The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest superhero Steven Grant was inspired by a pretty unlikely TV icon, Karl Pilkington. At a press conference attended by The Digital Fix, Oscar Isaac – who plays Grant (an alternate personality sharing the body of Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight) – admitted he drew a lot of inspiration from British TV series like Stath lets Flats, The Office, and Ricky Gervais’s long-suffering sidekick Pilkington.
“I love English humour, like The Office and Stath Lets Flats,” Isaac explained when asked about the genesis of Grant and his accent. “And there’s just so much of that humour that I just find so funny, and I thought there’s an opportunity here to maybe make something. What if we make him English?”
“What if Peter Sellers was approached with a Marvel project,” he continued. “What would he do? And so I started thinking about that, and that led me to Karl Pilkington from An Idiot Abroad. And not
so much for the accent but just for his sense of humour where he doesn’t know – you can’t tell if he knows he’s being funny.”
For those unaware, Karl Pilkington is something of an unofficial national treasure. Initially, he was a producer on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s XFM Radio show. However, his unique frankness and dour take on the world led the pair to bring him on as a co-host.
Over time the radio show developed into a series of podcasts, and he became intrinsically linked to the pair, eventually getting his own travel TV series, An Idiot Abroad. Isaac’s take on Grant does share some of Pilkington’s comedy DNA. The pair are both fish out of water who prefer their home comforts to any real adventure.