The 'Moon Knight' star talks to ET about enlisting F. Murray Abraham to voice the vengeful god in the MCU series.
Moon Knight, the latest MCU series on Disney+, stars Oscar Isaac as the titular superhero with dissociative identity disorder who shares a psychic connection with Egyptian god Khonshu. While Moon Knight has multiple personalities – Marc Spector, Steven Grant and Mr. Knight – all played by Isaac, Khonshu is an entirely separate character voiced by F. Murray Abraham.
Entirely CGI here, Egyptian-American actor Karim El-Hakim captured Khonshu’s performance on set while the 82-year-old actor, who won an Oscar for Amadeus and previously voiced characters for Isle of Dogs and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, lent his commanding star power to the god’s audible personality.
“He was the perfect person to bring the gravitas to that character,” Isaac, who is also an executive producer on the series, tells ET’s Will Marfuggi about casting Abraham as the manipulative god of the moon and vengeance, who has ulterior motives not entirely known by his human avatar.
He adds, “We were talking about the nature of Khonshu’s voice and the fact that F. Murray -- apart from just having an incredible voice -- is also of Syrian descent. So, there is a tie to the Middle Eastern mythology there.”
In addition to the added authenticity to the series, Moon Knight marks a reunion for Isaac and Abraham, who previously worked together on the 2013 Coen Brothers’ film, Inside Llewyn Davis. “It’s our second project we get to do together,” Isaac says, before revealing he “reached out to him” about the role.
“I talked to him about the character and how I see him as a representation of the trauma and the punishment and the vengeance that Marc is, in a way, enslaved to,” the actor continues, touching on the complicated and toxic relationship between the god and his human avatar, whose life he ultimately saved and imbued with powers.
According to director and executive producer Mohamed Diab, there’s a struggle for control between the two, with Khonshu pushing Spector to his limits of obligation to the god over the course of the series and blurring the lines of whose intentions are really good.
“One of the struggles that Marc/Steven has to figure out, as he understands his role and these powers that he has, is how to use them and can his god be trusted,” adds Ethan Hawke, who plays the cult-like leader, Arthur Harrow, who has a deep understanding of what Isaac’s character is going through.
“So, it was just great to talk to him about all those things,” Isaac notes, adding that Abraham “is just one of my favorite actors.”
Moon Knight is now streaming with new episodes debuting Wednesdays on Disney+.