‘Interstellar’: Matt Damon & David Gyasi Talk Christopher Nolan’s Sci-Fi Film

Published 1 year ago by

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.”

interstellar matthew mcconaughey christopher nolan Interstellar: Matt Damon & David Gyasi Talk Christopher Nolans Sci Fi Film

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]

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Can’t wait for this, I am sure it will be great. Then after we can all sit around and laugh at the huge plot holes, because as much as I love his movies, it’s not a Nolan movie, without plot holes you can drive a bus through.

    • Please tell me about these plotholes in his movies, buddy.

      • Ok we can start with somthing simple. Batman begins, Ra’s al Guls men have been poisoning Gothams water supply for weeks, with a neurotoxin that is only affective when vaporized, hence the theft and use of the mirowave emitter, but no one in Gotham felt the effects of the toxin, in the weeks leading up to the attack. Are we to asume that no one in Gotham took a hot bath or boiled a kettle in the weeks leading up to this point. As for the mirowave emitter, it can vaporize all water within a x mile radius, but has no effect on the human body, which is over 70% water?
        And just as a fun one,in TDKR, I hope none of the photographers Wayne used that mini emp device on, had pacemakers, that pycho would have killed then instantly.
        These are just little fun plot holes. Don,t get me started on inception, I could write a book on the holes in that thing.
        To all Nolanphiles, I am just answering this guys question, please don,t have a meltdown, (I love Nolan too) all movies have plot holes, its an inevitability in the movie making process. So try and keep the hate to a min, cheers.

        • I’m not joining the discussion because it’s pointless, but I totally have to agree with you that EVERY movies has plotholes (huge or not, depends on how you see it), even the Dark Knight trilogy. CinemaSins showed some that are totally spot-on (and no just for humor sake, because it simply defies logic), though one will definitely miss them if you they don’t pay attention, especially if they’re biased to the movie.
          Once again, NOBODY’s perfect in this world, EVERY movies has flaws. :)

        • I have to agree. Although he does good films, he also seems to skip over things that sometimes makes a film almost comedy. Batman Begins was good but at the same time you have those “Really?” moments. Inception was just all over the place, LOL. Good movie but yeah, some parts made me want to rip my hair out, LOL

        • There is a plot hole in your comment. Commas are not apostrophes.

          • Yes I am dyslexic, and have to use a spelling and grammar highlighter, so your right my opinion must be pointless. Because punctuation is everything in this world.

        • @ filmlover

          I completely agree about Nolan.
          I for one love his movies. I really do and think he’s & for 7 in making feature films with my favorites being The Prestige and Insomnia but none of these films are perfect. There are plot holes in each and my biggest issue is his tendency to gloss over major plot details for what seems like no reason other than to be purposely vague.

          The problem today with a lot of fans is that they feel like if you like or love a director, movie or even a TV show you’re not being a real fan if you point out flaws. I feel the exact opposite. As fans we should hold these people and movies or shows to higher standards and you’re actually being a better fan by doing so.

          Also, lets be honest. At some point Christopher Nolan is going to make a bad/terrible movie. It may even be this next movie. He’s batting a 1000 so far but at some point a stinker will be released. It happens to everyone.

          • * 7 for 7

            I love ya ScreenRant but I would kill for an edit button. ;)

          • You know, it doesn’t need to be a stinker actually because no matter what, I doubt Nolan can pull an Uwe Boll film , LOL. Seriously though, you are right in part: one day he’s going to make an good-but-not-great/average movie and that would be his stinker and he’s going to take fire for that movie because he has accustomed (?) to good/great films that we can’t expect less from him. Just look at Ridley Scott: in my opinion, he hasn’t made a terrible movie (have yet to see The Counselor) but after two great films (Alien and Blade Runner), his other average movies are disappointments to say the least.

    • I’d also like to know about these “huge plot holes”. Nolan’s movies does have plot conveniences, but I haven’t noticed a single plot hole in his movies, let alone huge plot holes.

      • Blinded by love my friend, and I completely understand why, in this current movie climate, Nolan might as well be movie jesus, but don,t kid yourself in to thinking his movies are not full of holes, and at points deeply coveluded. his plots are fresh innovative and reach for the stars, wich in this day and age, is highly refreshing and commendable, but on occasion the scripts fall short.

        • Nolan’s films have plot holes.

        • Just stop Filmlover.

          Two groups you will never get to see the light when it comes to the flaws (that as you pointed out, exist in ALL movies) in their favorite movies are Marvelites and Nolandians.

        • If you say so flimlover.

          I think story and everything else comes before the problems you care so much about and I will Nolan has an amazing way of putting it all together. Stories like Memento, Inception and even The Prestige to a level can fall apart if even one step is not taken right. Filming is far more than just pleasing people who point and go plot hole on the internet. It is to keep the story going no matter how complex and make sure the viewer is not lost and is in the world you make for them to enjoy. Everyone has problems and all films have problems, but the ones you think are important make me think all you see is plotholes and not the level of skill it takes to make such films.

      • Batman Begins:
        How does a microwave emitter that vaporizes all water not kill any human within its range? How did nobody get exposed to the drug prior to the “big plan” when all it takes is vaporizing the water (hot showers, boiling water, etc) to activate the drug?
        How the f*** did a wooden beam burn enough to fall on Bruce within 2 minutes of his house being set on Fire?

        The Dark Knight: Not too many in this one I don’t think, but how did Bruce and Rachel survive that fall from a skyscraper?

        The Dark Knight Rises: How did the CIA both fail to both check the identity of their passengers AND see a plane flying within spitting distance? Stock purchases/sales fraudulently made by armed terrorists would not stand. The Stock Market closes at 4pm, so how was it night time MINUTES after Bane is done on Wall Street? Why would they send EVERY SINGLE police officer into the sewer? Why wouldn’t Batman just kick a hole through Bane with his cyborg leg that can kick holes in concrete? HOW DID BATMAN GET BACK TO GOTHAM AFTER HE ESCAPED THE PRISON? How much time did Batman spend painting his symbol on a bridge when the city was under siege? How did Catwoman sneak up on Bane and Batman when riding atop an 800 lb motorcycle? On and on and on…

        Inception: Why does the guy on the second dream level not wake up to the first dream level when the van free falls on the that first level? Why was Gravity normal in the 3rd dream level when the guy dreaming the third level in the 2nd level was in a near zero G environment created by the falling van on the first level. Never mind, this movie is too contrived to try to write all this BS out…

        • In Reply to DragonArcher23 on Inception, here’s the logic: Arthur is the dreamer of Level 2. The dreamer of a Level determines the physical state of the environment. Since Arthur is feeling/experiencing the gravity shifts and zero gravity of Level 1 while his conscious dream self is walking around and fighting Fischer’s projections in Level 2, the Level 2 maze experiences the gravity shifts and zero gravity. Since Eames (the dreamer of Level 3) is stable & asleep in Level 2 when zero gravity happens, his mind doesn’t feel/experience zero gravity (even though his dream self is in zero-g in Level 2). Thus, no zero gravity in Level 3. A lot of people miss this.

          • However, Author is asleep in level 1 and still experiencing the effects of the free fall in level 2, where he’s conscious. This essentially shows – if the story’s logic were to be consistent – that the dreamers can be asleep in one level and have the environment of that level effect the lower level where they are awake and the primary dreamer. So, yeah, Eames was asleep in level 2, but he still should’ve had the effects of the environment in level 2 carry down to level 3 just like they did for Author in levels 1 to 2. A lot of people miss this.

            • First, his name is Arthur (not Author). Second, remember that the designated conscious dreamer of a level, while on a sedative, can only experience and feel what is happening to his sleeping dream-self in the level above, not two levels above.

              When the van breaks the barrier of the bridge in Level 1, it is only Arthur (the designated dreamer of Level 2) that experiences the feeling of free fall. Therefore, his conscious dream-self in Level 2 puts the environment in Level 2 into zero gravity. But none of the other dreamers (who are asleep when the Van breaks the barrier) in Level 2 are experiencing the zero gravity. Their dream-self bodies are floating in zero gravity but their non-conscious dream-self minds are preserved and don’t experience it, primarily because of the strong sedative they are taking on the plane.

              While Eames is the designated dreamer of Level 3 and can experience things from Level 2 only, he doesn’t feel the zero-gravity environment because his dream-self in Level 2 is not experiencing the free fall feeling that Arthur is in Level 2. Beacause they are all being fed a sedative on the plane in the real world, the designated conscious dreamer two levels below (like Eames) cannot feel a penetrating kick alone (the Van breaking the barrier of the bridge into free fall) in Level 1. That is why they all need a “double kick” to move back up a Level (a kick from within their Level in conjunction with a penetrating Kick from Level 1 (either the Kick of the Van breaking the barrier of the bridge into free fall or the Van hitting the Water). Cobb says “The trick is to synchronize a kick that can penetrate all three levels.” But more accurately put, while dream-sharing on a sedative, the trick is to synchronize a kick from Level 1 that can penetrate all three levels with a kick from within each of the three levels.

