How Christopher Nolan And His Batman-Themed Office Contributed To One Of 'The Happiest Moments' Of John David Washington's Life

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Following his turn as Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, John David Washington scored the opportunity to work with director Christopher Nolan on his latest movie, Tenet. For more than two decades now, Nolan has been one of Hollywood’s most famous filmmakers, from his time putting a unique stamp on Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy to delivering the epic space adventure known as Interstellar. Well, as it turns out, Nolan keeps mementos (pun intended) to commemorate working on these movies, and this resulted in one of the happiest moments of Washington’s life.

John David Washington recently stopped by Rolling Stone’s First Time show to talk about his career, and one of the topics covered was his first time reading Tenet. Washington started off by talking about when he walked into Christopher Nolan’s office for the first time, saying:

I remember going to [Nolan’s] office [and seeing] all the Interstellar posters and Batman figures. It was like I was in his lair. It was amazing. I felt like I was behind the curtain of Oz.

Christopher Nolan may not have a cell phone or use email, but clearly he doesn’t take office decoration lightly. No doubt many of you reading this are a fan of at least one of Nolan’s movies, if not many of them. So John David Washington wouldn’t be alone reacting with glee to the director’s decor. And unlike the Wizard of Oz, I’m pretty sure Nolan wouldn’t hide behind a curtain while visitors to his office gazed at his Interstellar posters, Batman figures and other adornments spotlighting his career.

But one doesn’t stop by Christopher Nolan’s office to simply shoot the breeze. After geeking out, John David Washington sat down to read the Tenet script, and he described the experience thusly:

I kept turning the pages back and forth. I couldn’t understand how he was going to pull this off. And I wanted to make sure I understood what I was reading. I did not, until later. That was one of the happiest moments ever in my life. Just in that moment, reading a Christopher Nolan script.

John David Washington starred in Tenet as The Protagonist, a CIA agent who's recruited to help prevent an attack on the world from the future by learning how to control the flow of time. Christopher Nolan has never been one to shy away from exploring time in his movies, but needless to say that Tenet took that aspect of his filmmaking to a whole new level. Washington was joined by Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine, among others.

Tenet was the first tentpole picture to open after the COVID-19 pandemic initially shut movie theaters down. While Christopher Nolan’s newest feature earned a fair amount of positive reception, it understandably didn’t commercially perform as well as it would have during normal times, making only a little over $363 million worldwide off a reported $200 million budget. Tenet arrived on home media last December, and it’ll hit HBO Max on May 1, so make sure you’re subscribed to the streaming service if you want to catch the movie’s streaming debut.

As for John David Washington, his most recent movie, Malcom & Marie, is playing on Netflix, and he’ll next appear in the thriller Beckett and David O. Russell’s yet-to-be-titled film. Don’t forget to learn what other movies are coming out this year with our upcoming 2021 movies guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.