Christopher Nolan was worried that a talent like Florence Pugh would’ve hungered for a larger role in his film. Fortunately, she was game for it.
After years of being a reliable supporting player for Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy became the face of his movie of the summer in Oppenheimer. Murphy has collaborated with Nolan on the majority of his films since Batman Begins, and whether the role is big or small, Nolan will find a way to bring him into his film. Even though this is the first of his vehicles that he’s headlined, Murphy has expressed that he’d take any role in one of Christopher’s films. That sentiment would be shared with many actors, and when Nolan approached actress Florence Pugh for her role in Oppenheimer, she seemed equally game for anything.
According to LAD Bible, Pugh spoke to MTV UK about Nolan courting her for the role, “I didn’t really know what was going on or what it was that was being made – except I knew that Chris really, really wanted me to know that it wasn’t a very big role, and he understands if I don’t want to come near it. And I was like, ‘It doesn’t matter. Even if I’m a coffee maker in a café at the back of the room, let’s do it.’ I remember he apologized for the size of the role. I was like, ‘Please don’t apologize.’ And then he said, ‘We’ll send you the script, and honestly, you just read it and decide if it’s like… I completely understand the sizing thing.’”
In the film, Pugh plays Jean Tatlock, a Communist Party member who has a complicated relationship with J. Robert Oppenheimer. Her plot is seemingly disconnected from the crux of the atomic bomb story; however, her connection to the titular character plays a great part in his psychology. Their relationship is also the fulcrum of the politics in his working relationship with the United States as the government watches his career with great interest while questioning his allegiance.
Although her screen time was small, the public couldn’t help but talk about the risqué nature of it as a couple of important moments showcased intimate nude scenes. Pugh has remarked that she found Nolan’s set unlike any that she’s ever worked on and praised the professionalism that the crew had exhibited. “Working with Christopher Nolan was quite possibly one of the most thrilling experiences in a different way, partly because he works with professionals. He is a professional. But his dedication to the craft of filmmaking and old filmmaking is just magical to watch.”
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/oppenheimer-florence-pugh/