Question: You’ve been working on this for so many years before Chris got involved. Did you ever think about directing it yourself?

Nolan: Yeah, that conversation came up. It’s only recently that I’ve sort of turned my attention full time to directing. And part of the reason why I wanted, I was very excited to get Chris to make this film is that I’m excited to make films, my wife and I just had a great experience producing and I was directing the Westworld pilot for HBO.

Question: Very excited for that.

Nolan: Yeah, it’s fun. It’s very cool. It’s very dark. And I greatly love directing. But, you know, one of the great privileges of being able to work with Chris is he’s a craftsman who can craft on the biggest possible scale. And at this point in my career would not have had the audacity to make the film in the way that he did. Which is to say he just fucking built, he just made it in reality. This is, there are some filmmakers content to film in like a green closet with a motion control rig. And there’s some beautiful films that have been made that way. I mean, really, like it’s just about whatever toolbox works for you. But what I love about working with Chris is that, you know, his, the way that he understands making film is to build as much reality in front of the camera as possible. So the audience feels it. And so you find yourself standing on a set that is just impossibly large. Where when you call action, I remember climbing four stories up a flight of scaffolding to get into a spaceship with Chris and Matthew McConaughey. And when Chris yelled action, everything went dark and through the windows suddenly there was fucking space. He’s projecting these plates that D Neg had rendered in London and shipped over and you project them. And then after a couple of seconds, the whole fucking thing starts shaking. That’s when you know you’re in a Chris Nolan movie. The illusion is complete even when you’re standing on set.

Interstellar Nolan cockpit

Question: So when your brother gets involved, he’s said that he took your screenplay and brought his own ideas that he had into it.

Nolan: Sure.

Question: But I haven’t heard what those ideas were. What did he bring to the story that we see now?

Nolan: The nature of our collaboration is just you’re wise not to try to unpack too carefully or pick apart who did what or who added what. But Chris and I had both since we were kids thought about this kind of film. And he brought to it a perspective on what if you’re reducing it to anything, you realize the second act of the film is very much composed of his ideas. And the things that I was so excited in the draft, in the original conception of the film are still very much alive in terms of it being about a guy and his kids.

Interstellar McConaughey Nolan

Question: So that wasn’t something he brought, that was something that was always there.

Nolan: Well yeah, but this is the great thing about collaborating, Chris is the Devil’s in the details. So yes, that idea was there from the beginning in terms of Cooper and Murphy. But my brother always brings his own unique perspective to things and the ways to sort of ratchet up that, the tension and stakes of their relationship. From the beginning the idea was you have this massive scope of the film. You have to ground it in a very intimate, very small, recognizable, emotional truth, which was this relationship between Cooper and his kids.

Continue Reading Jonathan Nolan Interstellar Interview >>

Cool Posts From Around the Web: