A few days ago at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, we got to sit down with Oscar Isaac, the charismatic star of "Inside Llewyn Davis" and last year's amazing (and amazingly under-seen) "A Most Violent Year." We were there to chat about his new movie, the deeply brilliant sci-fi film "Ex Machina," wherein he plays a mad scientist and tech billionaire who recruits an underling (played by Domhnall Gleeson) to test out some cutting edge new artificial intelligence and things go awry. It's awesome and we'll be bringing you lots more from the movie (and our interview with Isaac) in the weeks ahead.
But while we were chatting, I couldn't help but bring up the fact that he will soon be seen in a little art house movie called "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," directed by some guy named J.J. Abrams. So I quizzed him about that without ever overstepping my bounds (I hope), including what he thought about the reaction to the trailer, what it was like to be inside of an X-Wing, and whether or not he's excited about working with his "Star Wars: Episode VIII" director Rian Johnson ("Brick," "Looper," some very cool episodes of "Breaking Bad"). We also got into the fact that he's going to be starring as the titular villain in "X-Men: Apocalypse," a role that he actually went after himself. Sometimes it's not enough to be one of the most handsome and talented young actors in the business. Sometimes you've really got to want it.
Moviefone: Your next movie will be seen by every living soul on this planet.
Oscar Isaac: Yes. It'll be very cool. I'm very excited about it. I'm excited to see it, to see how it all comes together.
What did you think of people's reaction to the trailer?
It was awesome. It was very fun. It was very fun to see that spirit get ignited again.
What was it like being in an X-Wing?
It was very cool, but a little nauseating because the thing is on a gimbal and moving all around. I forgot to breathe and I was like, "Whoa." But it was very cool.
Were these movies super important to you as a kid? What was your motivation to get on board?
Well the history of it. The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was "Return of the Jedi." And then J.J., on top of the whole thing was J.J. Nostalgia can only go so far and at a certain point you have to have someone who has a real vision of what they want to do.
And your next director isn't too shabby either. Are you excited about working with Rian?
Yes. Very excited.
Have you talked to him yet?
No, not yet.
They're doing these spinoffs now. Is there any possibility for your character to star in one of those?
I don't know, you're going to have to ask them about it...
And you're doing "X-Men" too! What made you decide that?
My first comic book I ever collected was "X-Factor" and I actually really loved Apocalypse. And yeah, so when I heard that maybe that would be the next villain, I was like, "Guys, get me in there, I want to meet with them."
Yeah, totally. Apocalypse is so cool and weird and scary and I wanted to be a part of that.
Are you going to be on set or is it a motion capture situation?
[dramatic pause] I'm going to be on set... Although I don't know the details of the whole situation.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" hit theaters December 18, 2015. "X-Men: Apocalypse" is due out May 27, 2016.