Ever since his breakout role in 2013’s “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Oscar Isaac has become one of Hollywood’s most reliably great actors. He has often been compared to actors such as Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
After an Oscar-worthy turn this year in “Ex Machina,” Isaac prepares for the next huge move of his career. In December, he will play pilot Poe Dameron in “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.”
Before becoming the acclaimed actor that he is today though, Isaac took a different path to show business success. He took all the guitar skills he picked up as a child and tried to make a living as a musician.
While living in Florida, where he grew up, Isaac served as frontman for a ska-punk band called The Blinking Underdogs. Isaac was a member of the band long before he went off to acting school at Julliard.
The group formed in Miami. During their brief run together, the band had some strong successes. They performed at Warped Tour and even opened for Green Day.
The group disbanded in 2001. The last news update on their website, posted on September 24, 2001, comes from band member Nick and announces Isaac’s departure:
Hello everyone, Nick here. For those of you who don’t know we are taking a break as of now while Oscar attends acting school at Julliard in NYC. We will be playing on his breaks or whenever we can. Check back here for shows that will be booked in the future.
Another bit if info on the band, when we do get back together, it is going to be a different band than what it was when we were a 6 piece. We aren’t going to have horns, after losing Alan it just wasn’t the same group horn wise and the song writing has been steering away from that style a bit. Most likely the group will be a 4 piece, 2 guitars, bass and drums. This past summer we experimented with this grouping and it seemed to work very well. That’s it for now, check back for more in the near future.
While the Blinking Underdogs are no longer together, they continue to exist online.
A few of them can be found on YouTube:
Creative people often don’t like to talk about their early projects. Sometimes, they might be embarrassed by them. In an interview with The Telegraph, Isaac admitted that he isn’t very proud of his abilities as a lead singer.
“I was never much of a singer. I was terrible,” he admitted. “It’s embarrassing, I was trying to sound like everybody else. I went through a big Cure phase so I was trying to do that kind of dramatic voice.”
Yet, this helped him with his career in a big way.
Isaac’s breakout role came in “Inside Llewyn Davis.” In the film he plays a musician struggling to make it in the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene. One of the reasons he was eventually cast in the film was for his abilities to actually sing and play guitar.
Maybe he wasn’t great as a lead singer, but he sure makes a good solo act:
You can see Isaac next in HBO’s new series “Show Me a Hero” which premieres August 16 at 8 p.m. He’ll be in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” when it hits theatres December 18, 2015.
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