Christopher Nolan has sat down with cast members of his new film Oppenheimer in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. They discuss how they first become aware of the film. Including how Matt Damon delayed his break from acting. Damon and his wife agreed in couples therapy that he would take a break, the only stipulation being if Nolan came calling.
Nolan’s film follows the theoretical physicist’s role in the Manhattan Project. Between 1942 and 1946, during the Second World War, to produce the first nuclear weapons.
With fears that scientists working for Adolf Hitler are working on a nuclear weapon of their own. A team of scientists and military officials are determined to beat Germany to it.
Christopher Nolan Recalls Fear in 1980’s UK over Nuclear Weapons
Nolan talks about how he was aware of Oppenheimer when he was young and that there was a fear that gripped the UK in the 1980’s over the threat of nuclear war and that he was apart of many protests against the weapons saying.
“I first heard about Oppenheimer when I was a kid, I was growing up in the UK where people were very concerned about nuclear armaments. You know it was protests at Greenham Common & all of that, campaigns for nuclear disarmament.”
“When I was 12 or 13 I think myself and all my friends were absolutely convinced that we were going to experience a nuclear war at some point in our lives and over time that fear recedes and Oppenheimer stuck with me as a figure and I learned more about him over the years.”
“Including learning the information that he along with the key scientists on the Manhattan Project, they couldn’t completely eliminate the possibility of starting a chain reaction that would destroy the world…for me that was kind of the hook.”
Matt Damon had to Negotiate with his Wife to Star
Matt Damon also had to change his future plans for himself and his family when Nolan came calling. Admitting that “it was a moment in my household” after he decided to go back to work after negotiating a break, saying.
“This is gonna sound made up but it’s actually true. I had, not to get too personal, but I had negotiated extensively with my wife that I was taking time off and actually had enough foresight. I had been in Interstellar and then Chris put me on ice for a couple movies so I wasn’t in the rotation. But I actually negotiated in couples therapy, this is a true story, the one caveat to taking time off was if Chris Nolan called and this is without knowing whether or not he was working on anything because he never tells you.”
Cillian Murphy left Overwhelmed & Emily Blunt Confused
Emily Blunt admits she was confused if Nolan was offering her the part when they met for her to read the script, saying.
“I didn’t know the process right so I didn’t know if you were meeting sort of countless other people. So we talked for an hour or so and then he’s just very casual and he goes, you know it’s the part of his wife and would you like to take a look. And you’re like…am I….is this… an offer.” Blunt then bursts out laughing before continuing, “So I went into the living room, read the script it was just so heart racing…so so awesome.”
Cillian Murphy expressed his shock and that the unexpected opportunity was overwhelming saying, “Certainly for me it was… it just came completely out of the blue, he said he was making a movie about Oppenheimer and he said I’d like you to play Oppenheimer…and I had to sit down it was kind of overwhelming.”
Robert Downey Jr. adds the Comic Relief
Robert Downey Jr. brought the jokes. He quipped suggesting he was bribed by Nolan, asking the rest of the cast if they had received the three dozen yellow roses two days in a row. He also joked about the presentation of Nolan’s script saying. “I don’t want to complain, but it’s on red paper printed in black which is… kind of difficult at best. It’s kind of like being hypnotised.”
Downey also went on to praise the script saying, “It’s that thing you read the script, it’s written in the first person, you’re transported and it’s a journey to read it and then at the end of that, the guy who wrote the script you just read is asking you if you want to do it.”
Downey seemed certain on doing the project saying. “You know, mine was a slower courtship process, because he knew for sure I was going to say yes no matter what.”
Oppenheimer will be released in theaters this Friday July 21. You can watch the interview in full below.