The A-listers spoke with Access Hollywood recently about their anticipated new film and how impressed they were with not only director Christopher Nolan’s vision but also star Cillian Murphy’s performance as the title scientist behind the development of the atomic bomb.
“Chris knew the whole time, he said, ‘I’m gonna call it ‘Oppenheimer’ I’m not gonna call it ‘American Prometheus,’ which is the name of the book, because it’s so important that it’s really this guy’s subjective experience,” Matt explained of the filmmaker’s approach and decision to have Cillian carry the story. “The whole movie, he said, was gonna ride with Cillian, and so he goes, ‘I’m gonna put this entire thing on his back.'”
For Emily, Cillian’s dedication to the part, in addition to the harrowing and historic subject matter, left her in such awe that she considers his performance “one of the greats of all time.”
“He’s so mesmerizing,” she said of Cillian’s work. “Like, mesmerizing, and it was a monumental task to take on. I don’t know how he retained the storm of this movie for so long, and he’s mesmerizing. What he was able to play in the duality of that character and every moment, it’s so exciting.”
And Matt couldn’t agree more!
“It’s an awesome performance. It is as good as they come,” he nodded.
The co-stars also enjoyed working with each other again more than a decade after teaming up for 2011’s “The Adjustment Bureau,” in which they played love interests. Now, the pair are friends and neighbors and admitted to Access that they go on double dates “all the time” with their respective spouses!
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Their off-set proximity even played a role in the casting for “Oppenheimer,” with Emily and Matt revealing why Christopher was hesitant to discuss the film with each of them on the same day.
“When Chris came to talk to me about the movie he bumped into John [Krasinski, Emily’s husband] in the lobby,” Matt smiled, explaining that the director already had plans to reach out to the actress as well, but was concerned because he didn’t want it to seem like he was going to just one apartment building out of convenience.
It’s no surprise that Emily and Matt remain so well-acquainted these days – after all, they got off to a great start! The stars went on to share their positive first impressions of each other from their early time on “The Adjustment Bureau.”
“He was so nice to me, I auditioned for it,” Emily recalled of Matt. “And I know he’d seen like four other chicks that day and he was so lovely and fun and we [improvised] a lot and it was really cool.”
Matt also remembers the experience fondly and added that Emily made it easy for him to decide on his leading lady.
“You just came in and slaughtered the audition. You did, you crushed,” he said.
“They were all excellent,” Matt added of the other candidates, “but you were just definitely the reason to make the movie.”
So are they up for an “Adjustment Bureau” follow-up? The actors laughed about the possibility of reviving their first film together, but Emily did suggest one way to put a twist on the premise.
“In the sequel, I’m gonna be wearing the fedora and he’s going to be dancing,” she teased. “It’s gonna be great.”
“Oppenheimer” opens in theaters July 21.
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