In case you haven’t seen it, Emily Blunt’s performance in Oppenheimer is being hailed as one of her best yet.
Alongside Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, and Florence Pugh, she stars as Kitty Oppenheimer — the wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who’s played by Cillian.
Off the back of a very successful night at the Golden Globes last week, Cillian, Robert, and Emily are all currently frontrunners to bag Oscar nominations, which will be announced later this month.
However, despite the film’s massive success, Emily recently confessed she had concerns about whether she’d be able to understand the script when she was offered the part.
During a recent appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Emily reflected on how she ended up landing a role in the epic movie, explaining that she got a call from the director, Christopher Nolan, and went over to his house for a meeting.
“He is the most understated person you’ve ever met,” she said of the director. “We just chatted about god knows what, and then he goes, ‘Right, so, you know, I’m gonna make this movie, Oppenheimer. Have you heard?’”
Emily recalled that the legendary filmmaker casually handed her a script and said he’d love for her to play Kitty — and “it was as simple as that,” she said.
“You’re handed the script on red paper,” Emily explained, “because apparently you can’t photocopy red paper.”
And so, while she was certainly excited by the prospect as she set out to read the script, Emily admitted she was a little intimidated by Christopher’s reputation for complex storytelling.
“I was worried I wouldn’t keep up with it,” she confessed. “His movies are so mind-bending and extraordinary, I was like, ‘Am I going to follow this?’”
She added, “I read it in his library, which already makes you feel stupid because [there are] so many books. Just endless books.”
If you know anything about Christopher’s work, it’ll come as no surprise to hear that Emily was a little nervous about whether she’d fully grasp the complex story, particularly in light of the fact that Oppenheimer has a runtime of three hours.
However, she thankfully mastered the script and was able to deliver a phenomenal performance as Kitty. That said, she certainly wouldn’t have been the first actor in a Christopher Nolan movie to not entirely discern what was going on.
Centering on the premise of time manipulation, Tenet stands as one of Christopher’s most confusing films to date — so much so that Robert Pattinson admitted that there were times they were shooting the movie when he had no clue what was happening.
“It’s an incredibly complicated movie, like all of Chris’s movies,” he told Esquire in 2020, ahead of the film’s release. “I mean, you have to watch them when they’re completely finished and edited three or four times to understand what the true meaning is.”
He added, “When you’re doing them, I mean, there were months at a time where I’m like, ‘Am I ... I actually, honestly, have no idea if I’m even vaguely understanding what’s happening.’”
Despite this, Christopher subsequently spoke out to defend Robert and assure viewers that the actor actually did know what was going on — or at least, that's what he thought.
“Rob’s read on the script was extremely acute,” the director told GQ. “But he also understood the ambiguities of the film and the possibilities that spin off in the mind around the story. And so both things are true.”
You can watch Emily’s full appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert here.
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