Entertainment

Oscar Isaac's 'Moon Knight' Accent Is Good, Actually

His British accent doesn't have to be accurate to be entertaining.

Disney+
Disney+
Disney+

As soon as the first trailer for Moon Knight, the latest Marvel series, was released there was immediate hubbub over one central element. What was that British accent Oscar Isaac was doing? Isaac, who hails from Miami, is obviously not from the UK, but he is a Juilliard trained actor. And, yet, something about the voice he was affecting sounded askew, slightly over the top, almost like a serious version of Paul Rudd saying “you sound like you’re from London” in Forgetting Sarah Marshall or a misguided Michael Caine impression. Was Isaac doing a parody? And, if so, for what purpose? And yet I am here to tell you that, actually, Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight accent is good.

Now, this is probably worthy of a disclaimer that I am in the tank for Oscar Isaac. I think he’s not only extremely handsome, but also one of the best actors working today, and Moon Knight is just more proof of both of those things. The limited series, created by Jeremy Slater, finally finds the inescapable superhero studio attempting to make a television series for Disney+ that doesn’t feel intimately connected to the ongoing movie franchise.

In its initial episodes, Moon Knight tells an entirely independent story, which starts by focusing on Isaac’s Steven Grant, a socially awkward gift shop employee at the British Museum in London. Grant is chirpy, but troubled. He chains himself to his bed every night and pours sand around the perimeter to make sure he doesn’t sleepwalk. He desperately wants to be a tour guide in the Egyptian artifacts exhibitions, but is relegated to selling toys. He speaks, of course, in a high and pronounced dialect, which plays up a sort of Brit nebbish quality. He says things like “bloody hell” and “cheers.”

Disney+
Disney+
Disney+

The trick of Moon Knight is that Steven, and his accent, are just one facet of our hero’s personality. Blasted in and out of consciousness, Steven eventually learns that he himself is an alter of Marc Spector, a mercenary with dissociative identity disorder, who is an avatar of an ancient Egyptian god named Khonshu, voiced by F. Murray Abraham. As the series goes on, the Marc version of Oscar Isaac starts to supplant the Steven version, giving us a more typical version of a Marvel hero, complete with Isaac’s standard American accent. But the more the Steven persona stays trapped in a mirror, only appearing when Marc gazes inside, the more we start to miss him.

The accent is catchy. It’s almost like an earworm in that the more you listen the more you start to enjoy its particular rhythms. It’s also, very clearly, not an example of an actor doing a quote-unquote bad job of trying to approximate something from real life. In an interview with Empire, Isaac explained: “That voice is about where Steven’s from, where he’s living now, and some of his believed heritage. It’s not an idea of what Brits actually sound like.” But even if he weren’t so consciously filtering the accent through his character’s complicated psyche, Isaac’s performance would still be impressive.

Accent work has been the subject of some hand wringing lately with armchair critics analyzing whether Julia Garner really captured scammer Anna Delvey’s hybridized brogue in Inventing Anna or whether Lady Gaga’s Patrizia Reggiani could have emerged from Italy or the Mushroom Kingdom. But acting is also interpretation and as long as it doesn’t veer into the offensive I relish when talented people take big swings. I’ve already argued that Gaga is great in House of Gucci simply because she’s not naturalistic. It’s the kind of ham sandwich movie star splashiness for which I long. If her accent had been dialed down, “father, son, and house of Gucci” would have nowhere the same punch. Now, Gaga, as she reiterated, was trying very hard to get Patrizia’s patterns of speech right in a way Isaac clearly isn’t when it comes to Steven. And yet the performances hold similar appeal.

I assume as Moon Knight goes along the audience might learn more about how Steven’s persona developed, but even if it doesn’t I don’t really care. Isaac’s having fun and that fun is infectious whenever Steven is on screen. Accuracy is overvalued in acting, innit? I’d much prefer watching Steven Grant destroy a loo.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.


Related

Our Best Stories, Delivered Daily
The best decision you'll make all day.