Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Sean O'Connell

Florence Pugh Reveals Why Christopher Nolan Felt The Need To Apologize While Offering Her A Role In Oppenheimer

Florence Pugh in Oppenheimer

This has been the summer of Barbie and Oppenheimer. While other films have done well at the box office, few have climbed to the incredible heights of the Greta Gerwig comedy, and the Christopher Nolan drama. Oppenheimer recently extended its IMAX run, because people are going out of their way to see the movie in the large-screen format that Nolan intended. And while the industry already are discussing cast members that could find their way into the still-developing awards race, Florence Pugh’s name isn’t getting tossed around as much as, say, Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, or Robert Downey Jr., she might understand why … and Nolan already apologized for it. 

There are two women in the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy). His original love, Jean Tatlock (Pugh), and the woman he eventually married, “Kitty” Oppenheimer (Blunt). And even though Oppenheimer and Tatlock drifted apart, she would come back into his life at different times, creating real emotional conflict for the theoretical physicist. But the Jean Tatlock part in Oppenheimer wasn’t as large as some of the other roles in Nolan’s feature (and it is characterized by numerous nude scenes that have generated some censorship concerns). In an interview conducted before the SAG strike began, Pugh talked about the size of the role, and the fact that Nolan apologized for it when he offered her the part. 

Florence Pugh said:

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, ‘Doesn’t matter. Even if I’m a coffee maker at a cafe in the back of the room, let’s do it.’

You hear that often. Actors so deeply admire a filmmaker with a proven track record (like Christopher Nolan) that they agree to take any role just for the opportunity to collaborate. Florence Pugh is a massive movie star, capable of holding down massive Marvel movies like Thunderbolts, sci-fi epics like Dune: Part II, and dabbling in indie fare such as Zach Braff’s recent A Good Person. So accepting a role in Oppenheimer makes total sense. She just wanted to be part of this A-list ensemble. But Nolan still led the offer with an apology, according to Pugh, as she told MTV:

I remember he apologized about the size of the role, and I was like, ‘Please don’t apologize.’ And then he said, ‘We’ll send you the script, and honestly, you just read it and you decide if it’s, I completely understand the sizing thing.’ And I remember that evening, when I got the script, being like, ‘I know I’m going to do it.’

Smart choice. Oppenheimer is one of Christopher Nolan’s best movies, and no doubt will rank as of of the best movies of 2023, even though we still have a number of exciting movies opening this year, so stay tuned.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.