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Jason Isaacs
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Yahoo! Chat!
October 27, 2000

Yahoo_Host1: Jason Isaacs has joined us in the chat room!
Yahoo_Host1: Welcome Jason

jason_isaacs_live: Hi everybody, try and stay comfortable!

bkirkland54 asks: Hi Jason! After filming "The Patriot", Dean Devlin has said he expects you to breakout as a star in the next two years. Your fans would certainly be delighted, but how do you feel about attaining the level of stardom of say, Mel Gibson?
jason_isaacs_live: Well that's not going to happen, Mel was a star from the age of 20, 21 and just kept getting bigger. I'm already in my thirties, and I'm just working along stolidly, every now and then I get a big part and then I go back to my normal middle sized parts.

bayvic1 asks: We've had some discussion on the Message Board at your fansite & we have wondered: Was the Col. Tavington hair woven to your own or was it a wig?
jason_isaacs_live: It actually belonged to the horse and I gave it back every night.

jlwoz_1 asks: I originally went to see "The Patriot" for Mel Gibson (and a good movie), I came out an instant fan of yours. (And went back to see it many more times because of you, then I'll mention). Do you have any idea what you've done to the female movie going public?
jason_isaacs_live: LOL! No, there is a very small, fantastic, hardy band of supports who actually believe that I shave without foam....and to them I'm incredibly grateful. But I've no idea what I've done to most people because no one recognizes me when I walk down the street and my life is exactly the same.

irish_eyes2c asks: The Patriot seemed to be very controversial in England. What was your reaction to that and did you think it was justifiable?
jason_isaacs_live: I thought that it was a bizarre over reaction from the English press and I was slightly embarrassed by it in front of my American friends. Because to my mind the history of the British empire is a long and shameful episode. And they attacked the film for not being a documentary. Whereas if they wanted to attack it for script, writing and direction they are entitled to their opinion. But no one ever objected to Robin Hood on historical grounds.

bayvic1 asks: If you lived during the Revolutionary War and were an American colonist, would you have become a United Empire Loyalist and moved to Canada?
jason_isaacs_live: Oh, well, my girlfriend's from Canada so obviously my instincts always lead me in that direction.

mousekabob asks: I've heard you described as a character actor. Do you agree with that? Do you find it flattering?
jason_isaacs_live: I'm not sure that I'm looking for flattery, I guess I'd rather be unrecognizable from part to part - I'm not crazy about being myself on screen. Also character actors seem to have a longer shelf life.

andrea1776 asks: The scene where you kill Heath Ledger is definitely one of y favorite, in spite of my unhappiness with his death. Extremely well shot, choreographed and acted. The look on your face while enjoying the poor boy's pain has to be the most evil thing I have seen in quite some time. Kudos to you and Heath. How many redos did it take to reach perfection?
jason_isaacs_live: LOL! I'm not sure we ever reached perfection. I do not think we did it very many times. It was so exhausting -- It was a big long shot and the horses rode over the hill, and there was a huge choreographed fight. And because it was all in shot, there was nothing to stop the horses from running miles away. So, we could only do it a couple of times before it got dark.

manolis_varnassinger asks: Jason did you auditioned for the role in the movie patriot or it was offered to you
jason_isaacs_live: No I auditioned, I went on tape in my front room in London with a friend reading. And then they flew me out to Los Angeles to meet me. Even at that stage I didn't really take it seriously. Because I had been told it was offered to someone I knew in London. So I thought it was some strange political game they were playing. I didn't care because I got a free flight.

stratosmacca asks: Did you enjoy portraying Colonel Tavington in 'The Patriot'?
jason_isaacs_live: Yeah, that was what I was getting paid for, because a really good bad guy is always having a good time. So I made sure to have a riot on set. There is nothing to hate if the bad guy is being tortured.

willowsam asks: What scene was emotionally the most difficult for you to do?
jason_isaacs_live: Oh the first scene with Tom Wilkinson, I had to be - he slaps me down and I well up with tears. So it was the only time I was required to be really vulnerable in the film.

