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INTERVIEW: Tye Sheridan Talks The Card Counter, Big Franchise Roles, and Oscar Isaac!

Tye Sheridan and Oscar Isaac in the Card Counter

This isn’t the first time that Tye Sheridan and Oscar Isaac have worked together. Sheridan’s introduction into the world of X-Men as Scott Summers came with X-Men: Apocalypse, a movie that had Isaac as none other than Apocalypse himself. But The Card Counter was a vastly different dynamic for the two actors and the relationship they got to explore onscreen. When I asked what brought him into the project, Sheridan talked a bit about director Paul Schrader and the legacy he has as a filmmaker, but also brought up his past working relationship with Isaac.

“It’s yeah, I think, you know, Paul. Working with Paul Schrader, that was really exciting. He’s a bold filmmaker, he’s someone that I think you have to respect for that,” Sheridan said, going on to talk about Isaac. “And that also I worked with Oscar once and really like Oscar and he’s a great actor. And so the idea of getting to work with him again on something that was a bit more dynamic and we had things to play against each other was exciting and yeah, and then the movie, I think thematically, what it’s, what it’s exploring was really exciting, you know, I thought really meaningful in the sense that it explores people dealing with past trauma and guilt and how to overcome that.”

That brought us to franchises or major blockbuster movies. Tye Sheridan isn’t a stranger to them. He starred in Ready Player One after his star turn as Summers and has made a name for himself in the world of blockbusters. When I asked how this movie differs in his approach from working with Oscar Isaac in Apocalypse, his response was a testament to him as an actor who understands that those franchise films are just as important, on a character level, as something like The Card Counter.

“I mean, I think the approach is, you know, it’s similar. I think at the end of the day, you’re just trying to tell the best story you possibly can and I think that’s what’s the most important,” Sheridan said. “And so whether the film costs, you know, $200 million to make or $200,000, I think the intention and the integrity of what you’re trying to do, doesn’t change.”

Talking about his character of Cirk, Sheridan brought up the connective past between Cirk and Isaac’s William Tell that brings them together in the first place and has us, as the audience, supporting them. “I think it’s the connective tissue to the past and that he and Oscar’s character kind of like looking into mirrors of the same past and so sympathizing with both of those guys and what they’ve been through and what has happened, I think that’s what gives us the past, it’s what allows us to kind of relate to them in that sense and understand his anger and his frustration and his pain in his heartbreak. And why he’s seeking revenge, cause really he’s seeking justice and it has never been served and I think he takes it upon himself to serve it or wants to take it upon himself to serve it anyway.”

When I asked what he was most excited about with the film and for audiences to see, he perfectly explained what makes The Card Counter such an exciting film. “I think that it has this kind of dual aspect. There’s this movie that has, you know, an aesthetic poker vibe that is really used as a vehicle to escapism and Paul cleverly takes poker terms and translates them into narrative action in the story,” Sheridan said, before going on to talk about what really makes the film click, “and I think that’s really clever and exciting, but at the core, it’s really about past experiences and overcoming those past experiences and how you reckon with guilt and where you stand within yourself to have to face those things.”

The Card Counter is in theaters everywhere on September 10th.

(image: Focus Features)

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