Jason Isaacs


Date of Birth: June 6th 1963

Isaacs had initially planned on a career in law, following his more traditionally-inclined brothers who became a doctor, lawyer, and accountant. He therefore started reading law at Bristol University in 1982. Feeling uneasy among peers "who all sounded like Hugh Grant", he fell rather accidentally into acting in the first year of his law studies, stumbling drunkenly into an audition for a part with "Northern accent required". Cast in a play entitled Idle Hands, he ended up dancing naked, covered in chicken's blood – the first of many uncomfortable evenings in the theatre for his parents (in his second, The Glory of Love, he was castrated with a cheese-wire). Although he first became interested in acting in part because "it was a great way to meet girls", Jason soon found an addiction to and a deeper meaning in the theatre (in one interview he was quoted as saying "I could release myself into acting in a way that I was not released socially"). He finished his degree while running Bristol's extra-curricular drama society, acting in or directing 30 or so plays, spending three summers at the Edinburgh Festival, two Easters at the National Student Drama Festival and a Christmas run at The King's Head Theatre in Islington. From 1985 he studied for a further three years at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating in 1988 with an agent, a day's work on The Tall Guy (1989) and a girlfriend, Emma Hewitt, who was to become his partner.

After completing his training, Isaacs almost immediately began appearing on the stage and on television.

He also began to find more film work, receiving his first nod of Hollywood recognition in his casting in the Bruce Willis blockbuster Armageddon (1998). Initially called upon to take a fairly substantial role, Jason was eventually cast in a much smaller capacity as a planet-saving scientist so that he could accommodate his commitment to Divorcing Jack (1998), a comedy thriller he was making with fellow Harry Potter alumnus David Thewlis. After portraying a priest opposite Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes in Neil Jordan's acclaimed adaptation of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair (1999), Jason got his biggest international break to date when he was picked to portray the villain, Colonel William Tavington, in Roland Emmerich's Revolutionary War epic The Patriot (2000). Starring opposite Mel Gibson, who played the film's hero, Jason made a memorable impression as a fictional sadistic British army officer. Although his work in the film earned him comparisons to Ralph Fiennes' portrayal of evil Nazi Amon Göth in Schindler's List (1993) and talks of a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, Isaacs was not content to be typecast playing historical villains. Thus, he signed on to play none other than a drag queen for his next project, Sweet November (2001), a romantic comedy-drama starring Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves.Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix



submit a link

get involved