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Nolan roots Interstellar epic in family drama with McConaughey

For his first journey into a galaxy, director Christopher Nolan wanted to tether himself to something close to home

By: Reuters | Mumbai | Published: November 14, 2014 1:00 am
Interstellar Interstellar

For his first journey into a galaxy, director Christopher Nolan wanted to tether himself to something close to home.In his daughter, he found inspiration for his lead character in Interstellar—his big-budget epic space adventure rooted in a intimate family drama. ” I may have changed Murphy into a girl because my oldest child is a daughter,” Nolan said of the teen who suffers when her father, played by Matthew McConaughey, leaves for a long, potentially fatal space mission. “I wanted to have as close a relationship as possible to the emotional journey of the character.”
Interstellar is expected to be one of the year’s biggest films at the box office, and Nolan, who has carved out a prestigious movie career with The Dark Knight Batman trilogy and Inception, believes it takes the audience to the furthest realm of space exploration. After Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller Gravity drew some criticism from scientists for its implausibility, Nolan pre-empts controversy by saying anyone who demands scientific rigor from the fantastical film is “going to produce their own level of frustration.” The film presents theoretical notions of wormholes and bends the rules of time and space. “We’ve certainly crossed over into some interesting territory in terms of science, but we’ve always done it at the service of the emotional story at the heart of the film.”Interstellar is set in a vague distant future where Earth’s inhabitants face an agricultural crisis as dust storms threaten mankind’s food and their ability to breathe. McConaughey, fresh off his best actor Oscar win, plays the “everyman” Cooper, a former NASA pilot-turned-farmer who is called to find a new home for humans on another world in another galaxy.To do so, Cooper must leave behind his family, especially his precocious teen daughter, played by Mackenzie Foy with whom he shares a close bond over astrophysics.”The hero is more considerate than everybody else. I tried to understand (Cooper’s) faults,” said McConaughey. The film reunites previous Nolan collaborators Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway who play father-daughter astrophysicists. It also stars Jessica Chastain as the adult Murphy. “She lost her world in a way,” Chastain said. “She feels betrayed and abandoned.”Interstellar, made by Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures, Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures for $165 million is projected by BoxOffice.com to open with $72 million.
For Nolan, who was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey,” the sci-fi genre was missing the element of optimism, which is essential to the journey that results in the expedition they go on and that can only be done by people with a great sense of spirit,” he said.

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