‘Interstellar’: Matthew McConaughey on the Scope and Ambition of Nolan’s New Film

Published 1 year ago by

Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey Interstellar: Matthew McConaughey on the Scope and Ambition of Nolans New Film

Matthew McConaughey has been our favorite redemption story since 2011, when he sprung back on the scene with the slow-burn thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer and then followed that up with a performance in Killer Joe that’s still burned into our brains. He’s continued turning in great work in unexpected places (Mud, Dallas Buyers Club), and that includes his recent TV work on HBO’s True Detective

The actor’s run could soon include major awards; should that happen, unlike most others McConaughey won’t have to worry about the dreaded post-awards slump: when fall 2014 hits and the Oscars and Emmys are done, he will be in pretty safe hands headlining Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi movie, Interstellar.

Like any Chris Nolan production, details on Interstellar have been pretty mysterious, and plenty scarce; not even the film’s teaser trailer was all that informative. Beyond an enigmatic voice-over from McConaughey explaining the movie’s thematic center, all we really even kind of know about Interstellar is that it will use the scientific theory of Einstein-Rosen bridges (aka “wormholes”) to tell the story of explorers who traverse further into the cosmos than ever before, presumably to find fertile land to replace the failing ecosystems of earth’s altered climate.


More: Interstellar Climate Change Plot Details


McConaughey spoke to Variety about the upswing in his career, and like all actors who gain access to a Nolan production, he was extremely frugal with what he would say about Interstellar‘s plot, opting more toward selling Nolan’s filmmaking prowess and ambition:

Here’s what I can tell you. It’s the most ambitious thing he’s ever done. And he’s done some ambitious stuff.

He came up to me and said, ‘“Mud.” I love that movie.’ [Later] I sat down with him for about 2½ hours at his house. Not one word came up about “Interstellar.” I walked out not sure what to think. I mean, he’s not a guy who takes general meetings.

There’s no f***ing around on set. He’s a great problem solver. In that way, he’s very indie. Here’s a guy who could have whatever budget he wants — and we finished shooting early.

Aside from the details regarding Interstellar‘s plot – which, for once, I’m very happy NOT knowing in advanced – this film is actually an intriguing pairing happening at a pivotal time.

Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar 2014 Interstellar: Matthew McConaughey on the Scope and Ambition of Nolans New Film

McConaughey, as stated, is in the prime stride of his acting career right now – primarily because he shied away from big headlining movie roles and/or blockbuster projects. Nolan is just coming off of a major franchise roller coaster (Dark Knight Trilogy) and is getting back into projects spun purely out of the Nolan Brothers imagination machine (basically his version of an “indie”). Are director and star meeting at that perfect middleground to deliver a grand blockbuster spectacle with the mind and soul of a classic sci-fi indie?

There are so many examples of how sci-fi and artistic cinema blend together into some great movie experiences (from 2001 to Gravity, and counting…). With Nolan, McConaughey, a cast that includes Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Anne Hathaway (Dark Knight Rises), Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Casey Affleck (Out of the Furnace), Michael Caine (TDKR), John Lithgow, Ellen Burtstyn and more – this could definitely be a contender for greatness.

…Now bring on those jaw-dropping visuals!


Interstellar will be in theaters on November 7, 2014.

Source: Variety

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  1. I can see this movie beginning a new renaissance in sci-fi blockbusters with more focus on story and character than CGI and special effects (you could mention Gravity but honestly, while the visuals were great, the movie didn’t blow me away, nor did it have much in the way of actual characterisation, the Honest Trailer helps explain it better than my attempts since it opened in November).

    • +1. Cerebral sci-fi, the best kind.

    • Agree with some aspects of your post. Def about Gravity. Hope 12 Years beats it for the Oscar.

      Try not to overhype yourself. I have done that to many times and walked away dissapointed.

      • I dunno, Nolan hasn’t disappointed me yet. It’s doubtful he’ll disappoint me with this too. Despite knowing very little about the movie, it’s almost like it resonates with stuff I’m interested in based on the premise alone.

        The only movies I walked away disappointed from where Battle: Los Angeles, The Avengers and X-Men: First Class. Guess I should’ve seen a trailer beforehand.

        • you walked out of avengers and first class. wow I thought both were good flicks the latter being the best xmen movie made so far. battle LA sucked monkey balls though.

          • Battle: LA gets the old Chimp-Choaney from me as well, but X-Men: First Class is right up there with it. As a big X-man fan from the comics, I was not pleased at all with X-M:FC…pretty disappointed actually. Now Avengers I really liked…very ambitious for a first attempt at putting all those characters together. I just hope we see many more team-ups like that with the various Avengers. We are getting Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch soon, and that was on my list. Next up, I REALLY REALLY want Goliath/Giant-man (played by Pym) and Wasp ASAP…and so do alot of others. Marvel, take heed!

            • I have to say that I really loved Battle: Los Angles. I thought it was a very telling story about military brotherhood, set amid a Sci-Fi background. Perhaps being from a heavily military family had an impact on my interpretation though.

              • Yeah, it was good for showing unity between them but the trouble is, it reinforced the stereotype that military people have their personalities removed at the recruitment stage to better take orders and become a solid unit.

                In that sense, it was realistic in a way but didn’t make for a good movie and the only personality they showed was at the start when they revealed themselves to be obnoxious d-bags.

          • @Cam

            Nope, never walked out of them (I stay until the bitter end to get my money’s worth, never saw the point of walking out during a movie).

            I just walked in, saw the movie until the credits finished rolling and walked out thinking it wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. That goes for all three movies I mentioned.

            I’ve said it before so worth repeating but I thought The Wolverine was the only decent X-Men movie I’ve seen so far. The first three were cheesy and hard to watch, Origins was just terrible and First Class didn’t really leave me excited, it was just kinda cool seeing some mutants on screen for the first time.

            Battle: LA would’ve been a good movie if it wasn’t a blatant recruitment commercial for the US Marines with one dimensional characters and a terrible first act. I actually hated the characters after that awful scene where they drank and taunted that guy into trying to get laid and they never gave me reason to feel they’d redeemed themselves by the end. Visuals were good though.

        • The fact that you were disappointed by Avengers makes me feel sorry for you as a movie lover. It was just plain fun, you must not like fun stuff.

          • I love comments like this where people hilariously assume things like this and show themselves to be completely ignorant and immature.

            I love fun and I love fun stuff. I’ve done fun stuff over the years (bungee jumping, festival going, performing for hundreds of people on stage, regularly coming home after a night out that involved so much fun and laughter that my ribs and jaw ached, just to name a few examples) but The Avengers just wasn’t fun at all in my opinion.

            Here’s a ridiculous assumption of my own for you. You loved The Avengers and thought it was really fun, therefore, you have the mental age of an easily pleased 5 year old.

            See how it works?

      • Also, yeah, it was crazy how Gravity walked away with so many BAFTA awards last Sunday while 12 Years only walked away with the Leading Actor award.

        • And Best Film! But Fassbender was robbed of Best Supporting Actor.

          • I didn’t realize Gravity WAS a British film until it won A BAFTA.

            Off topic, they should really asked Stephen Fry to host the Oscars. I’m curious how the American audience will react to his British humor.

    • I love how you make this statement when you literally know NOTHING about the film at this point…including how its special effects will be done!

      • We know more than nothing. The article even states what we know, that it’s based around wormhole theory.

        Based on that fact, my fascination with the same theory for years and the fact that Chris Nolan hasn’t made a bad movie yet (in my opinion) then yeah, I have every right to say what I did.

        Also, who cares how the special effects will be created? Are special effects the only reason you watch movies, ignoring plot, characterisation and the actual acting itself? Are you the same guy who loved The Avengers and posted that silly assumption further up the page?

    • That is why I love Nolan. He focus on the story whenever he makes a film. As much I didn’t like The Dark Knight Rises, I think Nolan did a good job showing us the audience the end of Bruce Wayne’s story. Pretty much, The Dark Knight trilogy is the journey of Bruce Wayne from beginning to end. Interstellar will be an amazing film. You have Matthew Mcconaughey lead star in the movie, he’s a very talented actor. The other thing about Nolan is that he sees talent in an actor/actress and saw potential in them.

    • This movie won’t be the beginning of anything, considering that less than a year and a half ago we got Cloud Atlas, a film so dense and complex that it makes Inception look like the Fast and the Furious. I’m sure Interstellar will be a financial success, however, and will hopefully entice the studios into developing more projects like this in the future.

  2. “There are so many examples of how sci-fi and artistic cinema blend together into some great movie experiences”

    and yet you dare to miss Tarkovski’s Solaris.

    • He didn’t miss it. Solaris is an overrated film.

    • Nobody missed it; Solaris sucks. 20 minute traffic-cam scenes are not what I consider masterful filmmaking.

  3. Rustin Cohle … in space.

    i couldn’t more pumped for that.

    • +1

    • YESSS! I’m so looking forward to this movie because of his performance in True Detective.

