Tenet Star Reveals The Unique Way Christopher Nolan Works

tenet elizabeth debicki

Actress Elizabeth Debicki might not be a household name just yet, but she's had quite a few big roles in some big movies and TV shows over the past several years. She's about to hit the screen soon in Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated (and highly mysterious) new film, Tenet, and it turns out that Debicki was really impressed by the unique way that Nolan works on his films.

Christopher Nolan has become known for his big-budget, frequently action-filled, big screen spectaculars which sometimes have plots filled with twists and mysteries galore. But, while the director / writer / producer is one of the go-to filmmakers for fans who want to see something larger than life on screen, Elizabeth Debicki says that all of that world-building doesn't come even remotely easy. Here's what she told Variety about working with the director:

Chris builds everything; he constructs all the imagery piece by piece. He has this ability to make a film that involves complex thinking and yet make it entertaining and accessible. It’s almost got the feel of an indie set because of the precision — Chris works very fast; time and energy are spent on all the right things there. There is nothing superfluous. It was humbling and collaborative and definitely made me stronger as an actor and probably as a person.

If you've seen the trailers for Tenet (Who hasn't tried to pick those small cinematic wonders apart?), it's obvious that audiences will be in for yet another Christopher Nolan experience filled with scenes and ideas that we'll probably still be trying to figure out in a decade. The film's budget is said to have been over $200 million, and according to Elizabeth Debicki, that's due in large part to Nolan's desire to fully create the physical world of the movie, so that every part of it fits his vision to a T.

Of course, this is the type of thing one would expect from a director who's employing tons of CGI in their films, but Nolan has a particular affinity for using practical effects whenever possible, so I can imagine that one of the things Elizabeth Debicki is talking about probably has to do with the director making sure scenes are designed in a way, and locations are chosen and set up in a way, that makes such practical effects easier. I mean, the man blew up a real 747 airplane for Tenet, so he's not afraid to put that budget on the big screen.

Debicki also noted that Christopher Nolan works fast, and knows exactly what to put extra care and attention into, so that no time is wasted. So, even though he usually gets to work with massive budgets for his movies, that doesn't mean he's willing to fritter it all away. Instead, he works like someone who's dealing with a much smaller budget and has to be careful of every penny, which is something I'm sure has endeared him to the studios he's made movies for over the past 20 years.

Elizabeth Debicki in the enigma that is Tenet (which also stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine, Dimple Kapadia, Himesh Patel, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Martin Donovan) will (hopefully) debut on August 12 (hopefully?) at a theater near you. For more on what to watch this year, take a look at our 2020 movie release schedule!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.