As Marvel dig deeper into expanding the MCU, the newest character to get their own Disney+ series, ‘Moon Knight’, is due to hit the streamer on the 30th March. With Oscar Isaac taking on the roles of Marc Spector/Steven Grant/Moon Knight and Ethan Hawke brought into the Marvel family, audiences are yet again being invited to experience yet another multifaceted superhero experience.

The series follows Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac), a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector.

As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.

Related: Moon Knight Premiere Interviews – Oscar Isaac, May Calamawy, Saffron Hocking & more on Marvel’s darkest show yet

During a recent round of the press tour, Isaac, Hawke alongside cast member May Calamawy and show directors Mohamed Diab, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead took the time out to attend a press conference for the 6 episode show.

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know that Issac is no stranger to a franchise or two with both ‘Star Wars’ films and ‘Dune’ firmly under his belt so joining the MCU doesn’t seem like such a big deal. His main motivation to want to be part of yet another universe with such a wide appeal was being sold on the idea to do something just a bit different.

 “When I looked at it and we talked – Grant, and Kevin, and Mohamed, as well – it just seemed like there was a real opportunity to do something completely different, particularly in the MCU, and to really focus on this internal struggle of this character, and to use Egyptian iconography and the superhero genre and this language to talk about this real internal struggle that this person is having, also to create an indelible, unusual character, particularly with Steven Grant.“

Hawke on the other hand is better known for his roles in films that lean on the independent side but taking on the role of playing a villain who doesn’t have a few mental health issues made taking on the role of Arthur Harrow was a concept that he found all too fascinating.

“The history of movies are paved with storytellers using mental illness as a building block for the villain.  I mean, there are countless stories of mentally ill villains, and we have a mentally ill hero.  That’s fascinating because we’ve now inverted the whole process.  So now as the antagonist, I can’t be crazy because the hero’s crazy.  So I have to kind of find a sane lunatic or a sane malevolent force.  That was an interesting riddle for me to figure out how to be in dynamics with what Oscar was doing. Mohamed was really embracing his mental illness as a way to create an unreliable narrator.  Once you’ve broken the prism of reality, everything that the audience is seeing is from a skewed point of view.  That’s really interesting for the villain because am I even being seen as I am?  It’s also… I think that was our riddle, and we came up with somebody who was trying to save the world.  In his mind, he’s Saint Harrow, you know?  I mean, he thinks he’s going to be part of the great solution.”

It was also revealed that Hawke, for the first time in his illustrious career, that he signed up for the role without even reading the script first thanks to the amount of collaborative freedom.

Director Mohamed Diab said; “We pitched him the idea [Hawke], but I told him please don’t read the script. Not that the script is bad, but when you work with him, you have to get from him.  Like, I think Harrow is his son, in a way; it’s a ping pong between us all but definitely his son.  So to trust us and sign – he told me this was the first time in 35 years that I signed something without reading a script.  And he did it.”

Hawke commented “The one thing I wouldn’t want this whole conversation to go by without saying is that in my whole experience, usually when there’s a huge budget, there’s a tremendous amount of fear.  And the people in charge are incredibly controlling, and creativity is reduced. In my entire experience, with you Grant and with Marvel, it’s the opposite of that.  You guys have translated your success into confidence and the confidence to — yes, we are going to cook in your kitchen, but if we stay in the kitchen, we can do what we want. There was a lot of playfulness and a lot of willingness to fail and a lot of willingness to have bad ideas.” 

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Being Egyptian, director Mohamed Diab was delighted in being a part of bringing the story to life in order to give a voice and wipe the illusion that the world has of his country and giving the story a more authentic feel of the real Egypt.

 “What really attracted me was the Egyptian part of it, the present and the past, the Egyptology of it. As an Egyptian, we always see us depicted or the Middle East depicted in a way that is – we call it orientalism when you see us as exotic and dehumanized.  Just showing us as a human, just normal human beings, through Layla’s character and seeing even Egypt as Egypt because 90 per cent of the time, Egypt is not Egypt. Imagine Paris and you’re seeing Big Ben in the background.  That’s how we see our country.  So it’s funny, but it hurts.“

Director Aaron Moorhead went on to comment; “because we’ve been trying to make sure that all of our independent films, they’re based on new mythology. It’s something that’s come up whole cloth.  And you kind of think, oh, where are the new stories coming from?  And weirdly enough, I mean, our great, modern myths are Marvel movies right now.  The Great American Myth right now comes from Marvel.  And a lot of other places, but it is really cool to actually be a part of that and telling a story that’s actually about these ancient myths and things that we all grew up on.”

Isaac certainly has his work cut out for him in the series taking on not one but three roles, that of Marc Spector, Steven Grant and Moon Knight, so what better way to prepare for a role(s) like that than bring on your own sibling to spare off!?

“The first step was to hire my brother, Michael Hernandez, to come in and be the other me.  That’s the closest thing to me there is on Earth.  So he came in and he would play either Steven or Marc, even do the accent and everything, both accents. So that was really helpful to have someone that’s not only a great actor but also shares my DNA to play off of.  But that was something that I didn’t anticipate was how technically demanding that was going to be of having to show up and decide which character I was going to play first.  And then try to block that out, give my brother notes, and then do the scene, and then switch characters, and then figure it out.”

Isaac also went on to reveal his inspiration behind that British accent and the British comedy he took to his heart.

“I love English humour, like “The Office” and… something lets flats: “Stath Lets Flats”.  And there’s just so much of that humour that I just find so funny, and I thought there’s an opportunity here to maybe make something.  What if we make him English?  What if Peter Sellers was approached with a Marvel project, what would he do?  And so I started thinking about that, and that led me to Karl Pilkington from “An Idiot Abroad”.  And not so much for the accent but just for his sense of humour where he doesn’t know — you know, you can’t tell if he knows he’s being funny.  And then, I thought about the Jewish community in London and where a lot of that community is from and Enfield as an area and sort of listening to accents that are northeast London.  And then just committed to that and found this guy that it wasn’t just about accent, but it was also about his timidness but also wanting to connect with people but not quite knowing how. So yeah, Russell Kane was another — is a comedian that I listened to, as well?”

As part of the very heavy male cast, newcomer May Calamawy disclosed her initial apprehension on working on such a high profile series with a mainly male-driven but was pleasantly surprised at the respect given to her voice, especially from her fellow seasoned colleagues.

“I’m relatively new to this whole process and industry, so I’m lucky that you were all fighting for Layla, as well.  I just didn’t know that I was going to be able to take the space to collaborate in that way, and then seeing that I had it, I think it took me a second to trust my opinion. I’ve been in this place where I’m like, I’m just going to do what I’m told. Then I get to watch you two, and that’s something I really learned from you is you would just throw out so many ideas.  And even if one was like that doesn’t work, we would move in a direction based on the one that didn’t work. They all just really heard me.  I think in the beginning, there were times when I would go to people individually. Or I messaged Ethan and I was like, “I really think we need a scene together.”  And then Ethan came and had this whole scene idea that now I’m like thank God I reached out to you. 

“Everyone was empowering. I guess the main thing with Layla, I didn’t have this idea to pull from of this woman, it was just really important to me that as someone who’s grown up in the Middle East that I take – the more I ended up taking from myself, the better – the easier it became. I wanted to find a story that would work with someone who had similar conditioning, who would deal with situations a certain way.  What would that look like for someone raised there versus someone raised in the West?  And it was confronting in many ways, but when I felt okay to take that space, I feel like it was happening in a more fluid way.”

The series will hit Disney+ from March 30th.