In “Ex_Machina”, Oscar Isaac plays the solitary CEO of a company that designed a revolutionary search engine. To lend his features to this extremely wealthy man who lives reclusive in the middle of the forest, the actor was inspired by a famous director whom he considers to be a genius.
Ex_Machina : artificial intelligence rebels
Author of The beach, screenwriter of 28 days later, sunshine and never let me goAlex Garland went on to direct in 2015 with Ex_Machina. The feature film begins with the arrival of Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a brilliant coder for the BlueBook search engine, at the home of his wealthy boss Nathan (Oscar Isaac), who lives reclusively in a vast property located in the middle of the mountains.
When he arrives, Caleb realizes he’s not just here to enjoy a week’s vacation with his employer. The latter has indeed selected him to participate in an experiment: to communicate with the artificial intelligence Ava (Alicia Vikander), in order to determine whether or not it has a conscience. Gradually, the young man becomes attached to the android and begins to lose his footing in this isolated place.
Sonoya Mizuno completes the cast of this award-winning film the Oscar for Best Special Effects. A feature film where, as in 2001: A Space Odyssey, an artificial intelligence rebels and tries to take control. Oscar Isaac was also inspired by his director Stanley Kubrick for his role.
Stanley Kubrick, Oscar Isaac’s main inspiration
To embody this enigmatic, manipulative and cruel character (like Stanley Kubrick with Shelley Duvall during the filming of shining), the actor wants to physically resemble the filmmaker who died in 1999, especially in his eyes. Asked by Moviefone in 2015, he explained about Nathan’s long beard:
To me, it gave him a bit of a Kubrick look, even though he had long hair in his later years.
The character is also reminiscent of the director with his “big owl eyes”. Stanley Kubrick is not only a physical inspiration for Oscar Isaac. The actor also studies his elocution, in part to help him build a personality as brilliant as it is mysterious, totally indecipherable:
I listened to some of his recordings, especially when he was younger. (…) I just liked the idea that he was someone mysterious, powerful and incredibly intelligent and who, I think, is a genius. That’s how I started, wondering who I considered a genius.
Oscar Isaac was also based on the “dark and misanthropic” personality of chess player Bobby Fischeras he explains to Esquireas well as on top that of his father, “an incredibly intelligent doctor”as he confided to QG.