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Jason Isaacs' Hook

For almost 100 years the story of the Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn't grow up, has enchanted adults and children alike.

This holiday season, Peter and his old nemesis, Captain Hook, are at it again on the big screen. Jason Isaac has a dual role in the film, as Captain Hook and as Mr. Darling, Wendy's father.

Isaacs tells The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen, "The idea is that it's meant to be subliminal. Neverland is Wendy's nightmare and Captain Hook is this version of her dad that she wishes he was. Her dad is a wimp. Mr. Darling is scared of his own dogs. When you fantasize about what you wish your dad was, you wish he wasn't scared of anything. And in those days, you wished he was a dashing pirate."

As the 100th anniversary of J.M. Barrie's first stage performance of Peter Pan approaches (Dec. 27, 1904), we are due for some insight into this legendary fairy tale and the man who wrote it.

The latest "Peter Pan" is the closest adaptation of Barrie's book to appear on screen. There have been several incarnations, the most well-known being the 1957 Disney animated version about the boy who wouldn't grow up - and the girl whose family insists that she must.

Isaacs notes, "The thing is no one has ever made Peter Pan before, not the real story. No one has put a 12-year-old boy playing the 12-year-old boy so suddenly it becomes this new thing. It's a love story and rights-of-passage thing and all of the elements that have been for the audiences in a hundred years in England (on stage) are there for the first time on film except we've got this magic special effects you can do nowadays so the whole realm of a child's imagination becomes real."

About his portrayal of Capt. Hook, Isaacs says, "I've seen various Hooks before and they're always clowns because he's not a real threat. And J.M. Barrie's Captain Hook is dangerous. He's dangerous because he's real and cornered and he's a wounded animal and he is in pain all the time for his stump. So if he suffers, other people will suffer even more."

Next year, Miramax will release the movie, "Neverland," which focuses on the life of Barrie, portrayed by Johnny Depp.

About Jason Isaacs

  • Born in Liverpool, England, Isaacs attended Bristol University where, while studying law, he directed and/or starred in more than 20 theater productions. When not immersing himself in a new character or accent, he returns to his home in London and tries to remember what he normally sounds like.
  • After graduating from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, he starred in 1989 for two seasons in "Capital City," a hit British TV series based on the world of high finance. He went on to star as, variously, identical twins (one good, one evil), a post-traumatic stress disordered soldier, an amnesiac, a real-life foot-balling hero, a gay crime-lord, and two different drug-dealers called Des.
  • On American TV, he was in the CBS miniseries "The Last Don 2," as a priest who tests the limits of his vows.
  • In 1989, Isaacs made his feature film debut with Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson in "The Tall Guy."
  • In 1994, he was in the British cult film, "Shopping" directed by Paul Anderson. It was the first of several projects the two would be involved in.
  • In 1996, he played alongside Dennis Quaid in "Dragonheart." In 1997, he was in Anderson's sci-fi thriller "Event Horizon."
  • In 1998, he appeared in the box-office giant "Armageddon." And performed with Kurt Russell in "Soldier," also by Anderson.
  • In 1999, he performed with Julianne Moore in "The End of the Affair" as Father Richard Smythe.
  • In 2000, Isaacs made a scene-stealing turn as Colonel William Tavington opposite Mel Gibson in "The Patriot." It was a performance that brought him a nomination from the London Film Critics' Circle.
  • In 2001, he was ranger commander Captain Mike Steele in Ridley Scott's critically acclaimed box-office hit Black Hawk Down. And was also seen in "Sweet November" with Keanu Reeves.
  • In 2002, he was seen as the sinister Lucius Malfoy in the blockbuster "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." He will reprise the role for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," the fourth feature installment based on J.K. Rowling's books. And the eagle-eyed will spot him in an un-credited cameo in Anderson's latest, "Resident Evil."

    The same year, he portrayed a charismatic leading man in the romantic comedy "Passionada." A number of critics,including Rex Reed, compared the actor to "a young Cary Grant." He also appeared as the suave international spy in "The Tuxedo." And was in command of Nicolas Cage in John Woo's "Windtalkers."

  • On stage, he created the role of Louis in the critically acclaimed Royal National Theatre production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angels in America" - Parts 1 & 2 - and has performed to packed houses at the Royal Court Theatre, the Almeida Theatre, the King's Head and five times at the Edinburgh Festival.
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