Why Casey Affleck's Interstellar Character Is A Jerk, Explained In 79 Words

After watching Interstellar, one name is firmly planted in your brain: Murph. Mathew McConaughey’s Cooper was so pre-occupied with his daughter that it’s easy to forget that he also had another child in Casey Affleck’s -- um, now what was his name? Tom. Yeah, that’s it, Tom Cooper. To ram home just how often Murph's name comes up in Interstellar, especially in comparison to her brother's, the folks at Screen Junkies re-watched Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic and counted the exact number of times it was uttered.

With Murph winning by a final score of 79-19, it’s no wonder that Tom Cooper ultimately turned into a huge jerk. I'm sure he was just doing it to get a little attention. In fact, I’m surprised that he actually went along with Murph’s explanation at the end of Interstellar, that their father used gravitational waves to encode TARS’ data onto the second hand of the watch via morse code. Just typing that out instantly reminded me of how far-fetched it was.

Portrayed by Timotee Chalamet when he is between 15 and 17 years old, and Casey Affleck when he is in his 30s, Tom Cooper is overlooked throughout Interstellar in favour of his younger sister. This is despite the fact that he does the honorable thing and takes over responsibility of the farm when his father leaves behind his family to try to find another planet that might possibly be habitable.

After Cooper’s departure, and the death of John Lithgow’s Donald, Tom is left on his own at the creepy, dust-filled abode when Murph gets a job working for NASA assisting Brand (Michael Caine) in his attempts to solve his gravity equation. As she’s off calculating sums with Brand in the top-secret, and undoubtedly cool NASA headquarters, Tom’s life goes from bad to worse.

His second child dies because of the global degredation, and he becomes increasingly stubborn. In fact, even when Topher Grace’s Getty (Murph’s boyfriend and a trained doctor) diagnoses both Tom’s wife and first child with a respiratory illness that has been caused by the dust storms, he still persists with his own agenda. Tom doesn’t allow them to leave the farm, and Murph is only able to distract him by burning a section of his precious crop, which allows enough time for Getty to get Lois and Jesse into his van.

Of course, that plan takes a back seat when Murph finally finds the communication from their father, which once again proves that Tom is a total dick, and she is a hero. At least Tom isn't as evil as Matt Damon’s Dr. Mann.

Gregory Wakeman