        • As to your first question: Arthur doesn’t wake up to the first dream level after the Van free falls because he’s being fed a strong sedative (created by Yusuf) back in the real world on the plane – the sedative is strong enough to keep one in a dream level even while experiencing the feeling of free fall. Remember the only way to move back up a dream level when being fed a sedative is with a simultaneous “double-kick” (for example: Ariadne free-falling in Limbo off Penthouse ledge in conjunction with Eames detonating bomb and creating Snow Fortress collapse – this is what brings Ariadne back to the third dream level before she rides the next “double kick” back to the second dream level and so forth). Note that in normal dream sharing with just somnacin, the van free falling would be enough to move Arthur back to the first dream level.

          • Correction: I meant to say, Ariadne gets back to the Snow Fortress level 3 from her free fall kick in Limbo off Cobb’s penthouse in conjunction with the “Van hitting the water” in Level 1 (which was the second kick in Level 1 that Cobb was referring to that they need to time their kicks with; remember the first kick in Level 1 was the Van breaking through the bridge barrier into free fall). Ariadne then moves to the Hotel level 2 layer from the free fall kick that Eames creates in the Snow Fortress in conjunction again with the “Van hitting the water” in Level 1. She then moves to level 1 from the elevator shaft kick Arthur creates in Level 2 in conjunction with the “Van hitting the water” in Level 1.

            • Okay, so I dropped the ball on the name there. However, after three follow-up posts correcting what you meant to say, I believe you just like to get out that red marker (but at least you don’t exempt yourself from it). That whole thing about the physical environment not translating past one level deeper may or may not be true. It was never established in the movie as a “rule”—and I’m not sure it would even really make much sense if it was (other than just being a convenient plot contrivance)—but, at the very least, that idea is iffy. Case in point: Cobb says Saito’s pain will be less in the deeper level, but it isn’t gone completely. He gets shot in the first level and still dies from the wound in the third level. This means that while the effects of the zero gravity on the characters’ bodies may have diminished in the third level, it still would be there to some extent (or at least one would be justified in thinking it would/should). Also, our projections of ourselves in a dream aren’t physical entities, and there’s no real way that a non-physical “kick” could jolt someone awake, especially after being heavily sedated; however, it makes sense that this could happen the other way around, but that’s not what they did during the climax. (They didn’t even have a physical kick on the plane, so I have no idea why they were practicing knocking themselves over in the warehouse.) When we feel something physical while we’re sleeping, we tend to dream about it, not that we dream about something and, therefore, feel something physical. But, alas, jumping from skyscrapers, falling off bridges, and plummeting from an elevator all make for exciting popcorn fun and visuals, so all these points I bring up might be moot anyway. Let’s just be honest and call these things what they are—exciting things to see on screen that have been contrived story-wise to get them there, not plot elements that are perfectly defensible logically, even within the realm of fiction the world is established in, and never contradict one another. I do believe that was the whole point that started this conversation to begin with. Even great movies have plot holes and things that don’t make sense (which only means Cinemasins will never be want for material). By their very nature, fictional stories are contrived and, therefore, will always have some place where there are gaping holes (sorry I went there). So I hope that you’re not arguing that Inception doesn’t contain any of these (there are a few others that weren’t brought up here) because it would be the first fictional movie in history to do so.

              • The most charitable interpretation of Inception is that it is “all a dream” from beginning to end. Cobb has constructed one giant dream in order to free himself from the guilt he feels over the death of Mal and move on with his life. So, there are no plot holes in Inception. Many dream scene and supposed real world scenes contain flaws. Many things don’t make sense and the supposed real world scenes all feel dreamy because Cobb is just making it all up. These are not editing mistakes. They are well thought-out sequences (like when Cobb peers into Miles’ classroom through broken pane window, we cut to Miles for a brief second, and boom, Cobb is magically sitting in the classroom and miles didn’t hear him open the classroom door or shut it. Not an editing mistake. It’s a dream jump. I could go on and on … So the dream logic on things on the Fisher mission – it’s hard to make sense of it all and for a good reason: none of it makes sense cuz Cobb is just making it all up to help himself overcome guilt that haunts him. He does have a positive emotional experience. And this is one of the main messages by Nolan with Inception: we can all have real emotional experiences while we dream – they are as real as waking emotion.

  2. Of all the movies to be released in 2014, this is probably the only one I’m totally clueless about… but I’ll probably gonna see it (if not in the theater, perhaps in home video) depends on how the trailer will appeal to me, and NOT because of Nolan’s name. Seriously, he’s an awesome director, but that doesn’t mean his movies will always be awesome. Nobody’s perfect in this world…

  3. a Nolan movie? I’m there.

  4. If you say so flimlover. I think story and everything else comes before the problems you care so much about.