It’s official: Oscar Isaac is the new “it” actor. But it hasn’t been an easy road. The Cubano-Guatemalteco’s acting career actually kicked off way back in 2002 and consisted primarily of supporting roles with names like “Detective Fartman,” “Interpreter,” and “Number 3.” Now he’s starring in award-winning features by the likes of the Coen Brothers, J.C. Chandor, and Alex Garland, while making his mark on the blockbuster scene with little franchise films like Star Wars Episode VII and X-Men: Apocalypse.
Now, as if the man’s resumé could be any more enviable, he will be playing a real-life 28-year-old ex-mayor of Yonkers by the name of Nick Wasicsko in an HBO miniseries titled Show Me a Hero. The show is penned by David Simon of The Wire fame and directed by Academy Award-winning helmer Paul Haggis of Crash.
Some may get a little upset at the fact that Isaac found it necessary to drop a couple of accents from his artistic name – along with the unequivocally Hispanic apellidos “Hernández Estrada” – but the reality of Hollywood casting is that Isaac would most definitely not be playing the white mayor of a brutally racist city had he not “neutralized” his image a little bit. Truth is, despite his swarthy features, Isaac actually kinda looks the part. So go get it, bruh.
The upcoming six-part miniseries is based on a nonfiction book by journalist Lisa Belkin. It details the personal stakes of a bitter housing integration battle that roiled the inner-ring suburb of Yonkers, New York in the not-so-distant past of 1988. With Show Me, Simon has clearly taken on the brewing #BlackLivesMatter movement by showing us a post-Civil Rights world where racial tensions still simmer close to the surface, and his incisive socio-political vision of American cities laid out in The Wire and Treme will certainly be a welcome addition to our national debate. Oh, and did we mention that the woman playing Wasicsko’s Ecuadorian wife Nay Noe is Argentine actress Carla Quevedo from El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes)? Good look, Mr. Simon.
Show Me A Hero premieres Sunday, August 16, 2015 on HBO at 8pm.