By Lauren La Rose
TORONTO (The Canadian Press) —Oscar Isaac says he was “really shamefully ignorant” about the story of Armenian Genocide during the First World War before signing on for the sweeping historical drama “The Promise.”
The award-winning actor portrays Michael, an Armenian apothecary who leaves his village in southern Anatolia in Turkey to pursue medical studies in the capital.
Set against the backdrop of war and the decline of the Ottoman Empire, Michael becomes entangled in a love triangle with Ana, an Armenian artist (Montreal-born Charlotte Le Bon) and Chris, an American journalist (Oscar winner Christian Bale).
Isaac said part of his education process involved picking the brain of Irish director Terry George (“Hotel Rwanda”) as well as speaking with Armenians. Eyewitness accounts from survivors of the genocide proved particularly powerful for the Guatemalan-American actor, who also stars in the new “Star Wars” franchise.
“They would talk about when they were little kids and they saw their grandma killed in front of them,” Isaac said at a Toronto International Film Festival press conference on Monday, September 12, where “The Promise” had its world premiere a day earlier.