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Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada

Birthplace: Guatemala
Immediate Family:

Son of Private and Private
Husband of Elvira Lind
Ex-partner of Private
Father of Private and Private
Brother of Nicole Hernández Hammer

Managed by: Alex Bickle
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Oscar Isaac

Oscar Isaac (born Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada; March 9, 1979) is a Guatemalan American actor and musician. He is known for his lead film roles in the comedy-drama Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination, the crime drama A Most Violent Year (2014) and the science fiction thriller Ex Machina (2015). In 2006, he portrayed Joseph, husband of Mary, in The Nativity Story. He also portrayed José Ramos-Horta, former president of East Timor, in the Australian film Balibo for which he won the AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His ethnically ambiguous appearance has allowed him to portray characters of many different nationalities and ethnicities, such as mixed European, Egyptian, Polish, English, French, Mexican, East Timorese, Indonesian, Greek, Cuban, Israeli and Armenian.

He had large roles in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), as X-wing pilot Poe Dameron, and in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), as the titular mutant supervillain Apocalypse. He also headlined the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, as politician Nick Wasicsko in 2015, which earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film. In 2016, Time named Isaac one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list.

Early life

Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada was born in Guatemala, to a Guatemalan mother, María Eugenia Estrada Nicolle, and a Cuban pulmonologist father, Óscar Gonzalo Hernández-Cano. His maternal grandfather was French. Isaac's family settled in the U.S. when he was five months old, and he was raised in Miami, Florida. He has described his evangelical Protestant upbringing as "very Christian".

Isaac liked to cause trouble at the private grade school Westminster Christian when growing up. “I set off a fire extinguisher in the gym, defaced a mural, just stupid stuff,” he said in an interview. He liked to make kids laugh. At one point, his teacher had to screen off his desk from the rest of the class with a piece of cardboard. Eventually, he was expelled.

Isaac's entry into professional acting began at the Area Stage Company, Miami Beach, when Artistic Director John Rodaz cast him in a play. He also acted in Miami-based City Theatre's Summer Shorts short play festival in 2000–2001. While in Miami, he played lead guitar and sang vocals for a ska-punk band The Blinking Underdogs. Other band members included Nick Speck (bass), Bill Sommer (drums), Alan Mills (trombone), Keith Cooper (saxophone), and Matt LaPlant (guitar). The band enjoyed some success, opening for Green Day and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones Isaac spent his musical years living a "straight edge" lifestyle. Isaac, however, put his music to the side after being accepted to the famed Juilliard School's acting program. While a student there, he worked on one of his first films, All About the Benjamins (2002).

Isaac graduated from the Juilliard School in New York City, where he was part of the Drama Division's Group 34 (2001–2005).


Isaac made his acting debut in the 1998 crime drama Illtown, credited as "Pool Boy". Next, he appeared briefly in 2002's All About the Benjamins and made an appearance on the television series Law & Order: Criminal Intent four years later. Isaac garnered recognition in first major film role in 2006 as Joseph in the biblical epic The Nativity Story, opposite Keisha Castle-Hughes. He appeared as Romeo in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park performances of Romeo and Juliet and Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Isaac was awarded the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor of 2009, for his role as José Ramos-Horta in Balibo (2009). He had a small role in Guerrilla, Part Two of the Che Guevara biopic Che (2008). Isaac played King John in the 2010 historical film Robin Hood. He portrayed a security guard in the Madonna-directed film W.E. and starred in the crime drama Drive, both of which were released in September 2011. He had a role in 10 Years, in which he played a musician. He performed his own song "Never Had" in the film. "Never Had" and "You Ain't Goin Nowhere" were included in the movie's soundtrack.

In 2013, Isaac starred in the dramatic comedy film Inside Llewyn Davis, written and directed by the Coen brothers, where he played a talented yet unsuccessful folk singer in Greenwich Village in 1961. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. For the role of Llewyn, Isaac was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the 2014 Golden Globes.

He co-starred with Jessica Chastain in J. C. Chandor's film A Most Violent Year (2014), replacing actor Javier Bardem. In 2015, Isaac portrayed Nathan in the science fiction film Ex Machina and starred in the 6-episode HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, receiving universal critical acclaim for his performance as politician Nick Wasicsko.

Isaac co-starred in the epic space opera film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released in December, playing Poe Dameron, an X-wing pilot. He will reprise the role in Star Wars: Episode VIII, scheduled for release in December 2017.

Isaac played X-Men villain Apocalypse in the film X-Men: Apocalypse, which was released on May 27, 2016. In 2015, Isaac was announced to play the lead role in The Promise with co-star Christian Bale.

On March 30, 2016, It was announced that Isaac would be joining Natalie Portman in the movie adaptation of the novel Annihilation where he will be playing her husband. It would be directed by Alex Garland which would mark this as Oscar's second collaboration with the director after Ex Machina. Isaac will also appear in George Clooney's upcoming Coen Brothers-penned black comedy Suburbicon. It will be Isaac's second collaboration with the Coen Brothers after Inside Llewyn Davis.

Isaac will be playing the role of Hamlet in Shakespeare's play about the Prince of Denmark, staged by Sam Gold, during the 2016/17 season at the Theatre for a New Audience at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Personal life

Isaac currently resides in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in an apartment he renovated himself. He has been dubbed a sex symbol, and "the internet's boyfriend" by multiple media outlets, most notably Rolling Stone magazine; of the label, Isaac stated that, "[The Internet] never struck me as being into monogamous relationships. It's very promiscuous, the Internet." Isaac is in a relationship with documentary filmmaker Elvira Lind.

He is an accomplished guitar player and singer, and has been playing since he was 12. Speaking to Interview magazine, he stated, "I don't know if they were all functioning, but I did play in a bunch of bands. I was sort of a musical whore, so I played in industrial bands, hardcore bands, punk—ska bands—all sorts of bands." Isaac also said that he "played guitar and bass. I didn't do much vocals, although I did have one band where I was the lead singer. But that was when I was in college."

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Oscar Isaac's Timeline

March 9, 1979