Oscar Isaac used Shakespeare as a method of processing grief after his mother died in February.
For Isaac, 38, Shakespeare was a way of bonding with his mother and sister, he told The New York Times in a recent interview.
He spent the majority of fall and winter at a hospital in Florida taking care of his mother, Eugenia. As her health worsened, Isaac began reading to her from “Hamlet.”
“I would just read the play all the time, do bits for her,” the man behind Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens said. “I didn’t know how to process any of it, but this I knew how to do.”
“I know it happens to everybody, but it’d never happened to me,” he explained. “I know people’s mothers have died, but this was mine.”
When she passed away in February, Isaac threw himself into his work on “Hamlet,” which is currently playing at the Public Theater in New York City.
“It’s for my mom that I’m doing it,” he said of the play. “It’s to honor her life, but also her death, which was so awful.”
It’s not all sad thoughts when he’s playing Hamlet, however. He thinks of Eugene (who was named after his mother) when he acts, and of how his son has inherited his grandmother’s lips and hands.
“You have a child,” he said. “and you must– you must for their sake — you must say yes to life.”