At 43 years of age, Oscar Isaac may very well be in the best shape of his life…or at least the most fight-ready. If certain Instagram videos are anything to go by, the actor underwent intensive martial arts-style training in preparation for his latest role as Moon Knight. That’s not to mention the performative aspects of the character, who’s often pushed to his mental limits. Indeed, it can’t be easy playing a man who inhabits multiple personalities at once, let alone one who’s occasionally taken over by an ancient Egyptian God.
As it turns out, Oscar Isaac’s workout is years in the making. With help from personal trainer Josh Holland, the actor previously buffed up for roles in films such as “Ex Machina” and the recent “Star Wars” trilogy. That makes him a true jack of all trades, whose versatile acting abilities are matched by a sharp and finely-tuned physique. And thanks to his “Moon Knight” training sessions, Isaac can add serious fighting skills to his already impressive list of accomplishments.
Who is Oscar Isaac?
Born in Guatemala, Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada is of Cuban and Guatemalan descent. His family immigrated to the United States when he was just five months old, bouncing from state to state until settling down in Miami. Quickly drawn to both acting and music, he played lead guitar and sang vocals in a marginally successful ska-punk band called The Blinking Underdogs. Upon his acceptance into Juilliard’s acting program, he put music aside to focus on the talent that would eventually make him famous.
A string of roles in TV, film, and theater would eventually lead to a turn as King John in the 2010 version of “Robin Hood.” Isaac arguably broke out in the 2013 Coen Brothers drama “Inside Llewyn Davis,” playing the title character. Then came the 2014 crime drama “A Most Violent Year,” followed by “Ex Machina” and a Golden Globe-winning performance in the HBO mini-series “Show Me a Hero.” He next appeared in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and has starred in a number of major tentpole films in the time since.
Ever the committed actor, Isaac also continues to star in the occasional indie drama or mid-budget thriller. His latest role in “Moon Knight” sends him back into the Disney ecosystem, this time on their popular streaming platform. Behind the scenes, he shares a home, a production company, and two children with his wife, the Danish screenwriter Elvira Lind.
Age: 43 years
Height: 5 ft 9 inches
Weight: approximately 159 lbs
Acting career: 2002 to present
Oscar Isaac ‘Moon Knight’ Diet Plan
No stranger to fitness, Oscar Isaac’s workout routine took shape around the same time as his major league career. To prepare for the role of a reclusive (and surprisingly shredded) tech billionaire in 2014’s “Ex Machina,” the actor teamed up with Madonna’s former personal trainer, Josh Holland. In terms of diet, Isaac “tried to eat clean, but more calories than I normally eat,” as he once stated in an interview with Men’s Journal.
It’s safe to assume that Isaac’s “Moon Knight” training routine and eating habits drew upon some of his former practices. The fitness regimen may have also incorporated the famous Marvel Diet, which we’ve covered in a previous article. To reiterate, this particular food plan employs a low/low/high-carb cycle with 12-hour minimum fasting between the current day’s last meal and the next day’s first meal, all in hopes of maintaining a lean figure whilst building muscle mass.
When writing about Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” workout and diet plan, The Hollywood Reporter went into greater detail about The Marvel Diet. Here’s an example of her meal plan:
- Pre-Workout Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 2 whole organic eggs, 1/2 avocado, Green veggies (21 g protein, 0 g carbs, 21 g fat)
- Snack (20-40 minutes after workout): Smoothie: 1 scoop Garden of Life protein powder, 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter, a handful of spinach, and water or ice (20 g protein, 14 g carbs, 10 g fat)
- Lunch: 4 oz. chicken or 200 g turkey mince, Green veggies, salad or stir fry, 1/2 avocado or nuts, 100 g rice (39 g protein, 29 g carbs, 16 g fat)
- Dinner: 4 oz. wild salmon/fish of choice, Green veggies, salad or stir fry (30 g protein, 0 g carbs, 14 g fat)
Total intake: 115 g protein, 75 g carbohydrates, 50 g fat
- Pre-workout Breakfast: 3 egg whites, 1 whole organic egg, Fruit (e.g., apple), 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 slice toast or English muffin, 5 g coconut oil, Green veggies (23 g protein, 25 g carbs, 12 g fat)
- Snack (20-40 minutes after workout): Same as a low-carb smoothie
- Lunch: 4 oz. chicken or 200 g turkey mince, Green veggies, salad or stir fry, 30 g avocado or salad dressing, 100 g white rice (30 g protein, 30 g carbs, 10 g fat)
- Dinner: 4 oz. chicken breast or fish 100 g white rice, Green veggies, salad or stir fry (30 g protein, 30 g carbs, 0 g fat)
Total intake: 105 g protein, 125 g carbs, 35 g fat
Oscar Isaac ‘Moon Knight’ Workout Guide
Playing a Marvel superhero requires both physical stamina and a range of martial arts techniques, and Oscar Isaac was definitely up to the task. He even shared some of his progress through the Instagram account for Mad Gene Media, the production company he co-founded with his wife. In the first video, he can be seen blocking, punching, practicing his spin kicks, performing knife stunts (sans knife), and demonstrating some wrestling moves, amongst other things. The second video finds him honing similar skills but with a greater emphasis on weapons training and disarmaments.
It’s worth noting that Isaac squares off against stuntmen in each respective video as opposed to punching bags or dummies. Some have taken this to mean that the actor performs his own stunt work in the series, which may very well be the case. However, we do know that stunt double Jamel Blissat Le Fléau is responsible for at least a portion of the show’s thrilling fight choreography. Isaac also has a body double and a trusty one at that: his brother, journalist Michael Benjamin Hernandez, who’s more a stand-in than a stuntman.
Martial arts and weapons training aside, Oscar Isaac presumably maintained the workout plan he picked up whilst preparing for the role of Nathan in “Ex Machina.” During his 2015 interview with Men’s Journal, he explained, “We tried to follow the regimen Nathan would follow, which was a bit of cardio, a lot of weight training, and hitting the punching bag.”
Isaac went on to add, “It was important that Nathan was a formidable-looking dude—stocky and square-shouldered, with an aggression to him. That’s why I really focused on the bag and the weights, things that require quite a bit of aggression. I think that shows through even when Nathan is seemingly being nice or friendly. There’s still this aggression underneath, and that comes from the physical preparation.”
In addition to his workout, Oscar Isaac may have learned more about dissociative identity disorder, from which his character suffers. A real affliction, it occurs when an individual creates and then compartmentalises multiple personalities, who aren’t necessarily aware of each other’s existence. Whilst the Marvel series puts a mythological spin on the concept, Isaac is nevertheless tasked with a sensitive and authentic portrayal. It all goes to show that not all training is physical, which any true martial artist is already likely to know.
What training did Oscar Isaac do for Moon Knight?
If the Instagram videos provided by his production company are anything to go by, Isaac practiced weapons training, martial arts, boxing, and wrestling, amongst other things.
Is Moon Knight part of The Avengers?
In various comic books, Moon Knight has been both a member of the Avengers and also one of their opponents. In the current TV series, the character is not part of The Avengers...yet.