How New Dad Oscar Isaac Turned His Grief for His Mother into a Beautiful Tribute

Oscar Isaac
Derek Storm / Splash News

and Star Wars star Oscar Isaac welcomed his first child, a son, with his partner Elvira Lind back in April. But for months prior to becoming a parent himself, Isaac cared for and grieved his dying mother, a heart-wrenching experience the actor is now opening up about. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Isaac shared that he spent most of the fall and winter at his ailing mom Eugenia's bedside, reading Hamlet aloud. 


"I would just read the play all the time, do bits for her," Isaac told the Times. "I didn't know how to process any of it, but this I knew how to do .... I know it happens to everybody, but it'd never happened to me. I know people's mothers have died, but this was mine."

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After Eugenia passed away in February, Isaac spent even more time with Shakespeare's play ... by performing the role at the Public Theater in New York City.

"It's for my mom that I'm doing it," he explained of his work in the play. "It's to honor her life, but also her death, which was so awful."

He's also bringing his role as a new dad into the part. He tells the Times that he thinks of his 2-month-old son when he's on stage. The baby was named Eugene after his mom, and he takes after his late grandmother physically, too. According to Isaac, the baby has Eugenia's lips and hands.

The LO actually accompanied his dad to the first run-through. Director Sam Gold joked to the Times, "I think some of the more philosophical and theological aspects of the play were above his head." Fair enough! Nonetheless, the little boy is what Isaac says he thinks of when he recites the "to be" part of the "to be or not to be" soliloquy.

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"You have a child," he said, "and you must -- you must for their sake -- you must say yes to life."

Bravo to Isaac's truly heartwarming tribute to his bond with his mother. And how wonderful that fatherhood has served as such an inspiration for his work, as well.

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