For Hollywood stars, high-profile negotiations about big-name projects are par for the course, but Matt Damon explained he got everything he wanted for Oppenheimer from a particularly tough opponent: his wife.
In an Entertainment Weekly roundtable interview with Christopher Nolan and his Oppenheimer costars Robert Downey Jr., Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt, Damon admitted he and his wife, Luciana, were attending couple’s therapy, where she “negotiated extensively” a need for him to take time off to spend with their family.
Damon agreed with one key provision: If director Nolan wanted him for anything, he would do it no matter what it is.
He added, “I had been in Interstellar, and then Chris put me on ice for a couple of movies, so I wasn’t in the rotation,” Matt explained.
“[T]he one caveat to my taking time off was if Chris Nolan called,” Damon said. “This is without knowing whether or not he was working on anything, because he never tells you. He just calls you out of the blue. And so, it was a moment in my household.”
Damon appears in the film as General Leslie Groves, the military’s leader of The Manhattan Project, which shepherded Oppenheimer’s creation of the atomic bomb.
Murphy, a veteran of many Nolan films including Inception and two of the filmmaker’s Dark Knight trilogy installments, also says he was called “out of the blue” by Nolan for the title role as J. Robert Oppenheimer.
For his part, Downey says it was a “slower courtship process” for him to play Energy Secretary Lewis Strauss because Nolan “knew for sure I was gonna say yes no matter what.”
Oppenheimer opens Friday, July 21.
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