  4. Alright, alright, alright.

    • Forgot to use a Texan accent. My bad.

  5. I’ve been waiting patiently for a serious yet imaginative story surrounding space exploration.

    Prometheus sold us a false narrative about searching for our origins but the movie turned out to be a lazily written Friday the 13th movie. I’m hoping this movie will inspire the human race while telling us an entertaining story.

    • False narrative?

      They searched for our origins and found something else instead. Towards the end of the movie though, they discovered that the Engineers have a home world and set coordinates to travel to it and find out more.

      The movie pretty much did the job it set out to do and I hope we do get that sequel to reveal more rather than have the studio listen to the whining of those who strangely didn’t understand it and use that as an excuse not to go ahead and give us more of that story.

  6. Hmm, yes. Interesting…
    Boycott X-Men films?

    I’m running out of places to post this.

    Go Nolan movies.

  7. When you think about it, there are serious gaps in the sci-fi film offerings that we usually get. Exploration films that aren’t horror/disaster-based? Not too many of those. Also films about starfighter pilots. I was watching Wing Commander (which has problems, but which I like) recently, and thinking about how I wish there were more films in that sub-genre.

    It’s nice to not know much about what Interstellar will be about.

  8. I am not really a McConaughy fan…keep seeing him as Dirk Pitt (Clive Cussler), and did not care for that film. But I will give Interstellar a watch…sounds like it might be interesting.

  9. I like that Nolan’s manages to keep so much unknown. can only wonder what a space exploration movie will look like in his hands.

  10. To me this cements the fact that Nolan is a fan of film and that his love of film is contagious. I have no inside knowledge of this, but to me, you must have to be able to inspire people on set and those involved in the film to keep things so low profile. The people who work on his films must respect the hell out of him, that coupled along with binding contracts that will strip you to your underwear if you say a word about the story…

    • in addition, the guy has a rep for finishing well ahead of time, and filming under budget. aside from the acting and story, then this guy eschews cgi for the most part, and filmed some parts of this movie with that Learjet hookup. I’m curious to see what that produces. morgan freeman had some interesting stuff to say about Nolan when he appeared on tavis smiley, repeating some of what mcconaughey said. nolan doesn’t f**K around on set and let’s the actors work it out.

    • really loved the part of being stripped to the underwear……

  11. I’ve read the script. In detail. This movie, is going to win ALOT of awards. There’s going to be alot of CGI because of the mind bending nature of the events tht happen, but its balanced with an equally intense personal story. The SCRIPT made me choke up.. Can’t imagine what the movie itself will do.

  12. No, I’m neither. As infamous as Chris is at keeping things a secret, he can’t keep all of Hollywood quiet. this movie wasn’t originally his to direct lol. The script went through so many hands it’s hard to keep count. Anyway, I’m glad Chris directed it. Spielberg was originally attached and I dont think his approach would’ve been as grounded. I’ll lay the movie down for you otherwise you won’t know until November: So the movie begins in space. Stars everywhere; one in particular, is hurling by at astronomical speeds and slams into a black hole, creating an explosion so massive it sends ripples into the fabric of space. These ripples pass through a wormhole and make their way to earth, where they are detected by our gravity wave interferometers. This is how they discover the wormhole tht is inexplicably sitting in our solar system. It shouldn’t exist. Unless, it was artificially stabilized. The weird part is, no alien species has invaded or made contact with us. Its just there. Who created it? Why? Questions that provoke a mission to find out.. One scientist starts crying.. He explains tht he never thought this day would come; contact with what can only be a benevolent, technologically superior race. Says, 50years from now, everything will change. 50 years later, everything is worse. Governments have collapsed, NASA is no more, the mission scrapped and food crops are dying out for reasons I won’t get into. All this time, no one came. We sent probes into the hole, none came back. Another mystery. And this is where the movie really begins.

  13. Btw as SciFi as that sounds, it’s not what the movie is about. It’s a very human story that has the most powerful message I’ve ever seen. It speaks about our arrogance and dissonance with nature that will ultimately be our down fall if we don’t grow up and change it. And its presented on a very personal level. A family level. At the end of the movie, you SEE the potential of what we are capable of as a race. Its incredible. Inspirational. It made me and those that read it stop and think about our lives and just what we as humans are doing here. Its quite the most pleasing wake up call. This message is why the cast is so adamant about respecting the secrecy around the film. Its not just a movie.

  14. I have been to see this movie tonight and thought it was appalling. Sorry to say I could not understand a word what Mathew was ever saying, such drawl. The acting was terrible and the movie far too long