Star of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ notes film’s ‘major scope’

The Internet was intrigued/tickled/bemused/generally in a state of Nolan-esque arousal this week after the debut of the first “Interstellar” teaser. In it, we experienced the sound of Matthew McConaughey’s voice pondering the human condition, saw archival footage of space exploration and spotted a desolate farm house, all fueling various rumors, including one that the movie was about a crop shortage as much as space wormholes. (That sentence made more sense when we began writing it.)

While the plot line remains a closely guarded secret, several weeks before, the film’s star offered a little teaser of his own about director Christopher Nolan’s approach to making it.

“He sure as [heck] knows what he wants,” McConaughey told The Times. “There’s scope, major scope, which means a lot of things have to be coordinated. But at the same time, when you’re shooting it moves incredibly quickly.”

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The “Dallas Buyers Club” star also said that the new film’s subject, and the writing involvement of brother Jonathan Nolan — the film combines an original idea by Christopher Nolan with an existing script by his brother Nolan — gave it a special place in the filmmaker’s heart. “It’s a very personal story to him,” McConaughey said.

In the teaser, McConaughey says in voiceover, “We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible,” noting, “moments when we dared to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known … as our proudest achievements” — then says that “we lost all that.”

After production turns in Iceland, Calgary and a Los Angeles-area sound stage, Nolan has just finished shooting the film and is entering the edit room to cut the movie ahead of its Nov. 7, 2014, release. The director is of course famous for both practicing secrecy and asking the same of everyone around him, which leads to more intense anticipation and, occasionally, more intensely ridiculous rumors.

“I’d really rather not talk about it.” Pause. “I know!” laughed the film’s cinematographer, Hoyte van Hoytema, when asked about the teaser in an interview on another subject this week. Though he did allow that he enjoyed that the teaser withheld some key images so that the film’s visuals weren’t spoiled in advance of release, as they can be in many spectacle-driven movies.


The rest of us can practice a similar wait-til-next-year patience—or puzzle over it in endless speculative blog posts. Maybe a little bit of both.


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‘Interstellar’ trailer: McConaughey ponders space travel, human spirit


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