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Interview: Jason Isaacs Gets Into the Challenges and Rewards of ‘Mass’

Bleecker Street

Jason Isaacs is often looked at as someone who plays a heavy character, even a villainous one. In Mass, he’s certainly playing someone intense and with a heavy heart, but it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen him do before. It also won’t shock you, if you know my thoughts on the film, that he’s absolutely incredible in the role. Opposite Reed BirneyAnn Dowd, and Martha Plimpton, Isaacs is just phenomenal in Fran Kranz’s tough to watch but impossible to forget movie. As you all probably know, I spoke to Birney here, Dowd here, Kranz here, and Plimpton here, so now, it’s time to talk to Isaacs.

Below, you can hear my discussion with Isaacs. This concludes my Mass interviews, and unsurprisingly, Isaacs is an absolutely terrific guy to chat with. Thoughtful in his answers, happy to chat about whatever, and with a distinctly unique take on things, he was a pleasure. That’s one of the added charms of talking to this cast and filmmaker. As heavy as the picture is, these wonderful and wonderfully talented individuals brilliantly explain the appeal of it. I’ve spent months urging you to see it, but now that it’s in theaters, Mass is an absolute must-see.

Once more, in case you didn’t read my rave review out of the Sundance Film Festival, here is a bit of my thoughts on the movie:

The four principle characters in Mass are individuals you hope you never have to personally identify with. They’re each going through incredible grief and pain, having suffered unimaginable loss. The cost and toll on themselves has been terrible. There isn’t even necessarily a light at the end of the tunnel. And yet, they go on, because they must. The emotions of that feeling are brilliantly captured in this film, easily the best movie I’ve seen this year at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. What writer/director Fran Kranz, along with his cast, achieves here is nothing short of staggering. It may prove to be difficult to convince audiences to seek this one out, but if handled correctly, it’s an awards player down the line.

These are four of the best performances you’ll see in 2021. Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs, and Martha Plimpton never once hit a wrong note. Dowd, Isaacs, and Plimpton especially have some strong showcases in the second half. Birney stays more composed than the other three, doing some heavy lifting in his own way, but it’s no less of a remarkable turn. At the same time, this is arguably the best work from everyone in the cast. Dowd is maternal and kind, belying the boy she raised. Isaacs is all passion, needing to find answers and confessions. Then, there’s Plimpton, who enters unsure if she can forgive these people. Watching her face as she takes everything in will break your heart. Isaacs’ fury will stick with you, but so too will some of Plimpton’s final moments. Each of them leaves a mark, to be sure.

Bleecker Street

Here now is my interview with Mass star Jason Isaacs. Enjoy:

Mass is in theaters now!


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1 year ago

Watched this during Sundance Premiere. Amazing performances from all 4 but of course, Jason is my favorite 🤩 He always does angst so well.👏👍🏻



Written by Joey Magidson

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