Tenet Actor Marvels At How So Much In Christopher Nolan's Movies Is Not CGI

Himish Patel in Yesterday

Tenet is going to be the death of us all. If you're a big fan of Christopher Nolan movies then you've been waiting for the surreal-looking film for months and every time it looks like we might finally get it, it gets snatched away again. While the decision to delay the release of Tenet yet again may be the right one from a global health perspective, it doesn't make the decision any less aggravating, especially as actor Himesh Patel is teasing us with what to expect when we do finally see it.

Himesh Patel made his Hollywood debut in the Danny Boyle Beatles-inspired film Yesterday, but he's going to make his big leap to the blockbuster scene at whatever point Christopher Nolan's Tenet sees the light of day. Based on his comments to GQ, he clearly had an amazing time making the movie, and we're destined to be just as blown away by everything as the actor says that very nearly everything that we will see in the movie was done practically and without CGI. According to Patel...

To work with someone like Chris and the brilliant actors in the film, to be involved in some big scale stuff, was thrilling. The scale of it is just incomprehensible and then when you find out that it's all been done in camera - there’s maybe a tiny bit of CGI in his movies - it’s mind blowing. Even the stuff that you think is impossible to encounter, like a lot of the stuff in Interstellar was all done in camera. I don't understand how they even do that, but he finds a way. And that means that the whole crew is part of these huge stunts that he pulls off - like the thing you would have seen in the trailer with the plane. That was an actual plane that production had to buy to blow up!

Blowing up a plane onset is honestly about the simplest thing to do out of everything that can be glimpsed in the trailers for Tenet. At least it's simple enough to understand just how that was done. Tenet is clearly doing some unusual things with time, based on what we've seen, and that's where some of the visuals would seem to be a bit more complicated. As Himesh Patel says here, we're probably seeing some digital effects work to make it all look real, but perhaps not near as much as we might think.

At this point, digital post-production is standard procedure for all movies and as such taking care of effects digitally is largely the simpler, and cheaper, way to get it all done. Of course, Christopher Nolan is as focused on the process of filmmaking as much as he is making sure the final product is what he wants, and so frequently he goes above and beyond to not simply make sure something works, but to make sure it's done in a way that best serves the theatrical process.

He cares so much about film as a medium that one of the major reasons that Tenet hasn't been released digitally after multiple delays is simply that Christopher Nolan is dedicated to the traditional theatrical experience. I certainly can't wait to see Tenet just as Nolan intended, if and when that ever becomes possible again.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.