Christopher Nolan sat down with an unlikely collaborator on a new project. The collaborator was Kip Thorne, one of the most renowned theoretical physicists of the modern era — and also, improbably, the executive producer of the film Nolan badly wanted to direct.
The script, initially written by Nolan’s younger brother Jonathan(known as Jonah), was Interstellar. And over the following months and years, the two men — one, a daring director whose last seven movies, including Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy, grossed a collective $3.55 billion worldwide; the other, a pioneering scientist who specialized in such arcana as black holes, singularities and event horizons — would embark on an intellectual exploration as Nolan, 44, repeatedly met with Thorne, 74, to kick around ideas about time, space and the time-space continuum. In the process, they explored everything from questions about wormholes to whether it might be possible to go faster than the speed of light.
The result of all this work is an audacious, two-hour-and-47-minute drama that cost $165 million to make (Paramount, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures split the budget; Paramount will release the film in the U.S., Warners will handle international) and is expected to contend in the best picture Oscar race. Interstellaropens Nov. 5 and follows more in the vein of mind-bending science fiction classics such as 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey than 1977’sStar Wars — both Nolan favorites.
Reworking Jonah’s script (originally written for Steven Spielberg to direct), Nolan refined the story of four astronauts who embark on a mission that takes them through a wormhole and into another galaxy, where they must search for a habitable planet before ecological problems doom Earth. For much of the shoot, which was shrouded in secrecy, the story was referred to by the code name “Flora’s Letter” (a reference to one of Nolan and producer Emma Thomas‘ four children), perhaps indicative of the shift in emotional temperature that this sometimes-cool filmmaker wished to take here.
The film stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway as two of the astronauts and also features Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck and Michael Caine in supporting roles (Caine in what appears to be a bearded incarnation of Thorne). Putting all this on film took the cast and crew from cornfields in Calgary, Alberta, to a glacier that had been strafed by a volcano in Iceland for a four-month shoot that largely used physical sets rather than CGI — including a spaceship manned by a monolith-like robot named TARS, played by comic Bill Irwin, who also served as an effective puppeteer, using a specially constructed rig to move the robot.
Among the practical challenges were transporting the 10,000-pound spaceships to Iceland; planting acres of corn through which the actors would drive at dizzying speeds; figuring out how to make them weightless in space (Nolan used a rig named “the parallelogram”); and deploying a biodegradable product known as C90 to create a huge dust field, much to the chagrin of the cast that constantly struggled to escape its particles. For inspiration, Nolan drew on everything from a Ken Burnsdocumentary, The Dust Bowl; to the architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; to astronautMarsha Ivins, who visited the set; to the 1983 film The Right Stuff; to the music of his regular composer Hans Zimmer, whom he asked to draft part of the score before a single frame was shot — and before Zimmer even knew the title of the movie in question.
Chris, Interstellar began with your brother and Spielberg. What happened?
Jessica, Anne and Mathew gave a beautiful interview for Interstellar with New York Times and we also have HQ portraits. Enjoy!
Photoshoots > Photoshoots 2014 > New York Times
Ms. Chastain, Ms. Hathaway and Mr. McConaughey gathered recently to discuss the pathways that led them to “Interstellar” and the universes to which it introduced them. Together, they carried themselves less like a crew of seasoned, seen-it-all veterans than three guileless novices still acclimating to their mission and to one another. They kidded around, swapped notes on Mr. Nolan and their interpretations of the film, and apologized profusely for their lack of Ph.D.s.
These are excerpts from that conversation.
Q. Did any of you grow up dreaming of someday becoming an astronaut?
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY I did not. I was very much, what’s happening on the ground was going to be enough. Until I made “Contact” [the 1997 movie about the search for extraterrestrial life]. That made me actually wonder: “O.K., it’s not just what’s happening here, east, west, in front of us. You can look up. What’s the new frontier to the north?”
JESSICA CHASTAIN I loved Princess Leia as a kid. I loved that she was so badass and took control. But I have no interest in being one of those people on the spaceships they’re advertising that go to the moon. No thank you. I’ll be one of those people that stays on Earth, eating corn.
ANNE HATHAWAY When I was in fifth grade, my older brother asked me how I was doing in school, and I said I did just get a 52 on a math test. Later, I said I wanted to be an astronaut, and he said, ‘Well, you’re going to have to raise your math scores if you want to do that.’ Later in life, I discovered I do love science, and I do love physics. But I was really happy that in this film, I could still be bad at math and be an astronaut.
