Have you heard of Christopher Nolan? He’s a film director who likes to make big ol’ movies that are full of practical effects and confusing timelines. His latest, Tenet, seems to be (as far as we can tell) the platonic ideal of both of these obsessions, boasting tons of expensive action and time-inverting shenanigans for all of us to enjoy (whenever the heck it’s safe for us to see it). You’d have to imagine Nolan has to run a pretty tight ship with lots of stopping, tons of time being spent, and other typical “blockbuster set” behaviors. But according to Tenet star Elizabeth Debicki (per Variety), this ain’t exactly the truth.
Nolan got his start making indies like Following and Memento. And Debicki reports that the style he developed in this films hasn’t changed even has his budgets have:
He has this ability to make a film that involves complex thinking and yet make it entertaining and accessible. It’s almost got the feel of an indie set because of the precision — Chris works very fast; time and energy are spent on all the right things there. There is nothing superfluous. It was humbling and collaborative and definitely made me stronger as an actor and probably as a person.
I must say, this description excites me very much. I think too many contemporary blockbusters suffer from coverage-happy filmmaking, resulting in overly safe final products that feel strung together in the editing room anonymously. To hear that Nolan was able to “run and gun” because he had intention at every moment, with no “superfluous” decision being made, gives me a bunch of hope for the final product (again, whenever I eventually see it). Plus: Debicki is already an incredible actor! How could Tenet make her even better?!
Tenet is scheduled to be released in theaters on (deep breath, gulp) August 12. For more Debicki love, here’s our review of Widows, which ya just gotta watch.