There is a tough shooting schedule and then there’s what Oscar Isaac did. While talking to /Slash with Annihilation director Alex Garland Isaac revealed that he was shooting both movies at the same time.
Apparently they were in the same studio and he would bounce between both productions when they needed him. There were even days when he shot both movies on the same day and Garland described a time when he’d catch Isaac on lunch and say they needed to go shoot something now. Isaac went on to describe the experience as “wild” and a “little of PeeWee’s Big Adventure“.
It was pretty wild. It reminded me a little of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, when he’s on the lot and you see all the different actors walking around. There was something very classic about it. So there was very little time, and not a lot of rehearsal time, and Natalie and I didn’t know each other. It happens in movies, obviously – you have to suddenly be very intimate with someone very quickly. I think the fact that she was willing to trust me and I was trusting her, and we just went in there and did it and tried to find a real intimacy. Which is always a weird, awkward, strange thing to do suddenly in front of a bunch of people. But we found that, and I really enjoyed those scenes with her. She is very focused, but also in those scenes, very emotionally available as well, so I really enjoyed that.
Garland was more impressed that director Rian Johnson and producer Ram Bergman were even willing to share Isaac considering the relative sizes of the two productions.
It makes me want to name-check Rian [Johnson] and Ram [Bergman], the producer on Star Wars [The Last Jedi]. I think because they come from an indie film background, here they are making like the biggest movie of all time, and they were unbelievably helpful and accommodating to us. And they really didn’t have to be at all. Most big productions would not even dream of doing that. And they went out of their way – whilst making fucking Star Wars, for Christ’s sake – to help this really small movie next door. It was very cool and I’m truly grateful for it, actually.
That really is something you don’t hear about often and says a lot about Johnson and Bergman as people. Maybe everything in Hollywood isn’t quite as soulless as we think. Maybe.
Summary: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.
Annihilation, directed by Alex Garland, stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It will be released on February 23rd.