Christopher Nolan films are known for a number of things. They all have booming scores that are instantly recognizable. Most of them have incredible casts with truly memorable performances. And each has a scale that is on par with anything seen in “Avengers” film. But even with the numerous incredible action scenes in his previous films, Nolan feels like he’s outdone himself for his new film, “Tenet.”
Speaking to Esquire, Nolan and “Tenet” lead John David Washington discussed the intense physical requirements of the action blockbuster and why the actor is perfectly suited for the film and motivated to make it work.
“The film has more action than any film I’ve ever done,” Nolan said. “It has a plethora of action sequences that [John David Washington took] the lead in. So he gets to do all kinds of different things. That athleticism also puts itself into the way he walks down the street and the way he talks and the way he moves.”
Judging by the trailers for the film, along with previous comments by Nolan and his cast, “Tenet” is bound to not only have an abundance of action, but also have a lot of innovative, complicated set pieces. This means that it’s not as simple as an actor learning some choreography or strapping into some wire set-up. As Washington explained, the physical scenes that he took part in were so exhaustive and difficult that there were some days he didn’t know if he would be able to keep going.
“There were some times I couldn’t get up out of bed,” Washington said. “A couple weeks in, I was worried, very concerned I wasn’t going to be able to finish this thing, and I didn’t want to tell anybody because I was like, ‘Oh, I will die for this.’”
Washington knows a thing or two about physicality, as well. Not only is he an accomplished actor, but years prior to his breakout role in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” Washington was a professional football player, signed to the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad in the NFL. And though he’s only acting in “Tenet,” the physical requirements of the role reminded him of his time in football.
He added, “It was like, in the NFL, I felt like I needed to be there every day to keep my job, and I felt the same way about this. This film deserves it. Even if I break something, I am not going to say nothing to nobody until this thing gets done.”
Clearly, everyone involved with “Tenet” is pleased with the work the actor has done. And fans are expected to be able to judge for themselves when the film arrives in theaters on July 17. (That is, if WB keeps it on the schedule.)
Esquire also has some new photos from the film, which you can see below: