Interstellar is just one of those films that will have people questioning why is the NASA space program suspended. Space exploration is beating heart of the visuals in the film, not only does it make out space travel look magnificent, but it also will increase our curiosity as to what is out there waiting for us, and what is on the other side of the universe. Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway both play astronauts who are sent off to explore the other side of a worm hole to find a new inhabitable earth for humans to live on, while Jessica Chastain plays McConaughey’s daughter, who is tasked with overseeing the mission.
The cast talked about their experiences on the set, what it was like to wear a spacesuit, how the relationships of a parent being separated from their child mirrors their own relationship with their children, strong female characters in science fiction, and the rehearsal process. Hit the jump to check it out.
Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, did the space suit present any problems with the emotions?
Matthew McConaughey: The suit was close to only 40 lbs, but a real space suit is close to a 100. SO they did a lot of work on making it as light as possible, so it was easy to maneuver in. You couldn’t break out into a sprint or jump this high. Once you get the suit on, a lot of it, what you could express directly, was from the neck up and sometimes through the mask. For me, it was part of the story that made sense. It was physically more challenging in Iceland, wearing a spacesuit on a glacier.
Hathaway: I don’t feel like it hindered. The first time I put it on, I made up my mind it was my favorite costume I ever worn. I’ve gotten to wear some pretty spectacular ones, but this one was the closest I felt to being a kid on Halloween, if you could stretch out Halloween over several months, and I love that feeling. 40lbs is a lot for me, so it also helped make up my mind that I have to love it, because that helped me move forward.
This is a film with strong female characters, as a father of a daughter, and someone who has to go off and film movies like Interstellar, how did that affect your approach?
McConaughey: My family comes with me. It’s something that I thought about, because Cooper is chasing a dream that was taken from him, and he is sitting there on a farm, and that dream is reintroduced to him, and that question of “what if I did have to go off?” because there will be a time where I will have to go off for a months at a time. That is much more minor situation than we have with Cooper in Interstellar. Chris has a daughter. It was apparent to me that this movie wasn’t about family, this was about parents and children. I think that is obviously the aorta of the film sits. Even if you aren’t parents, you have parents, and you’ve been in those situations where there’s a certain kind of good-bye. Nothing extreme as this, but I think that’s where everyone lynches into – the common denominator that everyone understands.
Has winning the Academy Award changed you?
McConaughey: This is something Chris and I talked about every early on in our approach about being obsessed, and that the job you could be doing could be the last one. Or at least approach it like it is going to be the last one. And that is a great reminder. So I would say, with respect with what’s happened over the last couple of years, I have more obsession over what I am doing at this moment. It could be the last one… I hope it’s not, but it could be.
How did working on the themes of space exploration change your perspective on NASA suspending the space program?
McConaughey: It was something I didn’t consider as much in the vernacular of thinking as we evolve in the new frontier out there, and if it is why? I just didn’t consider it as much. One of the things I got from this film is our expectations have to be greater than ourselves, and the further out there we go, the more we learn it’s about you and me, right here. So it is much more of a tangible idea, obtainable thought. I’m in no way an expert on it. I could have conversations about it now a year before this film. I have a much more four dimensional outlook on where we are going and where we need to look where the new frontier is.
Jessica Chastain: I remember when I was a kid, my first real confrontation with space travel was when the Challenger exploded. I remember how traumatic that was for me, watching on the news and all the children in class were watching and I was very young. So I never imagined that it was something I wanted to do. But I think we as human beings need to conquer our fears and reach beyond our grasps, and I think it’s very important that we don’t become complacent and stagnant. The wonderful thing about being an actress, not necessarily in this film, but I get to act those explorations beyond what I am physically capable of.
Hathaway: Picking up with what Jess[Chastain] just said, one of my first experiences with the space program, was with the memorial built for the Challenger. When I was in seventh grade, my class spent the entire school year preparing to ‘launch’ a space ship all together. We had our different jobs that we had to learn how to do, and we learned the math that you needed, the practical skills, and I thought that was really cool. I think if you could take a tragedy and find the gold in it, then that’s great. I hope that the suspension of the space [shuttle] program is just that, a suspension, and that it’s not the final say in the matter, because I think we need it.”
What do you look for in a script before you say yes to a role?
McConaughey: It’s one of those things – you got me playing Cooper – I read, put a proverbial tack in it, and go, “That better work.” One of the things I didn’t see was the footage beforehand, and I didn’t want to, and I didn’t rehearse, we were going to shoot the first one up. And so then it was about relaxing and receiving. And not planning out. It’s kind of convenient and easy for an actor to go “I really have to do a lot,” and then to say “no I don’t have to do anything, you’re not bound to do anything.”
Interstellar opens in theaters on November 7.