Guest / Limited Access /

Oscar Isaac has a winning smile, an easy laugh, and seems like the kind of guy who'd be fun to hang around. But for a few months earlier this year, Isaac was as serious as he could be, trying to figure out how to best portray a man that the Bible tells us very little about—Joseph, descendant of David, husband of the Virgin Mary, and earthly father to a child who was the Son of God.

Isaac, a 2005 Julliard graduate, is the leading man for The Nativity Story, which fleshes out Joseph's character in more depth and detail than any Bible movie before it. The film, opening December 1 in theaters worldwide, also features former Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) as Mary.

The Bible doesn't tell us much about Joseph other than the fact that he was a "righteous" man, but screenwriter Mike Rich and director Catherine Hardwicke took that one adjective and ran with it, developing a character who demonstrates that quality in both subtle and powerful ways at every turn.

Isaac says he was so focused on the role that he didn't stray too far from being "in character" during in his time on the set. His earnestness and diligence pays off; viewers will get to "know" Joseph more than ever before in what plays out as a bit of a non-traditional love story on the big screen.

We recently interviewed Isaac in Los Angeles during a press trip for The Nativity Story. The conversation below includes segments from our one-on-one interview, as well as segments from a roundtable discussion Isaac held with several members of the media.

Why did you want to play this role?

Oscar Isaac: One, I wanted to work! But the truth is, what a cool, strange, intense role to play, and one that's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Tags:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueWilson’s Bookmarks
Subscriber Access Only Wilson’s Bookmarks
From John Wilson, editor of ‘Education and Culture’ at thebestschools.org.
Current IssueThey Will Know We Are Christians by Our Drinks
They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Drinks
In the Muslim world, Christians have a complicated relationship with alcohol.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickAfter 40 Girls Die in Orphanage Fire, Guatemala Asks Evangelicals for Advice
After 40 Girls Die in Orphanage Fire, Guatemala Asks Evangelicals for Advice
Tragedy becomes impetus for reforms sought by Christian experts.
Christianity Today
How Do You Play 'Righteous'?
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.