blueintheburgh asks: Did you enjoy working with Mel Gibson? Did he make you laugh a lot?
jason_isaacs_live: Oh, yeah, yeah, he's got a misplaced reputation for being a joker, Mel. He's actually a very serious actor. But like most serious actors I know he's just a child waiting to grow up. So he cracks terrible, filthy jokes, and burps a lot on set. But it's all for a very serious reason. It's to keep the actors relaxed.

willowsam asks: So, how do you like riding horses now? Just how big WAS Android?
jason_isaacs_live: My horse was called Big Ben, and it was the size of a Mack truck with a tail. And I haven't been on a horse since because I hate riding horses. I'm terrified of animals. It was so big, in fact, my horse, that the guy who played Wilkens in the film is about 6 foot 6. And I towered above him when we were both on our horses.

downes82 asks: Hi Jason, you were awesome as Tavington in the Patriot. Unfortunately I had never heard of you but will definitely check out your other movies. What is your next film role going to be? thanks Kim
jason_isaacs_live: The next thing coming out I think is a film called Sweet November, that I did with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, and I play a drag g queen. And I've never heard of you before today either, so we're even!

atlantalisa30189 asks: Any chance we'll get a preview of your feminine attire prior to the release of Sweet November? I don't want to disturb other movie patrons by being vocally startled.
jason_isaacs_live: I actually posted a photograph to one of the lovely ladies who runs a web site for me. And I told her to keep it private because it's supposed to be a secret even though I've told everyone under the sun.

bkirkland54 asks: You seem to move easily between TV and films. Which medium do you prefer?
jason_isaacs_live: Oh, a good script and nice people to work with. I don't care if it's theater out of the back of a bus. By the way - I'm watching this event on Yahoo! as well in one of the chatrooms...

bayvic1 asks: If you were told you had to reshoot a scene from The Patriot, which one would you least like to re-do?
jason_isaacs_live: I know which one I'd like most to reshoot, the first scene where I ride up to Mel's house. I'd least like to reshoot the scene where I fell off the horse, which is the big battle at Camden.

suthunbelle1 asks: Your performance as Tavington was wonderful, but my all time favorite role is Michael Ryan from Dangerous Lady. Was that a difficult role for you? Rebecca (tavyette)
jason_isaacs_live: You know they're never difficult when the script is good. I'm so glad someone has seen that! Because the woman who played my sister was superb. And I got to do all the things actors love to do - cry, kill people, strangle my lover with a silver dollar, and kiss my sugar daddy to death. LOL!

manolis_varnassinger asks: Jason in what age did you know that acting was going to be your future career and who were your role models
jason_isaacs_live: I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. I can't believe I do something as pathetic and insignificant as acting. I'm still waiting to decide.

burke916 asks: That particular scene at Camden was cut out , is that correct?
jason_isaacs_live: They didn't use the bit with me falling off the horse, because that wouldn't have been too cool....but no - there was an extended battle that Heath saw from the window. And then a follow-up scene with Cornwallis which is on the DVD

jennypsu2000 asks: the deleted scenes on the patriot DVD were really good..does that frustrate you when directors cut out certain scenes of yours?
jason_isaacs_live: It would frustrate me if Roland wasn't so nice and if there wasn't a very good reason to cut them.

blueintheburgh asks: "Pathetic" and "Insignificant"? So tell me ... why should I spend my money on your movies?
jason_isaacs_live: I can't imagine why anyone spends any money to see me at all...I keep waiting for the phone call to tell me it's all a terrible mistake and I have to go back and work in my father's shop.

burke916 asks: Would you ever work in another period piece and if so what would be of interest to you?
jason_isaacs_live: I've done a few science fiction thing, so I've been in the future. I've done Dragon Heart so I've been in medieval times. I've now done the 18th century. So now I'd like to do the 1980's since most of it is a bit of a blur.

artyfarty00 asks: what was it like working with Heath?
jason_isaacs_live: Great. I had to keep reminding myself that he was only 20, because he was much more of a man than Mel or I.

suthunbelle1 asks: Your fans would love to see you do romantic comedy, any plans in the future to do any such projects? Rebecca (tavyette from the site) Birmingham AL
jason_isaacs_live: I'm hoping that some of my fans are out there writing and producing them!

