Elizabeth Debicki is quickly proving to be one of the best actresses working today. From her supporting roles in films like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” to more lead roles in films such as the recent “Widows,” the actress is definitely a commanding presence on screen. (She’s also great in “The Night Manager” TV series.) And this is something that was obvious to Christopher Nolan, when he was casting “Tenet.” Unfortunately, Debicki’s skills on screen were so good, it almost pulled her out of contention for the action epic.
Speaking to Variety, Nolan talked about how great Debicki is and why she was cast in one of the many mysterious roles in “Tenet.” However, he also explained that her work in “Widows,” where she plays the wife of a criminal who then ventures into a life of crime of her own (and who happens to be American, allowing the actress to shed her British accent), made her seem like the completely wrong character for his film. Lucky for him (and audiences), Debicki is a committed actress and a motivated go-getter.
“I was looking for a very, very British characterization, an English Rose kind of character,” Nolan said, revealing that he thought Debicki was American based on her work in “Widows.”
He added, “Elizabeth’s one of these great actors who, when they’re brought to your attention, you realize you’ve seen them in a lot of things but not realized it’s the same person. For somebody as striking and interesting to look at as she is, the idea she has a chameleon-like ability speaks volumes to her skills as an actor.”
Finally, after much persistence (Nolan admitted that he “certainly wasn’t asking”), Debicki landed an audition. And from there, the choice was clear.
“And she came in and just blew everybody away,” the filmmaker revealed. “In my mind, she was only confirming what I already knew. What she did with it is far beyond my hopes even.”
It’s unclear what Debicki’s real role and character motivations are in “Tenet.” That’s because there’s really no clear idea what “Tenet” is actually about. Something about espionage, big explosions, time manipulation, and the word “tenet.” That’s just about everything we know about Nolan’s new feature. However, what is being reported is that Debicki plays the wife to the presumed villain (Kenneth Branagh).
The rest of the film, and why Nolan was blown away by Debicki, is going to be waiting for us to witness when “Tenet” arrives in theaters on August 12. That is, if the film actually hits theaters then and doesn’t get delayed again.