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Oscar Isaac: 'I've never thought of myself as an ethnic actor'

Published 15/12/2015

Oscar Isaac
Oscar Isaac

Oscar Isaac's father instilled the importance of being an individual in him from a young age.

Actor Oscar Isaac has always believed in individuality, and doesn't want to be defined by his ethnicity.

The 36-year-old was born in Guatemala to a Guatemalan mother and Cuban father, but was raised in Miami, Florida, and while his family was part of the Latin community, Oscar was taught from a young age to be his own person.

"For my father, individualism was very important, and he instilled that in me," he explained to the American edition of GQ. "It was way more important to recognise myself as an individual than as part of a group. I wasn't part of the 'Latino community.' I was just a kid in high school with friends, who was into playing music."

As he reached his teenage years, his straight edge meant Oscar avoided the drugs and alcohol many of his peers enjoyed.

"It became a badge of individuality," he said. "I was the guy that didn't drink, and it just felt good to be that."

Since becoming an actor and starring in hit movies including Ex Machina and Inside Llweyn Davis, Oscar has never felt the need to be a spokesperson for any one section of society and would just prefer to keep his head down and work hard.

"I never thought of myself as an ethnic actor," he added. "I don't feel comfortable saying I speak for Guatemalans. Or for Latin men. Or for Latin men that are five nine...."

His approach has obviously worked, as Oscar's career continues to go from strength to strength, with his next role being in the highly anticipated Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens, and while the star is thrilled to be part of the iconic franchise, he admits the experience was hard at times.

"I actually felt the most green and insecure that I had in a long time," he confessed. "I was like, What am I doing here? There was not a lot of room to shade in the character. Every time I tried to do that, it would slow things down too much. J.J. (Abrams, director) would be like, 'Get on with it, man!' Just, 'Louder! Faster!'"

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