irish_eyes2c asks: Towards the end of the film, you and Mel Gibson get very physical. Were there any mishaps?
jason_isaacs_live: Yeah, I hit him a number of times. And it's pretty scary when you smack the star on the elbow or head. But he's quite butch, Mel, and he gave twice as good as he got, so I had to watch out for myself. What I did to counter the effect of working opposite Mad Max, was to call him Melanie, and that gave me a psychological edge.

kims_bloke asks: After viewing the deleted scenes on The Patriot DVD, I felt that several scenes would have made him slightly more sympathetic. Were you disappointed that those scenes were cut?
jason_isaacs_live: This question is obviously from my m other. I'm always disappointed but I think the film was long enough, and I can't point to any other scenes that I thought should have been cut.

noel4200 asks: Jason, who are your favorite actors/actress?
jason_isaacs_live: Oh my God! There is an actor in London called Mark Rylance. That's a tough question, because now I've met a number of the people who used to be my heroes, and it's embarrassing to name them now that I know them. I actually have directing heroes more than acting heroes. Oh, I know -- I saw a woman called Elizabeth Franz in Death of a Salesman in Los Angeles.

keppero asks: Did you really learn how to reload a gun for The Patriot?
jason_isaacs_live: Oh yeah, in fact I took great pride that I could load it and fire it without looking at it in under 10 seconds. It became a point of macho pride. Heath sliced his finger open really badly one day - actually in the take where he shoots me. And I was there with my video camera getting a tape of the inside of his finger while everyone else was calling an ambulance.

a_memnoch_19 asks: was it hard to get the colonels character down ?
jason_isaacs_live: No Roland and Dean really gave me my head to just live out my sadistic fantasies....

willowsam asks: Were you allowed to interpret the script and change things somewhat?
jason_isaacs_live: Oh yeah, there was a whole bunch of stuff that wasn't in the original script. Little things. Like I remember suggesting that I rode up into the church on a horse which Roland thought was hysterically funny. In fact, Roland and Dean were always wanting new ideas. Everyone was open to changes. The scene where I challenge Mel at the fort originally ended with Mel saying, I'm going to kill you. And Tavington was cowered away in fear. And I said, no way. This guy is desperate for a fight and desperate to kill him then and there. That whole sequence came out of discussion and improvisation.

sugarbugger2000 asks: Mark Rylance is excellent- hope you work with him at the Globe- any Shakespeare coming up?
jason_isaacs_live: No. I was actually briefly considering doing those Shakespeare's with Ray Fiennes. He did Richard II and Coriolonus. I ended up getting in drag and going to San Francisco instead. Better Chinese food.

volsfans4ever asks: Do you think that the film was graphic enough or would you have preferred more decapitations, bayonet wounds, and the like?
jason_isaacs_live: Well we had real amputees on the set, lots of them, when we did scenes where limbs were blown off, pulled off or chopped off. That was enough for me. I did miss a rape though, I felt that we were one rape light.

shayweaver asks: You seem very witty and clever....any plans to write yourself?
jason_isaacs_live: That's definitely my mother! Oh no, that's Shay who runs the website! Before I write any scripts, I'll send you an email. Lots of love!

serenade27 asks: Whose idea was the shaving scene? I know all of us on the appreciation page want to know!
jason_isaacs_live: I said to Roland - because every morning when we did the hair, I said to Roland it looks really cool with the hair down, I wonder if there's s a way to do a scene with the hair down. And everybody said, no that's ridiculous, and Roland said, Y you're sure? It looks really cool? What the hell, let's do it! So then we had to invent a reason. And I could have been washing my hair in the river. But it would have looked like a shampoo commercial.

big_turk_jr asks: I want to say that you played the role of Tavington so well that, I cannot look at you without thinking that you are really as nasty and cruel as your character. Do you get that a lot?
jason_isaacs_live: I've no idea. If people think that they presumably don't come up and talk to me. The people that come up to me expect that I'll talk back. I think I get it more from casting directors.

sian2020 asks: What kind of director was Roland? The Patriot was visually stunning.
jason_isaacs_live: He's a visually stunning director! He's just about the nicest guy that I've met in Hollywood. Not that there's a lot of competition here! You could meet him by the sandwich table and not know what job he does. He could be the guy that makes the sandwiches.

