Oscar Isaac's Steven Grant In Moon Knight Was Partially Inspired By Love On The Spectrum

"Moon Knight" is one of Marvel's most distinctive titles to date, and by virtue of being so unique, people are always trying to explain it. Series writer Jeremy Slater says he pitched the show in relation to "Raiders of the Lost Ark," while episode directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead mentioned "Children of Men" in their /Film interview. Ethan Hawke says cult leader David Koresh inspired his performance, while director Mohamed Diab cites "Fight Club" as an influence. Now, in an interview with Collider, star Oscar Isaac is giving credit to an unexpected source of inspiration: Netflix's dating series "Love on the Spectrum."

"You know, I saw him as a bit on the spectrum," Isaac told Collider of Steven Grant, the sweet, reserved alter viewers meet before being introduced to mercenary Marc Spector.

"I actually loved watching 'Love on the Spectrum.' That was like one of my favorite things to look at, because I just found it so moving and touching because it's people that ... All the same feelings we have in those situations, but they just haven't developed all the masks to hide it all. So there was cues that I took from that."

Isaac's take on Steven

The series never mentions that museum worker Steven could be on the autism spectrum, but it is clear about the fact that he and Marc share the same body as the result of trauma-induced dissociative identity disorder (DID). Viewers meet Steven, an endearing Brit who's haunted by what he thinks is a sleepwalking problem, in the first episode. Only later do we realize he's actually an alter to Marc, a former marine who also happens to be a vessel for the god Khonshu.

Isaac points out that Steven is "desperate for connection, but doesn't have the skills to do it." This seems to be true and is honestly one of the qualities that makes Steven more interesting and endearing than Marc. The show's first episode shows Steven finally getting a date with a coworker he's apparently liked for a while, only to have it sabotaged when he starts losing time to Marc. Steven confides in a street performer about the prospect of dating while managing his sleepwalking, worrying about the prospect of a girlfriend seeing his bed's ankle restraints while also admitting he doesn't have a ton of dating experience.

While I can see why Isaac makes a connection between Steven and the Australian dating series "Love on the Spectrum," I wonder how these comments will be received by folks who actually are on the autism spectrum. While projects like "Atypical" and "Everything's Gonna Be Okay" have made headlines for hiring autistic actors for autistic roles, there's still a relative dearth of opportunities for actors on the spectrum. Isaac is a great actor doing great work here, but hopefully, major studios like Marvel will also make room for explicitly neurodiverse roles — and opportunities for neurodiverse actors — in the future.

"Moon Knight" airs Wednesdays on Disney+.