Art imitates life for actor Jason Isaacs

By Clarissa Cruz
August 17, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Another case of art imitating life. Actor Jason Isaacs, best known as Mel Gibson’s nasty nemesis in ”The Patriot,” was all packed in February, ready to head to Venice, Italy, to star in friend Mike Figgis’ indie flick ”Hotel.” Then director Ridley Scott called and offered the dashing Brit a part in the higher-profile, bigger-budgeted ”Black Hawk Down,” a military thriller starring Ewan McGregor and Josh Hartnett. Not wanting to disappoint his buddy, Isaacs said he could work on ”Hotel,” but only for a week, since he had to leave for ”Down”’s Morocco shoot. Inspired, Figgis decided to have Isaacs play an actor dropping out of a friend’s film because he got a better offer. ”[Figgis] told me to imagine taking calls from Ridley Scott,” says Isaacs, ”which I was actually doing in between takes.”