feltonza asks: So the whole "Why wait" thing was your idea? Those two words were what made me watch the movie! Anyway, what does it take for you to read a script?
jason_isaacs_live: It takes for it to be delivered to my house. I read everything I can get my hands on because there are so few good ones. When I do find a good one, unfortunately everybody else in town thinks it's good as well, and I have to get in line behind Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

rosemary01719 asks: What do you like to read when you're not wading through scripts?
jason_isaacs_live: My girlfriend has very high brow taste in literature. So she's always trying to make me read books that would be good for me. And I sneak in trashy magazines when I'm in the bathroom. But I'm a net geek, so I read Wired, and all the Mac publications, because I'm a Mac evangelist.

volsfans4ever asks: What was your experience like in working with the Revolutionary War re-enactors? (I am curious because I am a Civil War re-enactor, or "living historian", if you will)
jason_isaacs_live: It was an education for me, because I expected them all to be rather strange and nerdy, and they were a fantastic bunch of men and women. Not only were they a walking font of knowledge about the period, but they enlightened me as to the nature of their hobby.

bayvic1 asks: You've mentioned the web-site a couple of times. Knowing that you enjoy your computer, how do you feel about the sites dedicated to you?
jason_isaacs_live: I think they are superb, I'm constantly blown away by them. My girlfriend tells me I should ration my visits to them, and I'm sure she's right. But I'm so grateful to the two women, specifically to Sharon and Martine, because without them I would never know when I was on television or when films I'm in are released. They have stills from shows I don't remember filming! There is a really fabulous community of women for whom I was a catalyst for them meeting each other, and chat every day and send each other messages and presents. I'm kind of thrilled that I was the reason they met. Sharon's site is Which is kind of weird for me. Lots of people say I should ask for it back, but I don't know what I could do which is half as professional as what she does. And Martyne's site is because I was too lazy to write back and say she could have I am very lazy about answering fan mail, I'm very lazy in general. I'm so bad I don't even pay my parking tickets.

reesehawke asks: Do you find that the nature of the scripts that have been sent to you has changed since The Patriot was released?
jason_isaacs_live: Since the Patriot was released I've come to Los Angeles so I'm reading more American scripts. The scripts have changed in that every single one is about a serial killer or a rogue FBI agent. Most scripts are just terrible. As everyone knows most movies are terrible and not worth the entrance price.

jennypsu2000 asks: speaking of drinking in the forest..what's your favorite drink?
jason_isaacs_live: Cranberry and soda. Light on the ice, no lime. English people always ask for less ice than here in America. We get bitter about how the cup is always full of ice.

stratosmacca asks: I heard rumors that Mel's character was originally supposed to die at the end of the film... Any truth to that?
jason_isaacs_live: No! None whatsoever. Where did you hear that rumor? I read on the internet lots of things about what was originally supposed to happen. And they're all lies, every single one unfortunately.

harlan_nc asks: You have such a noble chin and in my opinion would make the perfect Bruce Wayne. Would you if ever asked, put on the cape and cowl and film a Batman movie?
jason_isaacs_live: Uh, um, I can't imagine it ever happening. I guess I wouldn't mind having rubber nipples!

hearts38 asks: What movie was the most emotional for you to make?
jason_isaacs_live: The most emotional part I ever played was Angels in America on stage. I had to cry for about seven hours every day. Nothing's ever compared to the writing in that. God that's a tough one. If I had to pick one - I used to love The Big Chill.

iamtaved asks: What is you all time favorite movie?
jason_isaacs_live: And I guess as I got older it bears fewer viewings. I guess my all time favorite is probably Spinal Tap. Spinal Tap and the Godfather.

astre_x asks: do you prefer living in England or America?
jason_isaacs_live: Wherever my girlfriend is and I'm working. I just hate not working.

raven1413l asks: Hi Jason. What kind of music do you listen to?
jason_isaacs_live: From the age of 12 to the age of 20 I only listened to Bob Marley. Then in more recent years I've become a Gershwin freak. I have a lot of the great crooners of the fifties and sixties - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. And lots of seventies funk. But I'm kind of sad in that I don't think I've bought a record in fifteen years. Or if I have, it's a retro record. Even calling them records is really giving it away!