How were each of you approached by Christopher Nolan for this film?
Hey everyone! I’m sorry for the lack of updates on the site, I’m trying to handle everything, university and my sites. So, I have added to the gallery tons of HQ pictures of Jessica at the 28th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Matthew McConaughey in Los Angeles last night. She looked gorgeous in a beautiful yellow Givenchy Couture dress. Enjoy!
Appearances & Events > Appearances 2014 > October 21 – 28th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Matthew McConaughey
They say we don’t go to outer space anymore. But Christopher Nolan is doing a pretty good job of faking it.
It’s October 2013, and we are on the set of code nameFlora’s Letter, a.k.a. Interstellar, an epic sci-fi adventure that represents the beginning of the director’s post-Batman life. Working on the same soundstage where he once built a dank batty cave for Christian Bale to skulk in, the British-American helmer has constructed a starship to take Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway across the universe to find salvation for the human race. On screen that ship, the Endurance, will be composed of 12 interlocking pods. Right now it’s only three pods resting at a slant on a mammoth steel gimbal tilted at a 30-degree angle. It resembles a seesaw for giants.
Walking up into the narrow interior—designed from galleys, jump seats, and control panels salvaged from junked airplanes—is like trying to keep your balance inside a mystery-shack tilt-house. Look through the small double-paned windows, and what you see, projected on a large black floor-to-ceiling curtain, is a vertiginous swirl of stars, which is exactly what you would see if you were inside an actual spacecraft swiftly spinning to generate 1g of gravity. Another director would have hung bluescreens and then animated space in postproduction. Nolan, zealous about verisimilitude, loathes bluescreen the way the Amish loathe zippers. (There’s a robot aboard the ship, too. But nobody talks about TARS.)
At the heart of this sophisticated filmmaking machine, Nolan stands with a portable video monitor hanging from his neck, chasing authenticity of a deeper kind. He radiates strong, quiet authority and wears his signature business-casual outfit: dress shirt sans tie, khakis, and a sports jacket with deep pockets. Inside, you’ll find pens, notebooks, and a flask of Earl Grey, no milk. (“My assistant director once referred to it as a magician’s coat,” Nolan says.) He’s shooting a close-up of Hathaway, who plays a scientist named Brand, confessing a secret that will change the course of the story.
Interstellar (rated PG-13, out wide Nov. 7) tracks a group of spacefarers tasked with finding a new home for humankind before an ecoapocalypse wipes us out. Led by McConaughey’s Cooper, a widower who has left behind two children to pilot the mission, the four-person crew (which also includes Hathaway, Wes Bentley, and David Gyasi) traverse a mysterious wormhole near Saturn and reach a set of planets, but they can’t visit them all. Which way to go? Brand’s revelation will help decide the matter, and it takes the form of a soliloquy about—of all things—the nature of love as an unquantifiable, higher dimensional force.
Jessica attended the Extremely Piaget Launch Event in Beverly Hills last night and she looked gorgeous in a beautiful orange/red dress. I have added to the gallery 15 HQ pictures. Enjoy!
Appearances & Events > Appearances 2014 > October 9 – Extremely Piaget Launch Event In Beverly Hills
A new beautiful poster for the ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him/Her’ have been added to the gallery.
Television / Film > The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby (2013) > Official Posters
After a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Liv Ullman’s Miss Julie, which stars Jessica Chastain, has secured Canadian distribution via Pacific Northwest Pictures. Wrekin Hill Entertainment earlier acquired all U.S. rights to Ullmann’s sixth film.
The deal with Wild Bunch follows the film, which also stars Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton, being tipped for an awards season run. Miss Julie is based on August Strindberg’s classic stage play of the same name and is set in 1880s Ireland.
Synnove Horsdal, Oliver Dungey and Teun Hilte produced the film.
“We are so thrilled to bring this incredible film with across the board great performances to Canada and also so pleased to be working with Wild Bunch again on another high quality film,” Pacific Northwest Pictures vp Emily Alden said in a statement.
I have added to the gallery Jessica’s Glamour magazine scans in high quality so, be sure to check them out. She looked absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy!
Magazine Scans > 2014 > November – Glamour US