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Christopher Nolan and Crew talk Interstellar!

11.06.2014

It is finally here. Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR will be making its way to a theatre near you. This personal and powerful tale – you can check out my video review below – is a thrilling cinematic experience. And now audiences can take in the visual splendor as well. As a work of science fiction, but even more so as a family drama, this is a unique film for Nolan, and one that will certainly create quite a bit of conversation over the coming months.

Recently at the press junket for the film, Nolan, his brother Jonathan, his wife and producing partner Emma Thomas as well as cast members Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain all gathered to chat with the press about the upcoming film. During the conference they discussed the family element presented as well as their thoughts on the importance of space travel.

In regards to the family relationship in the film as well as Hans Zimmer’s fantastic score…

Christopher Nolan: When I first looked at Jonah’s draft, it was very clear that at the heart of the story there’s this great set of characters, this great family relationship. And we found that the more you explore the cosmic scale of things, the further out into the universe you went, the more focus came down to who we are as people. Just to speak to the creative approach we’re taking, when it came to Hans Zimmer’s involvement in the music, when I first approached him I didn’t want him to know what the genre was, when he started working. And so before, when I started working on the script I wrote out a page of what I considered to be the heart of the story. It was the relationships, the idea of a father having to leave his child, his children. And I gave it to Hans and said “Work on that for a day, give me what you’ve got, and that’ll be the seed from which the score can grow.” The finished score came from that, that particular creative act. And that is just an illustration of the approach we’re trying to take in keeping this about humanity and using the exploration of the universe as really a lens for which to view ourselves as human beings.

Nolan was asked about the hopeful element presented in INTERSTELLAR.

C. Nolan: I think really space exploration to me has always represented the most hopeful and optimistic endeavor mankind has ever really engaged with. I was certainly struck when they flew the space shuttle on a 747 when it came here in LA. Emma and I were up at Griffith Park with hundreds of people waving flags and watching this thing fly down. It was a very moving moment actually, and a little melancholy at the same time because what you felt was that sense of that great collective endeavor, the hope, the optimism is something that feels like we’re in need of again. I feel very strongly that we’re at a point now where we need to start looking out again and exploring our place in the universe more.
In a lighter moment, the lovely Ms. Hathaway talked about working in a spacesuit.

Anne Hathaway: The first time I put [the spacesuit] on, I decided it was my favorite costume I’ve ever worn, but this was the closest I’d ever felt to feeling like a kid on Halloween if you stretched Halloween out for several months. And I love that feeling. Forty pounds is a lot for me, so it also helped that I had to make up my mind that I loved it, and that was the only way forward.

In regards to space travel and portraying it on film, both Ms. Chastain and Ms. Hathaway offered this…

Chastain: I remember when I was a kid, my first real confrontation I had with space travel was when the Challenger exploded and I remember how traumatic that was for me, because I remember watching it on the news and all of the children in our class were watching. And I was very young, so I had never, ever imagined that that was something that I wanted to do. I think that we as human beings need to always conquer our fears and reach beyond our grasps and I think it’s very important that we don’t become complacent and stagnant. The wonderful thing about being an actress is that I, not necessarily in this one, but I get to act those explorations beyond what I myself am physically capable of.

Hathaway: Picking up with something Jess just said, one of my first experiences with the space program was with the memorial that was built for the Challenger. When I was in seventh grade, my class spent the entire school year to prepare to launch a space ship, all together. We all had our different jobs that we had to learn how to do, and we had to learn the math that you needed. We learned practical skills that you needed and I thought that was really cool. And I think that if you can take a tragedy and find the gold in it and turn it into something positive, that’s great. And I’m hoping that what’s going on in the space program is just a suspension and is not the final say in the matter because I think we need it.
When asked what he looks for in a story, Christopher Nolan added…

C. Nolan: For my part, I look for a great story. What I found in Jonah’s draft was a very relatable situation. It was a very good opportunity to challenge myself as a filmmaker with various technical issues as well as emotional issues. I’m a father myself, and I related to the father and wanted to really push that in the telling of the story. I couldn’t tell you really any more specifically than that what I look for. I look for something that just grabs me and holds me emotionally.

Finally, Mr. Nolan was asked about working with NASA and presenting his vision in IMAX.

C. Nolan: One of our exhaustive resources was IMAX and their relationship with NASA. Over the last thirty years they have used the cameras we used to shoot the film to go into space, they shot the shuttle on the actual space station. They shot all these things and have all this incredible live footage, all these films that they have put together. So one of the first things I did was I got the DP, the production designer, the visual effects supervisor and we rented the big IMAX screen at AMC Universal Citywalk and projected these films all in one day and watched as many of them as we could to immerse ourselves in the detail of it, the feeling of it. We had a lot of good conversations with Toni Myers and she put us in touch with Marsha Ivins who’s been to space five times and was a helpful resource for myself and the actors. We tried to get the feeling of the details to be correct. We tried to get the appropriate details of the textures of what this kind of space craft would be. That weird tension between the physical intimacy of the spaceship and the fragile industrial quality of it, and the cosmic scale of where it’s going, we tried to always play that. And we were certainly happy when Marsha came to set and was quite impressed with how we’d put it together, and it felt quite credible to her, and that was a bit of a sigh of relief.
Are you ready for it? INTERSTELLAR will be taking off into orbit this coming November 7th at a theatre near you.

Source: JoBlo.com

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