So You Like Oscar Isaac’s Beard In Dune? Where Were You When Ex-Machina Was Released?
It must be frustrating for world famous actors Timothee Chalamet, Josh Brolin and Zendaya to have their limelight stolen by a beard. And yet, since the release of the first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited reimagining of Dune, that’s exactly what has happened.
Presumably it’s also a little frustrating for Oscar Isaac, the owner of said beard. First, his role in one of the biggest film releases of 2020 risks being overshadowed by his facial hair and second, he’s been growing A+ beards for some time now.
Still, there’s no escaping that as Duke Leo Atreides, Isaac has grown a fine, fine beard indeed. Dense, bushy and richly textured it’s the sort of thing lesser mortals might need a prosthetic for. But not Isaac.
If you’re just discovering the power of Oscar Isaac’s beard, welcome! Get sat down and allow us to acquaint you with the standout beards of his career
Robin Hood 2010
Isaac played the weasely Prince John opposite Russell Crowe’s sturdy Robin Hood in Ridley Scott’s 2010 movie. Really though, Isaac could have stayed in his trailer and let his beard do the talking, such is the menace of a neatly trimmed goatee. Something about the care and attention needed to produce a beard this sinister means it’s always a cypher for bad intentions. See also Aladdin’s King Jafar and The Big Lebowski’s Jesus.
First of all, if you’re playing a character with a name like Standard, you simply must have a beard. In Drive, Isaac’s recently released con sports something just longer than designer stubble but not quite full-beard. It says “I’m suspicious” but not an out-and-out bad guy. In any other film this beard and this character would make Isaac the anti-hero. Next to Gosling’s silent, simmering ultra-violent virtuoso driver though, even the beard can’t help him keep up.
Inside Llewyn Davis 2013
A dastardly king, a man called Standard, an extra-terrestrial Duke, and, of course, a folk singer. Oscar Isaac knows that sometimes, a character needs a beard, and the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis is a distinctly beardy film. He plays the titular character, a down on his luck folk singer who lives life at his own pace, never quite making things happen for him. Perhaps he should have grown his beard longer.
Ex Machina 2014
This is Isaac’s facial topiary at full power. Arguably even more bushy than his Dune beard, Isaac’s tech CEO Nathan Bateman looks like he doesn’t get out much. As the movie develops, we find out that in fact, he’s gone completely off-reservation. How do we know? Because he’s shaved his head and grown an enormous, bushy beard. Not since Dr Robotnik has facial hair so immediately screamed: I am an evil genius.