Jason Isaacs has played many iconic roles over the course of his career but his work in The Death of Stalin is probably among his finest performances. Directed by Scottish satirist Armando Iannucci, The Death of Stalin has been cited as one of the funniest comedies of the last decade which provides incisive commentary about the human condition.
Starring the likes of Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale and Isaacs among other top actors, The Death of Stalin chronicles the banal and petty power struggles that emerge when power vacuums after created. Descending into brutality, Iannucci constructs a compelling portrait of the pernicious societal structures and the people who sit at the top.
During a recent Q&A session, Isaacs claimed that this role was among his favourites because he was given the best character in the film and he got to work with very experienced stars. He stated: “All actors have an infinite, bottomless pit of need for flattery. But anybody with half a brain can see that I clearly had the best lines.”
While talking about the film itself, Isaacs noted that it is even more relevant now because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to him, Iannucci’s masterpiece perfectly mirrors the media tantrums of Vladimir Putin during this war. Isaacs said: “The Death of Stalin is so prescient; some scenes could be directly ripped from the news.”
Adding, “Putin’s press conference where he lined up all of his cabinet members could have been a monstrously less funny outtake. I find it terrifying that one of the best hopes is that somebody in Putin’s circle will reach across that 300-foot table and put an end to this. It would take someone of Zhukov’s stature, with balls the size of Kremlin domes.”
Watch the trailer for The Death of Stalin below.