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Ten things we know about Interstellar

'No green screen. They were chucking dust in my face every day.'

Ten things we know about Interstellar

Mind-bogglingly ambitious, Interstellar looks set to be Christopher Nolan’s craziest film yet. Karen Krizanovich discovers what inspires The Dark Knight and Inception director to go bigger every time, and what key Interstellar cast members – Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain and Mackenzie Foy – took from the experience

Christopher Nolan is single-handedly trying to bring modern audiences the big screen experience he had as a teen

‘I grew up in the era that really was the golden age of blockbuster,’ he says. ‘Look at Close Encounters and the way that addressed that idea of this inevitable moment where humans would meet aliens, [but] from a family perspective. I really like the idea of trying to give today’s audiences some sense of that form of storytelling.’

Anne Hathaway said she hoped playing scientist Dr Brand would be easier than being Catwoman [in The Dark Knight Rises]. But this was before she encountered the Interstellar spacesuit

‘It was challenging. My first fitting [I realised it was] heavy and it started to pinch my shoulders. I thought, “Oooh I’m not wearing a catsuit in this one, I can eat!” But I did have to work out hard just to stand up in it.’

Michael Caine hates reading scripts

‘I’ve had six pictures from Christopher and every one was a hit. Every time he asks me: “Do I want to make a movie?” and I say yes. “Do you want to read the script?”: I say no.’

Interstellar is Christopher Nolan going larger than ever before

‘For me, the great thing about movies has always been the large screen, the large audience experience. That’s what you always hope for. One of my earliest movie-going experiences was going to Leicester Square and seeing 2001 when I was seven years old and I’ve never forgotten the scale of that experience. I saw my first IMAX film when I was 15 and immediately wanted to make features that way at that point. So really, for me, working on this scale in this medium is just a long-held dream of mine.’

In Interstellar, technology is key but the human touch remains essential, as Matthew McConaughey’s character Cooper knows

‘Cooper [has] the instincts to override a computer,’ McConaughey says, ‘which I think we’re always gonna need.’

Interstellar is ‘real’. For the shoot, 500 acres of real corn was planted and a real road was built

‘The great thing about working with Chris is that [these] are all practical sets,’ says Jessica Chastain. ‘You actually have things to react to as an actor, which is awesome. No green screen. They were chucking dust in my face every day.’

Interstellar teaches us science

‘I know a lot about wormholes now,’ says Caine. ‘And we know what’s on the other side – special effects.’

Interstellar has a strong environmental message and the entire cast try to be green

‘I try to do a lot of little things,’ says Hathaway. ‘I time my showers and try not to over-consume or blindly consume things.’ Nolan adds, ‘Communal resources, gathering people in one place like a movie theatre – if you go to the movies every night for a month, you’ll save a lot of electricity.’

Michael Caine knows the secret to Christopher Nolan

‘The first time he came to me with a script, he said, “I’ve got a movie.” I said, “What is it?” He said, “Batman.” I said to myself, “I'm too old to play Batman.” What does he want me to play? “I want you to play the butler.” “What sort of dialogue would I have? Dinner is served? Would you like a beverage with that?” [The role] wasn’t the butler. It was the foster father of Batman. Nothing is what it seems with Chris.’

Interstellar talks about mankind’s place in the universe

‘Well, I know eventually the earth is going to die,’ says 14-year-old Mackenzie Foy, ‘but I think I’ll probably be dead by that time so…’ ‘I’m positive,’ Caine adds. ‘I’m 81, so I’m positive.’

Interstellar is on general release from Fri Nov 7.

Interstellar - Trailer - Official Warner Bros. UK


  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US/UK
  • 169 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Jessica Chastain, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway
  • UK release: 7 November 2014

Cooper (McConaughey) is a pilot-turned-farmer who's recruited for an intergalactic mission to find humanity a new home. Despite awe and nail-biting tension, there's too much clunky exposition and cinematic clichés, and although Nolan's intentions to make a singular and cerebral film are admirable, it all gets a bit silly.


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