It was the summer of 2010 and actor Taylor Lautner was at a pivotal moment in his career. Having left behind the ridiculous world of children’s superhero movies — inhabited by characters like his titular Sharkboy, a human-shark hybrid in Robert Rodriguez’s "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D" — for the more mature and believable realm of sparkly vampire romance — in which his Native American character, Jacob Black from the "Twilight" saga, can morph into a giant wolf — Lautner must decide which direction to head next. "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" had just premiered and made him a lot of money, but he’s also gotten the chance to star as the lead in an action thriller. Should he continue on down the twilit path to the franchise’s two-part final chapter, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn," or roll the dice outside the teen heartthrob realm for a shot at a more legitimate acting career. In a stroke of genius, Lautner decided to do both, the result of which is 2011’s "Abduction," which he filmed in July 2010 (via Valley Independent) before filming for "Breaking Dawn" began in November of the same year in Brazil, according to Portuguese-language outlet O Globo.
Joining Lautner for "Abduction" — in which his character, Nathan Harper, figures out that the people who raised him are not his birth parents — is Lily Collins as his school project partner, Karen Murphy; Maria Bello as his ostensible mother, Mara Harper; and his seeming father, Kevin Harper, is played by actor Jason Isaacs, who should be instantly recognizable to most viewers. Here’s why Kevin from "Abduction" looks so familiar.
Isaacs played Lord Felton in the first Dragonheart movie
After nearly a decade mostly spent in the world of UK film and television, Jason Isaacs landed a role in the 1996 fantasy adventure flick "Dragonheart." The film tells the tale of dragon-slayer Bowen (Dennis Quaid), who’s been tasked by Isaacs’ character, Lord Felton, to get rid of the huge, fire-breathing beast terrorizing his village. It’s a role Bowen has undertaken after his previous job as knight and mentor to the young Prince Einon (Lee Oakes) didn’t go so well. His tyrant of a father, King Freyne (Peter Hric), is killed in an uprising and Einon is mortally wounded before being taken in front of a dragon, who agrees to give Einon half of his own heart if he agrees to be a fair and just ruler. Einon gets the heart but skips out on the moral compass part, becoming an even worse rule than his old man and being played by David Thewlis as an adult.
By total coincidence, the dragon who gave Einon half his heart — and is voiced by Sean Connery — is the same dragon Lord Felton hires Bowen to slay, with the latter ignorant of the fact that his quarry’s life force is tied to that of his former charge. But instead of killing the dragon, whom he names Draco and who claims to be the last of his kind — also a coincidence — Bowen and the beast team up to go on the grift, staging dragon attacks and dragon slayings across the land to maximize their profits, though it’s never really explained why Draco needs money; we assume it’s so he can afford another operation.
He took on the role of D.J. in Event Horizon
The very next year, Jason Isaacs took a role in the sci-fi horror film "Event Horizon." Set in 2047, the movie follows a rescue mission aboard the Lewis and Clark, a vessel commanded by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), whose crew is dispatched after the previously missing Event Horizon ship suddenly shows back up, sending a distress call and orbiting Neptune. Miller is joined in the recovery effort by his second in command, Lieutenant Starck (Joely Richardson), pilot Smitty (Sean Pertwee), rescue tech Cooper (Richard T. Jones), Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill), who designed the Event horizon, and the Lewis and Clark’s medical doctor, D.J. (Isaacs).
As the crew soon learns, the Event Horizon was no ordinary ship; it was actually an experimental vessel that tore open the space–time continuum and left the physical reality of their universe. D.J. plays a key role in the ensuing would-be rescue-turned-massacre by correctly misinterpreting the Latin phrasing in the initial distress signal. It does not, in fact, translate to a survivor’s entreaty, "Save me," as he initially thought; instead, it’s actually a dire warning for anyone who hears it to "Save yourself from Hell." Whoops. D.J. soon learns the cost of his error when Weir, who’s been possessed by the evil presence that tormented the Event Horizon’s original crew and has gouged out his own eyes, performs an autopsy on the good doctor while he’s still alive.
