Oppenheimer Was Filmed Around Cillian Murphy’s Haircut

Christopher Nolan believes that J. Robert Oppenheimer was the most important person who ever lived. When questioned by the New York Times on that statement, he said, “Do I genuinely believe it? Absolutely. Because if my worst fears are true, he’ll be the man who destroyed the world. Who’s more important than that?” Which is a pretty grim way to start an interview, even if it is a disturbingly compelling statement. Thankfully, the director didn’t remain quite as foreboding throughout his talk with the outlet.

At one point, Nolan got on the topic of Cillian Murphy — specifically his haircut, which it turns out was more of a concern than anyone would have thought. Nolan is known for his insistence on using practical effects as much as possible, and for trying to capture as much of his movies “in-camera” as he can. It’s the reason we saw a literal semi-truck flipped upside down in “The Dark Knight” and why we saw a real 747 plane crash in “Tenet.” But that fastidiousness when it comes to practical effects apparently extends all the way down to actors’ hairstyles.

As Nolan went on to tell the NYT, “I did insist on scheduling [shooting] around Cillian’s haircut. Because I’m very allergic to wigs in movies. I really wanted the film to not have any obvious artifice when it came to the way characters presented themselves.” Rallying against “obvious artifice” is a good way to describe Nolan’s filmography in general, and it’s interesting to see just how far that insistence on keeping things as real as possible extends.

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