Al Pacino tried to get Christopher Nolan to say hello to his perfect performance.
“Oppenheimer” director Nolan recalled in The Los Angeles Times that during the filming of the 2002 thriller “Insomnia,” Pacino interrupted his direction on the set. “Insomnia” was Nolan’s last R-rated film before the upcoming historical drama “Oppenheimer,” starring Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist behind the atomic bomb.
“I had gone to Pacino after a series of takes and given him a note about what I wanted,” Nolan of “Insomnia” said, continuing, “He said to me, ‘I’ve already done that. He can’t be seen with the naked eye, but I did it in the newspapers ». I looked it up and was like, ‘Oh, my God’, because he was there.
The “Interstellar” director added, “Great movie actors can do that, and that’s what I had with Cillian.”
Nolan looked back on his more than 25-year career, saying, “All the movies I’ve made, in one way or another, are film noir. They are all stories about aftermath. And with ‘Oppenheimer’ the consequences are the fastest to arrive and the most extreme”.
A remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name and Nolan’s first film for Warner Bros., “Insomnia” stars Al Pacino as a homicide detective investigating the murder of a teenage girl in Alaska. Robin Williams also played a crime writer involved in the murder.
And it doesn’t even seem like Pacino’s approach to acting has changed over the course of his half-century filmography. Nolan interviewed Pacino in 2018 and asked the Oscar-winning actor, “How do you strike a balance between script-based discipline and emotional spontaneity?”
Pacino responded at the time: “It depends on the script, but you have to try. In fact, the weirder the thing, the more you try, the more spontaneous you become. It’s the opposite of what people think. Actors who aren’t used to rehearsals will say, “I want to be spontaneous when it comes.” And that’s how most movies do now. There is no time for rehearsals. During rehearsals, you can do different things.