Jason Isaacs has been a part of franchises and pop-culture phenomena before. The Harry Potter saga, Star Wars Rebels and The OA all immediately spring to mind. Now, to that list add Star Trek: Discovery, on which Isaacs will play Captain Gabriel Lorca. Only, Isaacs is far more focused on bringing Lorca to life than on checking off another franchise on his resume.
"You don't think about franchises in that way," Isaacs told StarTrek.com during a quick, exclusive conversation at Comic-Con. "You think about, 'What story am I telling?' You think about, 'Is this a character? And this is a very interesting, messed-up guy with a bunch of things going on inside. And it's not apparent when you first meet him. He's got all kinds of agendas that are involved. You just look for meat and potatoes, something to act. If I thought, 'Oh, do I want to be Bill Shatner or Patrick Stewart?'... I would have run crying and hidden in a cupboard."
Isaacs went on to note that it's not been too hard to make Lorca a flesh-and-blood figure. And that he credits to the writing, his co-stars and the show's elaborate sets.
"Oh, the world is amazing," Isaacs said. "It's not about how much they spent on the sets, it's how incredible and huge their imaginations are. Really, the most important thing is what goes on between the actors, between the characters. I was going to say the human beings, but they're no longer just human beings. Those are, as much as they're futuristic and imaginative and creative, they're completely ripped from the modern world. That's what made Star Trek great, always," Isaacs continued. "It was our world, our dilemmas, as seen through the prism of fantasy. And it's that and more so in our show."
CBS also spoke with Isaacs at Comic-Con. Check out his comments about reacting to stuff blowing up around him, the show's long, serialized story, and Lorca's relationship with Michael Burnham.