Oppenheimer And The Big Bang Theory Share A Small But Significant Connection

In an interview with Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (a publication founded by Albert Einstein, and not one commonly cited on /Film), Nolan name-dropped two of the most respected physicists on the planet as integral advisers to the hard-science aspects of “Oppenheimer”: his old “Interstellar” buddy Thorne and UCLA’s David Saltzberg. Actually, Thorne proved useful as an acting coach of sorts to Cillian Murphy. As Nolan told the Bulletin:

“Kip attended Princeton, among other institutions, and while at Princeton went to seminars at the [Institute for Advanced Studies] under Oppenheimer and actually met him; he actually watched him teach. And so I was able to put Kip on the phone with Cillian — and then he visited the set — to talk about what it was like to watch Oppenheimer manage a group of minds in a seminar, how he would organize a debate, how he would apparently listen to all these different points of view and summarize them very, very efficiently and eloquently, and move the dialogue forward.”

As it turns out, Thorne did more than visit the set of “The Big Bang Theory.” He cameoed as himself in an episode during its final season. As for Saltzberg, he was key to keeping Lorre’s series scientifically accurate wherever possible, which included drawing up complex formulae on whiteboards in the backgrounds of shots.

So whatever you think of “The Big Bang Theory,” know that, when it came to the smart stuff, it was every bit as committed to accuracy as Christopher Nolan. And its egghead characters were probably just as disappointed by “The Dark Knight Rises” as you were (perhaps this was covered in the show; I would have to watch it to know).

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