Jason Isaacs Recalls A Totally Bananas Audition Story For The Nic Cage Movie Con Air

"I shat myself, obviously," the actor says about the audition which involved a real gun.


Actor Jason Isaacs is known for portraying evil men, as he did in the Harry Potter series as Lucius Malfoy and as William Tavington in the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot. Before those films, he auditioned for a different bad guy, Cyrus the Virus from 1997's Nicolas Cage movie Con Air, and now the actor has shared a wild story about his audition.

Speaking to Collider, Isaacs recalled that his audition involved performing a scene involving a handgun. Isaacs wanted to use a nearby pencil as a prop. However, a camera operator in the room had a real gun tucked under his belt and lent it to Isaacs for the scene.

"I grabbed a pencil and I said, 'I'll use a pencil as a gun.' The camera assistant, operating the camera, went, 'Hold on. Hold on a second. Here, grab that,' and held out a gun to me. I shat myself, obviously. He went, 'Look, you're cool. The safety's on.' My voice shot up three octaves."

"I went all Jerry Lewis, and I went, 'Oh, my God! It's a real gun!' I remember [director Simon West] being as wide eyed as I was," Isaacs added. "He'd been working with this guy for however long and didn't know he had a gun tucked in his belt."

The role of Cyrus the Virus ultimately went to John Malkovich, who turned in a memorable and haunting performance. While Isaacs didn't get that part, he's now starring in West's new disaster movie, Skyfire. You can check out the first trailer below.

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