Emily Blunt Said She Was “Worried” She Wouldn’t Be Able To “Keep Up” With What Was Happening In “Oppenheimer”

In case you haven’t seen it, Emily Blunt’s performance in Oppenheimer is being hailed as one of her best yet.

Close-up of Emily at a media event
Tommaso Boddi / Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images

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.

Close-up of Emily and Cillian smiling at a media event
Dave Benett / Alan Chapman/Dave Benett / WireImage

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.

Close-up of Emily, Cillian, RDJ, and Florence at a media event
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

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.

Close-up of Emily at a media event
Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

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.

Close-up of Emily and Christopher on the red carpet
Gregg Deguire / Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images

“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?’”

Close-up of Emily on the talk show
CBS / YouTube / Via youtu.be

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.

Close-up of Emily smiling at a media event
Kayla Oaddams / Getty Images

“You’re handed the script on red paper,” Emily explained, “because apparently you can’t photocopy red paper.”

Close-up of Emily talking to Stephen
CBS / YouTube / Via youtu.be

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.

Close-up of Christopher onstage holding an award and speaking into a microphone
Rich Polk / Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images

“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?’”

Close-up of Emily on the talk show
CBS / YouTube / Via youtu.be

She added, “I read it in his library, which already makes you feel stupid because [there are] so many books. Just endless books.”

Close-up of Emily on the talk show
CBS / YouTube / Via youtu.be

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.

Close-up of Emily, Christopher, and the Oppenheimer cast
Gareth Cattermole / Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

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.

Close-up of Emily, Christopher, RDJ, Cillian, and Matt
Julien De Rosa / AFP via Getty Images

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.

Close-up of Robert at a media event
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

“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.”

Close-up of Robert at a media event
Stephane Cardinale — Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

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.’”

Close-up of Robert at a media event
Cindy Ord / WireImage

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.

Close-up of Christopher sitting down
NBC / Nathan Congleton / NBC via Getty Images

“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.”

Close-up of Christopher at a media event smiling
Samir Hussein / Samir Hussein / WireImage

You can watch Emily’s full appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert here.

More on this