Jason Isaacs played Steele in Black Hawk Down
Jason Isaacs appeared in more than a dozen projects after "Event Horizon" — including 1998’s non-apocalyptic asteroid disaster movie "Armageddon" and the Mel Gibson-starring Revolutionary War film "The Patriot" — before appearing in 2001’s "Black Hawk Down," a dramatized version of the events surrounding a 1993 U.S. military raid in Mogadishu, Somalia. Massive in scale and directed by Ridley Scott, the film followed the Army Ranger chalk led by Staff Sergeant Matthew Eversmann (Josh Hartnett) as they attempt to capture members of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s inner council. The mission changes from capture to survival when one of the Rangers’ Black Hawk helicopters is shot down.
To say that "Black Hawk Down" featured an ensemble cast would be an understatement rivaling someone saying the Pacific Ocean has a lot of water. Everyone from "Trainspotting" star Ewan McGregor and "Entourage actor" Jeremy Piven to Tom Hardy from "Inception" and "Game of Thrones" star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was in this movie. And, with the movie based on true events and the non-fiction book of the same name, "Black Hawk Down" features characters based on a number of real life soldiers. Such is the case for Jason Isaacs’ character Steele, who’s based on retired Army Colonel Michael Steele, who held the rank of Captain at the time of Operation Gothic Serpent, the mission on which the book and movie are based.
Isaacs portrayed the cunning Death Eater Lucius Malfoy in six Harry Potter films
A year removed from "Black Hawk Down," Jason Isaacs made his debut into the wizarding world of the "Harry Potter" franchise. Absent from the series’ first film, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone," he shows up in the second installment, "Chamber of Secrets," as Lucius Malfoy, patriarch of the aristocratic Malfoy family and father to Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), the schoolyard nemesis of the title character. The dark and sinister Lucius showed up in each of the rest of the "Harry Potter" films, six in total. We learned in "Chamber" that he is house elf Dobby’s master. In "Prisoner of Azkaban," he tries to have the hippogriff Buckbeak executed. With each successive film, the family’s dark nature is whispered and hinted at, but there’s nothing but innuendo and circumstantial evidence until the fourth movie, "Goblet of Fire," which confirms Lucius Malfoy’s status as a Death Eater and loyal subject of the recently re-formed Dark Lord, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).
While Isaacs made his on-screen debut in the second "Harry Potter" movie, fans may be surprised to learn that he also provided the voice of the basilisk that’s been petrifying people left and right (via IMDb). Lucius Malfoy’s own accent didn’t go over well at first, Isaacs revealed to Entertainment Weekly. Director Chris Columbus and producer David Heyman had concerns, but Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe said he thought it was "really cool" and it ended up working out.
He played Hap on Netflix’s sci-fi fantasy series The OA
With the final "Harry Potter" film coming out in 2011, Jason Isaacs was out of children to terrify, so he decided to help bring about the antichrist as Roman Castevet in the 2014 "Rosemary’s Baby" miniseries. Not content with those evil machinations, he signed on to star as series antagonist Dr. Hunter Aloysius Percy, aka Hap, in Netflix’s genre-spanning mystery series "The OA." Hap is experimenting on people who’ve had near-death experiences (NDEs) in the hopes of studying what lies beyond corporeal life, which series protagonist Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling) allows him to do, not knowing it will lead to her years-long imprisonment, during which she would discover the five movements that would allow for inter-dimensional travel.
Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, crime, and that just covered part of the show’s first season. The second season featured a mobile puzzle game and a giant, telepathic octopus named Old Night. Not to mention Prairie hops dimensions into a world in which the man she sees as "Hap" is really an actor named Jason Isaacs, who calls her "Brit," on the soundstage of a television production, which is probably the most straightforward plot point of the show’s two seasons.