The Card Counter’s Tye Sheridan Discusses Reuniting With Oscar Isaac

In an interview with CBR, Tye Sheridan discussed reuniting with his X-Men: Apocalypse co-star in The Card Counter and his character’s morality.

In The Card Counter — director/writer Paul Schrader’s follow-up to the Academy Award-nominated First Reformed — Tye Sheridan plays Cirk, an angry young man dealing with trauma that stems from his family’s dark choices. But a chance encounter with William Tell (Oscar Isaac), an unassuming card player dealing with his own demons, gives both men the chance to confront and process their pain. In The Card Counter, Sheridan proves to be a strong counter to Isaac’s subdued but no less defined or dark character — filling William’s formerly quiet life with a burst of youthful energy and potentially destructive passion.


Ahead of The Card Counter‘s upcoming theatrical release on Sept. 10, CBR spoke with Tye Sheridan in an exclusive interview. Sheridan discussed what appealed to him about the role of Cirk and how exciting it was to work again with his fellow X-Men actor, Oscar Isaac.

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CBR: You’ve played some notably heroic characters in the past, like Parzival in Ready Player One and Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix. But Cirk is a far more morally complex character. What was it like to explore those elements as a performer?

Tye sheridan: That was the one thing that was really interesting for me in this role: it was getting to play someone that carried around so much anger that he just doesn’t really know what to do with it. I think that’s partly because of his naivety and the fact that he’s been hurt by certain past events. I think that is the connective tissue between my character and Oscar’s character is this trauma that they’ve both dealt with — one directly, one indirectly.

I think Oscar’s [character William] almost feels responsible a little bit to take him under his wing and to try to guide him. Oscar’s character was written with guilt. He feels like if he helps this kid out and puts him on the right path, maybe it’ll solve everything. The movie just has these ideas of ways to amend, with people in their lives and the things that they struggle with. Ultimately, I think it’s an exploration of past trauma and guilt and how you overcome it or not.

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CBR: You worked with Oscar Isaac in X-Men: Apocalypse, but The Card Counter is so hyper-focused on the relationship between his character and yours. What was it like to work so extensively with him in the film?

I think we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well, making an X-Men film. He’s obviously such a phenomenal actor and a great guy. Both of us are complete music nerds. So I think we have a lot of things to geek out on together and we get along well. The opportunity to work on this film and having this dynamic between the two of us and being held by Paul Schrader, I think, was really exciting for both of us.

I think that it was good that we had the familiarity there because when the project came around to me, I reached out to Oscar and got to hear his thoughts. I think he got me pumped up about the film and yeah, it’s just a lot of fun. I love working with that guy.

The Card Counter, written and directed by Paul Schrader, comes to theaters on Sept. 10

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