Oscar Isaac steps into unknown for drama 'A Most Violent Year'

Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:59pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When Oscar Isaac landed the role of a New York heating oil entrepreneur in "A Most Violent Year," he was concerned he would lacked the right sensibility to play the character.

"I hate business and I'm not good with money, and heating oil sounds like the most boring thing in the world," the actor said with a laugh.

"There was nothing about the character that immediately I thought I would love," he added.

In the indie crime drama, which debuts in U.S. theaters on Wednesday, Isaac plays Abel Morales, a Hispanic immigrant who with his wife Anna builds a company against the backdrop of the urban decay and violence of New York in 1981.

In a crumbling economy where crime has forced people to the suburbs, Abel's determination to succeed in the heating oil business is challenged by ruthless competitors.

"None of his secrets come out right away. You don't get a sense of where's he's from, what his past was," Isaac said about his character.

"It was really starting from a place of the complete unknown, which I now realize is the most exciting place to start from."

The role has already earned Isaac a best actor accolade from the National Board of Review and early buzz in the Hollywood awards race, topping a year in which the actor has landed roles in upcoming "Star Wars" and "X-Men" blockbusters.   Continued...

Cast member Oscar Isaac attends the world premiere of the film "A Most Violent Year" during AFI Fest 2014 in Los Angeles November 6, 2014. REUTERS/Phil McCarten