Jason Isaacs shares his hopes for The OA to be saved from cancellation: 'We could always go back'

The actor said he was "was in a phone box in the rain on Baker Street sobbing" when he learned Netflix had cancelled the series

The OA (Netflix)
Jason Isaacs tells Yahoo UK he feels he and his co-stars "could always go back" to The OA following its cancellation in 2019. (Netflix)

The OA may have been cancelled in 2019 by Netflix but the desire for the show to be brought back is still strong for both fans and the people that made it, including actor Jason Isaacs who tells Yahoo how he feels they "could always go back" one day.

Created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, The OA followed a mystery around a woman named Prairie Johnson (played by Marling), who went missing seven years earlier and after returning to society can now see and calls herself The OA. Isaacs took on the role of Dr. Hunter Aloysius "Hap" Percy in the show.

Speaking about the show as part of a Role Recall interview with Yahoo, Isaacs admitted that when he first heard about the cancellation he was left "sobbing" whilst "in a phone box in the rain" because of how much he loved the show and was sad to see it cut short.

"Never say never. We left it, we could always go back to where we left it," Isaacs says. "It's had the most profound effect on people around the world, tens of millions of people watched it and loved it.

The OA (Netflix)
Jason Isaacs took on the role of Dr. Hunter Aloysius "Hap" Percy, and the actor admits that it is the one show he's asked about the most because of how well it resonated with people around the world. (Netflix)

"You know, people did the movements outside [Netflix] headquarters and they did it at the Louvre, they did it at Trump Tower and stuff, and still inside the industry, and with journalists, it's the thing they want to talk about most always. People come up to me and they say 'can you tell Brit Marling she's a goddess'. I say 'I will' and they go 'No, I mean a real goddess, I practice white magic and she's a goddess'.

"It's the most human script I've ever heard, and one of the most interesting and moving jobs I've ever had, and I wasn't cast, I was a replacement."Jason Isaacs

"They started shooting with someone else and after a week they realised that his agent maybe had been slightly disingenuously, he couldn't really speak English and couldn't act, didn't know what a mark was, took phone calls in the middle of a scene.

"And so they phoned me late at night — they knew me from a short segment I'd done before called nine lives years before — and they said, 'do you like this thing? And if you like it will you get on a plane immediately because you're shooting tomorrow in Grand Central Station'.

The OA (Netflix)
The OA (Netflix)

"I'd never read anything like it, and I arrived and I first met Brit in character at Grand Central Station and I mean, it was... you knew doing it there was something special about it. But when you meet people around the world, other things they talk about as if they enjoyed this pretence, they enjoyed the play element of it and the dress up, but this is real, or feels real, to an awful lot of people.

"They're desperate to see it finished, so am I."Jason Isaacs

The Harry Potter star called the series "special" even if he feels he was "only a small part of it", adding that when the first season came out he was completely blown away by the narrative.

"I was about to do press the next day in London and I hadn't seen it," Isaacs explains. "They kept on messing up the link, and finally they sent me the link at 9 at night, I thought 'well, I better go to bed, but I'll watch maybe the first bit just to see the tone of it'. I watched all 8 hours back-to-back and I finished about 5 in the morning.

The OA (Netflix)
The actor shared that when he first heard about the cancellation he was left 'sobbing' whilst 'in a phone box in the rain'. (Netflix)

"I was laughing, and shaking, and crying. I was hysterical, like I'd been inducted by a cult."Jason Isaacs

"I sent this gushing e-mail [to Brit and Zal], and then I went to bed for two hours to get up to do press, and I thought 'oh christ, what did I write in the night?' And I looked at it and I thought 'no I mean it, I still mean it', and I still mean it now when I say this embarrassing thing."

"An actor thinking something they're in is good I don't mean my bit I mean their bits," he jokingly adds. "How human their stories and characters, and interactions are defy analysis, there's something special about those two."

Reflecting on when he heard the show would not be moving beyond a second season at Netflix, he goes on: "The day it was cancelled I was in a phone box in the rain on Baker Street sobbing. I was pathetic, it was pathetic."

The OA (Netflix)
Jason Isaacs said that the shows creators had planned the five seasons of the show from the beginning so while they were only able to tell two chapters it's not impossible to return to it one day. (Netflix)

But regardless of the show's cancellation, Isaacs feels confident that it will one day get picked up again because the creators have the whole story mapped out. The OA also wouldn't be the first series to be saved from cancellation, if it does get picked up elsewhere.

"Unlike anyone who ever makes those mystery shows, they had all five seasons of the labyrinth created before they started," Isaacs says.

"They wrote the whole first season so this was an auction, there was a bidding war for the show to get [it]. You could see from watching the story that there's no development fingers in there, nobody's going 'why don't we make that a bit more like this?' It's unlike anything else, so you can't steer it towards a mould.

"They have such a clear vision of what they want to do. We stopped after chapter two of five chapters, and I hope that one day we get finish it."Jason Isaacs

The OA seasons 1 and 2 are available to watch now on Netflix.

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Watch: Jason Isaacs looks back at his incredible career with Yahoo