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Fans amazed at process Christopher Nolan used for iconic Matthew McConaughey scene in Interstellar

Emily Puckering

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Fans amazed at process Christopher Nolan used for iconic Matthew McConaughey scene in Interstellar

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Fans have been left in awe after learning the process Christopher Nolan used to film one of the most heartbreaking scenes in Interstellar.

Any fan of the British director - best known for blockbuster hits such as Inception and Oppenheimer - will certainly have seen the 2014 sci-fi epic.

Starring Matthew McConaughey as ex-NASA pilot Cooper, alongside the likes of Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, the dystopian film sees his character get tasked to pilot a spacecraft along with a team of researchers to find a new planet for humans.

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As he travels through outer space visiting potential new home planets for mankind, Cooper experiences time at a whole different rate while his two children age without him back home, making for some pretty mind-bending stuff.

Both Nolan's ambitious directing and McConaughey's incredible performance creates a masterpiece of a production - and fans have been left amazed after hearing the director's process behind one particularly gut-wrenching scene.

The scene in question shows Cooper watching videos of his children that he’s missed over the years, seeing how they both grow into adults and never lose hope of seeing their father again one day.

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Cooper is seen sobbing quietly as he watches the videos - a performance by McConaughey that is truly devastating.

Speaking recently with The Atlantic, Nolan opened up about this very scene and explained how he did two things that he wouldn’t normally do - but how they ultimately made sense for that specific moment.

Matthew McConaughey's emotional performance in Interstellar is still talked about almost a decade on. Credit: Warner Bros.
Matthew McConaughey's emotional performance in Interstellar is still talked about almost a decade on. Credit: Warner Bros.

"The wonderful truth is that it was in my brother’s script, and one of the things that made me want to do the film," he said.

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"As a parent, it seemed like such a powerful story moment. It was always the north star of the film, this beautiful sequence—and some of the actual words in the script, the specifics of what was said in the messages, never changed.

"We filmed McConaughey’s reaction first, in close-up. You never do that in a scene. You start with a wide shot and then warm up.

"But he hadn’t seen the video messages—we’d filmed them all in advance, so that everything would be there in the moment—and he wanted to give us his first reaction.

"We shot it twice close-up, and I think I used the second one, because the first one was too raw. Then we shot the monitors, and the wider shots, and put it together."

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Nolan continued: "The last piece of the puzzle was a beautiful piece of music by Hans Zimmer that hadn’t really found a place in the film.

"I think he literally referred to it as 'organ doodle'.

Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in Interstellar. Credit: Warner Bros.
Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in Interstellar. Credit: Warner Bros.

"My editor, Lee Smith, and I tried playing it just while we were in the room playing a cut, and we both felt that it was devastating.

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"The other thing we did, which I don’t think I’ve done in any of my other films, is to treat the music as a diegetic sound: When the messages stop, the music stops.

"It almost breaks the fourth wall, and it’s not the sort of thing that I like to do, but it felt perfect and apt for that moment."

And fans have been quick to share their admiration online, with one writing: "This whole movie is just the most beautiful movie ever to be made. If I had watched this in theaters probably would’ve broken down."

While another wrote: "This particular scene is the epitome of perfection and leaves me with goosebumps every time I watch it."

And someone else said they 'haven't cried in a movie theater like I did that day in a while'.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Matthew McConaughey, Science, Christopher Nolan

Emily Puckering
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