Oscar Isaac Reveals the Intricate Process Behind His Career-Best Performance in ‘The Card Counter’

Oscar Isaac Reveals the Intricate Process Behind His Career-Best Performance in ‘The Card Counter’
Oscar Isaac excels at addressing life after “Star Wars.” Last year, when asked if he would return to play intergalactic pilot Poe Dameron if given the opportunity, he said he’d consider it “if I need another house.” At the Venice Film Festival in September, when pressed to explain why he signed up to play the guilt-stricken, gambling veteran at the center of Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter,” he called it a chance to escape “green screen alien space land.”

These cheeky replies almost certainly contain a kernel of truth, but in the case of “The Card Counter,” they only tell a fraction of a story that predates “Star Wars” by decades. The movie, which finds Isaac delivering a sullen, introverted performance as former Abu Ghraib soldier William Tell, feels like a natural extension of the self-defeatist pariahs he’s played in everything from the bashful musician of “Inside Llewyn Davis
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