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Oscar Isaac Reveals A Surprising Influence On Moon Knight's Steven Grant

Altogether, the Disney+ series "Moon Knight" offers up one of the more unique characters both within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as on television in general. The series stars Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector, an American mercenary who has agreed to become the avatar of the Egyptian god Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham). That's already two identities for Isaac to play with, but on top of that, Marc also has dissociative identity disorder. This gives him an entirely separate personality, Steven Grant, a mild-mannered Englishman who works in a museum gift shop.

This would be a challenging role for any actor to play, and for Isaac it's specifically the reason why he chose the role. In an interview with The New York Times, Isaac said that he was initially reluctant to join another big-budget franchise after playing Poe Dameron in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy, but the difficulty of playing Marc/Steven/Moon Knight intrigued him.  

On the eve of "Moon Knight's" finale on May 4, Isaac explained where he drew inspiration for the character. For a superhero show, it's not the kind of influence you would expect.

Oscar Isaac watched a lot of Love on the Spectrum to prepare for Moon Knight

"You know, I saw him as a bit on the spectrum," Isaac told Collider, referring to the Steven half of his character's persona.

To prepare for his Steven scenes, Isaac watched several episodes of the Netflix series "Love on the Spectrum," the dating series that follows people on the autism spectrum. While Isaac enjoyed the show and found it moving, he also found it helpful to get into his character's mindset.

Isaac explained that he sees Steven as someone who's "desperate for connection, but doesn't have the skills to do it." This gives Steven an openness and vulnerability to his personality. In terms of physicality, Isaac played Steven with an "open face." That's a direct contrast with Marc, whom Isaac played as closed off, with lots of defenses up. In addition to "Love on the Spectrum," Isaac also drew on his studies in clowning to portray both characters.

At first, Isaac preferred to film his Steven scenes on different days than his Mark scenes, which required the production to adjust its schedule to accommodate him. As filming went on and Isaac became more comfortable playing the character, he learned how to switch between them on the spot.

On paper, Steven/Marc/Moon Knight is a difficult character for any actor to play. Based on Isaac's comments, it seems like that was the case.