Oscar Isaac has opened up about the difficulties he faced while working on X-Men: Apocalypse. Playing the titular villain in the Bryan Singer-directed film, the actor had to wear a practical suit (including a pair of high heel boots to appear taller) and go through extensive makeup and prosthetic applications to mimic the look of Apocalypse from the comics.
Actors being outspoken about the discomforts of wearing costumes for various projects - specifically in comic book movies - is nothing new. And, even though the creative team behind X-Men: Apocalypse attempted to work with more practical effects for their characters, as opposed to relying solely on digital effects, the results were not entirely successful. After his complicated time on set, Isaac has since opened up about how difficult it was not only preparing for his role as En Sabah Nur in X-Men: Apocalypse, but actually playing the role in such a restrictive and uncomfortable outfit.
During an interview with GQ, Isaac broke down his most iconic characters, ultimately detailing his "excruciating" experience working on X-Men: Apocalypse. He specifically pointed out that he was unaware how uncomfortable the costume would be, revealing that he was not only "encased in glue, latex, and a 40 pound suit," but also "had to wear a cooling mechanism at all times." This prompted the actor to question his decision to take the role in the first place. Even worse, he was originally looking forward to working with "great actors" in the movie, like Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender, but ultimately never got to see them because he had trouble moving his head, adding, "I had to sit on a specially designed saddle, because that’s the only thing I could really sit on, and I would be rolled into a cooling tent in between takes." He also said:
"And every time I moved, it was just like rubber and plastic squeaking, so everything I said had to be dubbed later as well. And then getting it off was the worst part, because they just had to kind of scrape it off for hours and hours. So, that was X-Men: Apocalypse."
As frustrating as it might have been for Isaac, he's certainly not the first actor in a superhero movie to speak openly about issues with their costumes. After filming Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Christian Bale referred to his experience as "humiliating," considering he needed help taking the costume off to use the bathroom, Scarlett Johansson was so hot in her suit as Black Widow in the MCU that she would sometimes hallucinate, and Olivia Munn revealed that she had trouble with her costume as Psylocke opposite Isaac in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Seeing what Marvel Studios was able to accomplish in Avengers: Infinity War, using solely computer-generated effects to bring Josh Brolin's Thanos to life, it's worth considering how much more of a positive experience Isaac might have had on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse had he undergone a similar experience. The technology was clearly up to such a challenge. That said, the negative reactions aimed at X-Men: Apocalypse are hardly limited to Isaac's look or performance, so even though a CGI approach may have benefited the actor, it may not have made much of a difference for audiences.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020