We had a chat with Emily Blunt and Matt Damon to discuss the blockbuster Oppenheimer, and what it was like working with the legendary director Christopher Nolan. We didn’t have time to ask them to ask him to turn the volume up on dialogue, sorry.
How was it to find out that you had been cast in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer?
E.B. We knew because Matt had come over to hang out with my husband right after Chris Nolan had been over to see him and given Matt the script to read. So, I knew that Matt was meeting him. And, I mean, any chance any of us could get to work with him has us all sort of champing at the bit…
M.D. What was kind of funny was that – as we live in the same apartment building – when he came to see me, he knew that he was going to Emily with the part too, but he didn’t want it to seem like he was just kind of one-stop shopping. Then he bumped into John in either the elevator or the lobby and they talked for half an hour, just kind of director to director, you know. Chris later admitted that he knew he was coming to Emily with the part; but he waited five days or so, knowing she was going to be in LA, and then she came over to his house and read the script.
E.B. I guess he didn’t want to hear casting rumors like, “Who else is in your building?”
How is he as a director?
E.B. You just feel his command of excellence, which is vast; so, everyone has to match him where he is. And I don’t find Chris exacting, as some people have said. I find him really curious and interested in what you might bring or do, making you understand he’s cast you for a reason. He lets you know that and then wants to see what wings you have – which I love about him.
So, what’s the energy like on a Chris Nolan set then?
E.B. You get with Nolan the sense that his decision of when he is happy with the take is not led by the visuals but by the feeling he has. And he’s so English, which means there will be no sort of superlative praise. It will be like, “Good. Yeah. Happy. Okay. Moving on.” And you’re like, “Okay, that’s it.” It’s like that with my family too. I don’t want to tell him this, but he looks like my uncle – which is funny…
And how was the experience of watching Oppenheimer in a movie theatre?
E.B. I saw it with John, Robert, and his wife (Susan), and it was very emotional. I felt like I was inside of it, as if the arms of the movie came out, wrapped around me, and pulled me right into it. It was a bone-shattering experience. I loved it.
Interview courtesy of Universal Studios