Jason Isaacs – A Career in Film

With big franchises such as the Harry Potter films, it’s always difficult to remember that the cast members have in fact appeared in other films that don’t include witches and wizards. One such actor is Jason Isaacs whose latest outing sees him take the lead as head physician, Vomer, in Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness. But surely he has been in other films too? Right you are, Harry. Let’s take a look back at some of the brilliant films he has been a part of to celebrate the release of A Cure for Wellness, in cinemas 24th February.


One of his best known roles, Jason Isaacs played the dangerous, sharp and ultimately cowardly wizard, Lucius Malfoy. He commanded such fear in his portrayal of this entitled and arrogant wizard but was loved (in a strange way) by all who cherish this franchise. His curt one liners and luscious locks will keep this role in his very top drawer for a long time to come.


Now there have been various adaptations of this film over the years but the one we’re looking at is the 2003 version. Isaacs plays the undeniably evil pirate, Captain James Hook; the arch nemesis to Peter Pan. As these films tend to do, Isaacs also plays the somewhat lost father, Mr Darling who is a stark contrast to Captain Hook. Though this may not be the adaption of Peter Pan that is held most sacred in the hearts of young children, it certainly shines a light upon the truly wonderful acting ability of Jason Isaacs.


DragonHeart is one of Isaac’s earlier films in which he takes on the role of evil Lord Felton (can you a trend appearing here…?). Draco (Sean Connery) is the only dragon left in a world where it is Bowen’s (Dennis Quaid) job to eradicate them. Whilst Jason Isaacs’s character is a smaller role this time, you still end up hating him for siding with the wicked King who Draco and Bowen must stop at all costs before it’s too late. This film perhaps doesn’t sprint to mind as a usual classic but with a stellar cast, it has to go down as a film to include in the Jason Isaac back catalogue.


Another early role for Isaacs sees him play a deranged British officer during the American Revolution. This film was a visionary war movie with stunning battle sequences and a brilliant cast composed of Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Chris Cooper, Tom Wilkinson and of course; Jason Isaacs. His character, Col. William Tavington, is despicable in all senses of the word and he could not care less about human life, even in the tragedy of war. For any lovers of high action war films, this should be a staple on the list.


Every now and again, you’ll come across one of those films that are literally filled to the brim with acting talent. Black Hawk Down was no exception (honestly, the list of famous people in this film is ridiculous) with Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, William Fitchner and Eric Bana to name but a few. Isaacs plays the classic hard ass, Captain Steele, (with a great American accent may I say) in this gritty drama set in Somalia. This is just a must see film.


Another smaller role in a star studded film see’s Isaacs take on Captain Waggoner, a war veteran who is sick to death of war and killing. He may only be on the screen for a few minutes but he certainly portrays the haggard, tired look of a soldier who’s endured a long war. Again, the American accent is spot on and it’s another notch in the acting belt for Isaacs.


A cult classic in the eyes of many, Armageddon sees the threat of total destruction when an asteroid the size of Texas is on a collision course with Earth. Jason Isaacs is ‘pretty much the smartest guy on the planet’ and he comes up with the idea of blowing this huge meteorite up from the centre – easy, right?! It’s now up to Harry S. Stamper (Bruce Willis) and his superstar deep core drilling team to fly into space and save the world with the guidance of Ronald Quincy (Isaacs). See, he does play the good guys sometimes!


Well, the good guy roles had to finish sometime, right? This time, Isaacs takes on Doctor Volmer, the head honcho of a wellness centre in Switzerland where people from all around the world come to find ‘the cure’. At first, it all seems pretty idyllic. Badminton and croquet on the lawns, steam rooms, water aerobics… until Lockheart (Dane DeHaan) who is there to collect a senior partner of his investment firm, starts seeing strange things. The more he sees, the more danger he unknowingly puts himself in. Isaacs oozes acting credential here with his cool, calm but ultimately sinister demeanour. If you like a thriller, horror and a film that keeps you guessing; this is one for you.

A Cure for Wellness is in UK cinemas 24th February.

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