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Oscar Isaac’s British Accent Is the Biggest Mystery of Moon Knight

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Disney+’s new series Moon Knight—the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—kind of takes a new approach to the titular character. Known at some points in history as Marvel’s answer to Batman, the character in recent history has become defined by his experience with mental illness, particularly the Dissociative Identity Disorder that causes mercenary Marc Spector to also become billionaire movie producer Steven Grant and wisecracking tough guy cab driver Jake Lockley.

The live-action series begins with an interesting approach to all of this—the main character audiences meet first is not Marc Spector, but rather Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac), a mild-mannered London museum gift shop employee who has a problem with “sleepwalking.” As the show continues, we get hints and teases of people communicating with Steven but looking for “Marc.” We’ll get there, people.

But what might be most confusing, for those of us who’ve seen the show’s star Oscar Isaac before, is his accent. Isaac has charmed audiences in movies like Ex Machina, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Card Counter, Dune, and the Star Wars sequels, and he’s never had a British accent like this. So what’s going on? Is one of the most in-demand stars in the business finally getting to use his native tongue?

Not quite.

oscar isaac as steven grant in marvel studios' moon knight photo by gabor kotschy ©marvel studios 2022 all rights reserved

Gabor Kotschy

Is Oscar Isaac Actually British?

Folks, he is absolutely not British. While Isaac is an extremely versatile actor, and probably could do a convincing British accent if he wanted to, his Steven Grant Moon Knight accent is not totally convincing on purpose. As with the Marvel Comic history of Moon Knight, the main alter ego of the superhero is an American mercenary named Marc Spector. Steven Grant—in the MCU series, a Brit who works in a museum gift shop—is his latest new persona. So, it makes sense that the accent is not convincing; it’s brand new to that body, even though the personality thinks he’s had it his whole life.

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Isaac is also aware that the accent sounds a little silly; in a video he made with Ethan Hawke where the two react to the Moon Knight trailer, he hears himself with Steven’s accent, and recites a classic Oliver Twist line: “Please sir, may I have some more?” Isaac himself also said in Empire that the accent was done purposely, for “reasons,” ensuring that he and the Marvel team are in on the joke. “That voice is about where Steven’s from, where he’s living now, and some of his believed heritage,” he said. “It’s not an idea of what Brits actually sound like.”

Born Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada, the 43-year-old star was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, to a Guatemalan mother and a Cuban father. His family migrated to the United States when he was only five months old (in 1979), and they moved around various U.S. states before eventually ending up in Florida, where they moved around a bit before landing in Miami long term.

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In Isaac’s recent Saturday Night Live monologue, he shared a story from his childhood—complete with video footage—of a movie he made as a kid. In this monologue video, you can see, clear as day, that Mr. Isaac is not British. And soon enough, surely, that accent will have more attention brought to it in Moon Knight, as Marc and Steven figure out together who they are.

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