tierra_blue asks: Do you realize how popular the Patriot was in Australia? Will you be coming down to do some promo stuff when it's out on video here!
jason_isaacs_live: Well, I didn't know how popular it was in Australia. I won't be coming down to do promo stuff because they're not doing any! But I would love to work there. My friend Thandie filmed Mission Impossible 2 there and just raved about it and said how much I'd love it, so I'm really keen to get a film down there.

south_carolina_belle asks: Jason, some of the scenes were familiar to me in South Carolina. How did you like filming a movie here?
jason_isaacs_live: I'm an urban creature, everything I liked previously is concrete and Matt black plastic. So the whole countryside was a revolution for me. And I was made soppy by the color of the leaves in fall and the sunrises. The people were all very friendly and seemed to be on a mission to make us as fat as they could get, deep friend breakfasts....

rjoconnor2000 asks: Were there ever scenes where you thought to yourself..... whew this is brutal???
jason_isaacs_live: When Mel was making a burger out of the last British soldier. It only made me wish I'd had a scene that was twice as brutal. I think burning women and children in a church was crossing the line into slightly unpleasant.

keppero asks: You have such a great sense of humor! Is that inherited?
jason_isaacs_live: LOL! It depends on whether my parents are watching this...if they are watching, yes, if they aren't, then no!

suthunbelle1 asks: so did Rollins really spit on you in the deleted scene?
jason_isaacs_live: And the guy who played it his name is Hank, and he told me he had never spit before. Which is kind of a weird thing to say. But a - he got really good at it by the end of the day, and b - it stunk. The first couple of things they ever saw me do I was naked and covered in chicken blood. I got castrated with a cheese wire, and I told my mother her private parts smelled of fish. So from then on everything has been a victory for them. There is a play called East by Steven Berkoff.
jason_isaacs_live: It has a famous speech in it called the c# speech. And I was choreographed to leap off the stage and describe these ten smells moving along the audience one by one. With a spotlight following me. And the last fresh fish, and you stand there and humiliate a member of the audience. And it was my mother. The only thing my father has ever truly enjoyed that I've been in. He was weeping tears of laughter.

Sir_DragonSlayer asks: Do you like to live a character that your portraying in the movies outside of the film to get a better knowledge of who that person might have been like
jason_isaacs_live: Sure! I went around raping, murdering and pillaging half of South Carolina! If I tried to live them more than 2 seconds, my girlfriend would slap me right back down to earth.

andrea1776 asks: What's your favorite scene in the Patriot?
jason_isaacs_live: My favorite scenes were the scenes with Tom Wilkinson. Because they were like dancing with a great tango partner. Everything came out differently every time. But always perfectly in response to the other person.

elizabethtavington asks: gotta ask, where the black pants part of the dragoons uniform? Cause I loved them, very nice attire
jason_isaacs_live: I don't think they were actually. I think they were an enhancement. I think the dragoons outfits were actually beige, but beige is not too cool a color. I got my DVD yesterday. And I've seen it - enough times!

jennypsu2000 asks: do you think the Patriot will be nominated for any awards?
jason_isaacs_live: I think awards are really strange. And unwarranted things. The idea of ranking any kind of art - acting, directing, painting, music, writing books, is just weird. On the other hand - if they are going to do it, I hope we're in there. The award for best actor I always think should be called the award for best part. But if there was an award for most enjoyable job I've had so far, this ought to get it. If only Tavington had been in a wheelchair, I would have been in with a real chance.

Yahoo_Host1: Thank you so much to Jason Isaacs for stopping by to chat about The Patriot today - hope his wonderful sense of humor wasn't lost in the text translation!

jason_isaacs_live: Thanks everyone for hanging out here, and thanks to all the people who write messages to me and to my website, never think I am indifferent to it. I am incredibly grateful. And I wish everybody luck and love.

Yahoo_Host1: Thanks to all of the chatters - you sent in some fabulous questions - soo many of them that we couldn't get to them all. What a way to wrap up The Patriot week on Yahoo! Chat - we started the week with Mel Gibson, then director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin stopped by and we close with the incredibly charming chat with Jason Isaacs!
Yahoo_Host1: Good night everyone

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