Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Is About ‘Wormholes’ (Plus 5 More Things We Learned From His CinemaCon Talk)
Ever the master of the non-reveal, Christopher Nolan once again proved that less-is-more during his CinemaCon "Conversation With" luncheon on Wednesday afternoon. The audience, full of theater exhibitors as well as press, were eager to hear new details about his buzzworthy and mysterious new movie "Interstellar," but almost all questions about the film via the event's moderator, Hollywood Reporter chief critic Todd McCarthy, were met with Nolan's go-to response, "I don't want to say too much about it."
Nevertheless, he did reveal a few new things that only add to the intrigue surrounding the space/time travel adventure starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey. Here are our favorite "Interstellar"-related tidbits:
1. Nolan is in the very early edit stages, thus the reason there is no footage to see just yet.
"We're right in the thick of the most interesting process, which to me is the first cut that you put together in the first few months [of post-production]," he said. "I'm really enjoying it"
2. Matthew McConaughey's character in the film is the ideal "everyman."
"I don't want to say too much about the film," Nolan said when asked to describe who McConaughey plays in the film. "But the character he's playing, I needed someone who is very much an everyman, very much somebody who the audience can experience the story with and be right there beside him experiencing these extraordinary events in the film, seeing them through his eyes, someone very relatable. I think Matthew has those qualities in spades and he's just a phenomenal charismatic presence in the movie. The performance is shaping up to be something really extraordinary I'm very very excited about."
3. The idea for the movie came from his brother and frequent writing partner Jonah Nolan.
"In the case of "Interstellar," [Jonah] had been working on it for years before I came on the project," Nolan said of his fraternal collaboration. "He graciously allowed me to take it and I combined it with some other things I'd been working on to sort of make it into some a little bit different. It was a pretty fantastic collaboration, I love working with him."
4. Shooting practical locations vs. CGI versions was crucial to this film.
"Well I don't want to say too much about the film," Nolan said once again when asked about locations used on "Interstellar." "One thing I am happy to talk about briefly, we have spaceship interiors in the film. We wanted to have the real environments the actors were going to be seeing out the windows. We built closed sets of the scale that this ships would be at, we put the reality outside for the actors so we could shoot it like a documentary, like you were really there. I think it paid huge dividends for the actors in terms of performance and being able to understand what we were doing. … It allowed our director of photography and myself to shoot like a documentary, putting the people in real environments. That was a tremendously exciting thing to be able to do, but that's all I'm going to say about that."
5. Michael Caine is his "lucky charm" and "exciting" in "Interstellar."
"He is obviously a screen legend," Nolan said of working with Caine. "I cast him in films just to have as an example to everyone else, 'If we all work this hard and this well, it's all going to be fine.' He's really a lovely guy to be around and has joked over the years that he's my lucky charm. Of course when an actor gets that in your head you have to cast him in every film, a very good strategy on his part, he's really terrific. His work in 'Interstellar,' I don't want to give away too much about it, but it's really exciting. It's just exciting to watch him do something I haven't seen him do before. You work with somebody that much every time, bringing a new situation and a new element of psychology to it with such apparent ease. He works incredibly hard but just makes it look effortless."
6. "Interstellar" is about wormhole travel "to other places."
"It's about interstellar travel," Nolan said when asked to expand upon the film's IMDb plot summary. "Kip Thorne, who is an executive producer on the project and is a really brilliant scientist who has dealt a lot with the science of wormholes, he was in it from the beginning and has been an incredibly ally really. It's about wormhole travel to other places you couldn't reach through travel through space … without saying too much about the plot, the tone of the film, it's very different for me. It's been an interesting challenge, I'm really enjoying it," he said, citing the golden age of "experience" blockbusters he grew up on. "It's about harkening back to films I grew up with that took me to places I never could have imagined."