Christopher Nolan Gave Al Pacino an Acting Note. Pacino Told Him to Watch the Dailies: ‘I’ve Already Done That. You Can’t See It to the Eye’

Christopher Nolan said in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times that he did not realize the magnitude of Cillian Murphy’s leading performance in “Oppenheimer” until he started watching the film back in his editing suite during post-production. Murphy headlines the atomic bomb epic as theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.

As Nolan put it: “The performance became all-enveloping when I realized Cillian had so much more going on than [what] I saw on set.”

Nolan’s experience with Murphy’s performance recalled his work with Al Pacino during the making of his 2002 psychological thriller “Insomnia.” Based on the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name from directors Nikolaj Frobenius and Erik Skjoldbjærg, “Insomnia” stars Pacino as a detective thrust into a cat-and-mouse game with a killer (Robin Williams) in Nightmute, Alaska, where its always daylight. The film was Nolan’s first for Warner Bros. and marked his jump into studio filmmaking after his breakout “Memento.” It’s still the only Nolan-directed picture that Nolan did not write or co-write.

“I had gone up to Pacino after a series of takes and given him a note on what I wanted,” Nolan remembered. “He told me, ‘I’ve already done that. You can’t see it to the eye, but I’ve done it on the dailies.’ I looked for it and I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ because there it was. Great film actors can do that, and that’s what I had with Cillian.”

In the cases of both Pacino and Cillian, Nolan’s eye could not pick up the details of their performances on set. Only when watching the footage back could the director fully understand their acting.

“Insomnia” was a box office hit for Warner Bros., grossing $113 million worldwide, and it led Nolan to making a studio home that lasted for over a decade. The success of “Insomnia” also opened the door for Nolan to take a stab at Warner Bros. IP, which is how “Batman Begins” got off the ground.

“Oppenheimer” opens in theaters July 21 from Universal Pictures.

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article