Moon Knight Director Explains Why The Steak Scene Is So Important

"Moon Knight" isn't your ordinary Marvel Cinematic Universe show, and one of the series directors wants you to know it. Coverage of the series, which premiered this week, has hammered home the fact that both director Mohamed Diab and the Moon Knight himself, actor Oscar Isaac, weren't interesting in collaborating on another ordinary Marvel experience. Instead, their aim was to focus on creating an intimate character story that maintained some of the Marvel beats we all know so well by now, while also introducing horror elements, an empathetic depiction of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), and a genuinely weird superhero. Shaken and stirred, it's certainly an interesting cinematic cocktail. Does it go down easy? According to our review, not quite, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't finish the glass.

At the very least, you have to admire Diab's vision and tenacity. Talking with The Hollywood Reporter, the director went into detail on how he had to fight to keep his favorite scene in the first episode. In the scene, Steven Grant (Isaac), who is vegan (it's important), is forced to go on a date with a co-worker that was set up by one of his DID alters, Marc Spector. Steven, who has no memory of planning the date, shows up late and suffers comedically through the ordeal or ordering a steak, something he's never done in his life. It's a bittersweet look at the big and small ways that DID affects Steven's life.

Medium rare Moon Knight

Diab explains the importance of that scene in his THR interview, saying:

"I remember fighting for that scene. That scene was written by me and [consulting producer] Sarah [Goher], and I knew that I was never going to know Steven unless we had that steak scene. That is the moment when the audience is going to say, 'It's the first episode, but I'm in love with this character. It's done.'"

Besides endearing Steven to the audience, and I should note that Isaac's performance as Steven/Marc was seen in our review as one of the more effective pieces of "Moon Knight," the scene lays out a more nuanced look at Steven's relationship to DID. He's not just loosing time, he's put in uncomfortable, and even dangerous, situations. As Diab further explains:

"To me, it was very important to find something to express that DID is not just blackouts and then his life is fine and normal. No, no, no. DID is destroying his life, even his romantic life. He can't have a lover or a normal relationship with anyone because of what he's been going through. It's such a black comedy kind of moment, but it's the moment that the audience can connect to Steven."

Whether Diab and Isaac's Marvel remix is able to convert its unusual tendencies into views and critical commendations is yet to be seen, but it's always nice to dive deeper into a scene with a director and get a little behind the scenes action. And, anyway, ordering a steak is hard. There's too many options.