaac as former mercenary Marc Spector, who, due to his struggles with dissociative identity disorder, also leads the life of mild-mannered London museum gift shop employee Steven Grant. Steven has a keen sense of Egyptian history, which isn't by coincidence, given that he and Marc are the avatar of Khonshu (voice of F. Murray Abraham), the Egyptian god of the moon. As such, Marc-slash-Steven has the ability to physically materialize as the vengeful superhero "Moon Knight." Alongside a mysterious person in Marc's past, Layla El-Faouly (May Calamawy), Moon Knight must battle with the dangerous cult leader Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke).

Given that Marc and Steven have stark differences in their personalities, Isaac was required to bring two distinct performances to "Moon Knight" — and Diab said he couldn't have been any more thrilled with the outcome.

Diab says 'it was a marvel' seeing Isaac transform

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Mohamed Diab said Oscar Isaac was reluctant to join "Moon Knight" at first after starring in "Star Wars," "Dune," and "X-Men" because of the larger scale that generally accompanies superhero and fantasy projects. Diab, however, assured the beloved actor that he would be able to accomplish his focus on character within the larger environment of "Moon Knight."

"He wanted to do something small and intimate. To achieve all that in that big scale, I'm so proud of that," Diab told Looper. "Definitely, Oscar carries the show on his shoulders, and it was a marvel seeing him transforming. The camera pans right and left and he has his reflection camera, and he changes — there's no tricks there. He actually becomes a different person. I always say that he even when he's Marc, he gets a bit taller. It's the demeanor changing. When you were paired with great talents like Oscar and Ethan [Hawke], and May [Calamawy], you're lucky."

Making his performances more amazing, Diab added, is that Isaac is nothing like Marc or Steven in real life.

"He's playing Steven and he's playing Marc and none of them are Oscar Isaac. He's completely different than the two of them," Diab revealed. "He's playing two completely different characters that are far away from him, and he can do a lot more, too. He's one, like Ethan, they're not here to put on the cape and get figurines. No, no, no. They're here to do something special."

Also executive produced by Grant Curtis, along with two episodes directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, "Moon Knight" is streaming exclusively on Disney+. New episodes of "Moon Knight" drop every Wednesday through May 4.