2014 looks to be a prestigious year for science-fiction cinema (or, if you would prefer, science-y movies), beginning with Alfonso Cuarón 3D envelope-pusher Gravity being likely to take home a handful of Oscars (maybe even the grand prize of Best Picture) at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

In the months that follow, Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight trilogy) will make his directorial debut with AI feature Transcendence, acclaimed indie filmmaker/special effects guru Gareth Edwards (Monsters) will attempt to bring real-world resonance back to the Godzilla franchise with his reboot – and finally, Christopher Nolan will journey to the stars with his new original project, Interstellar.

The cast for Interstellar – led by Matthew McConaughey (who may soon add “Academy Award-winner” to his name), Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine (of course) – speaks for itself, and counts Matt Damon among its supporting players. As you can see from the HitFix video above, Damon knows better than to spill secrets about Nolan’s latest mystery project, but that doesn’t mean he also holds back on praising his coworkers.

Damon was only present on the Iceland set for Interstellar for a couple weeks (during a four-month long shoot overall), so his role in the film – which revolves around a group of scientists and explorers pushing the boundaries of space travel – will be limited. He confirmed as much during a separate interview with MTV (via CBM), saying:

“All I can say is I don’t have a big part. I was just thrilled to work with Christopher Nolan and I had a blast working with him. I really had so much fun. Matthew he’s the lead in the movie… talk about being in the zone, he’s really just crushing everything right now and I think its just going to be great. I think it’s gonna be just another big, awesome Chris Nolan movie with awesome performances from Matthew and Anne.”

Matthew McConaughey in ‘Interstellar’

Far more interesting, however, is what Damon’s Interstellar costar David Gyasi (Cloud Atlas) had to say, during an interview with Red Carpet News TV where he offers some food-for-thought about the appeal of the film’s high-minded themes and provocative ideas, which concern wormholes, time-travel and discovering what else lies in the great beyond – in this case, space, the universe and everything else outside of Earth.

Here is what Gyasi has to say, on that subject:

“Human beings are adventurers, aren’t we, and that’s what were put on here to do… To go further and investigate and go beyond and I think space travel is… We had this massive push to get to the moon and it kind of stopped a little bit so… Maybe as filmmakers, everyone’s going ‘Come on guys, let’s keep going, let’s see what else is out there and see what else we can find,’ and it’s so vast. Years ago, it was this mad thing called the ocean that people were like ‘What lies beyond?’ and it’s like that [space] is now our next barrier. I think that’s where the fascination comes from.”

There’s often been a meta quality to Nolan’s work, when it comes to how the films’ characters push the limits of their imagination and endurance to achieve their goals (see: The Prestige, Inception, Dark Knight trilogy) – like the director behind them does, with clever editing and creative implementation of IMAX footage, among other tricks. We’ve seen evidence of that holding true for his and brother Jonathan Nolan’s Interstellar script, as well as with the cinematic techniques being used to realize it on the big screen (see: strapping IMAX cameras to learjets).

Gyasi, in that same interview, also points out that Chris Nolan sets his films “in worlds that are quite popularist [while being] rooted in something that is so meaningful, so human.”

Indeed, for example, when you look beyond all the spectacle and mind-bending concepts in Inception, that’s ultimately a movie about a man grieving for his deceased wife and wanting to move forward with his life; at the end of the day, one expects that Interstellar will have an equally solid human core, with grand sci-fi notions wrapped around it.

For more from Gyasi about Interstellar, check out the full interview video, below:

Interstellar opens in U.S. theaters on November 7th, 2014.

Source: HitFix, MTV, Red Carpet News [via CBM]