Kenneth Branagh has been a movie actor, stage artist and filmmaker of considerable repute for some time. The guy knows a thing or two about movie making, is what we’re saying. Which makes his admiration for his current director, Christopher Nolan, for the movie Tenet, all the more heartwarming. In a recent interview with Collider, Branagh revealed that the high level of secrecy maintained by actors around a Nolan movie is a result of the director’s honor-based system of working rather than any NDA-style documents signing.
“With Christopher Nolan, in a very old-fashioned way, it’s like a handshake. I’ll tell you how I got the script. The door knocked, I opened the door and standing at the door was an international film director called Chris Nolan. He had an envelope under his arm and he said ‘I’ve come to deliver the script to you.’ It doesn’t get more personal than that. And then [I asked], ‘how will we talk about this?’ [Nolan said], “24 hours from now, sir, I will give you a telephone call and we will discuss it.” It’s as simple as that. He says, “it’d be nice if we maybe kept this to ourselves”…nobody signs anything. It’s a handshake and a level of trust.”
Nolan and Kenneth Branagh have already worked together on the movie Dunkirk. Nolan is well known for preferring to work again and again with certain actors that gel well with his sensibilities, like Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine. Branagh could well be the latest actor to join the list. And he certainly respects the filmmaker enough to consider a Nolan script the biggest priority while working on his movies.
“It’s a loaded thing. When there are new scripts, I run to Chris’ associate producer, Andy [Thompson], who will take from me either my script or replace the pages that are changed. But I don’t ever want to have a script that isn’t locked in my bag. Like on an airplane, if you’re traveling to a location and you’re reading it…frankly, on a Nolan film, you think about that before your passport. It’ll be fine if they don’t let me into Estonia, but if they do let me into Estonia and I don’t have the script for Tenet, I’m done. It’s over.”
In Tenet, Branagh plays the role of a Russian agent who can communicate with the future. The core premise of the movie revolves around the attempts of international spies, led by John David Washinton and Robert Pattinson, to prevent armageddon with the help of a new piece of technology that allows for time inversion, or the reversing of cause and effect in small pockets of time.
Like any Nolan movie, Tenet is highly anticipated. While the makers are determined to release the film in theaters, they recently postponed the date of release to July 31. In the run-up to the opening, Warner Bros. will be re-releasing Inception in theaters on the date of its tenth anniversary, on July 17. Collider was the first to generate these quotes and present them on the internet.
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