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Christopher Nolan defends casting daughter as girl who gets blown up in Oppenheimer's nuclear explosion

Christopher Nolan defends casting daughter as girl who gets blown up in Oppenheimer's nuclear explosion

The director cast his eldest child to have her face 'ripped off' in Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan has defended an interesting casting decision in one of the most anticipated films of the year.

Oppenheimer finally hits cinemas this Friday (21 July) - with many people and things quite literally taking a real hit throughout the blockbuster.

The filmmaker’s daughter actually took time out of college to play a special role; having her face blown off during a nuclear explosion.

Premiering on the same day as Greta Gerwig's Barbie, Nolan’s film tells the story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy, and his role in developing the atomic bomb which was used in World War II - for which he became titled as the ‘father of the atomic bomb’.

Christopher Nolan is the man behind the Oppenheimer film.
Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

And among the likes of Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh, the director’s eldest child Flora, 22, spent a week on set of the film with his wife, Emma Thomas.

Nolan told The Telegraph that while she was visiting, he asked her if she’d take part in a still vacant role - a young woman whose skin is ripped from her face by a white light coming off of a nuclear explosion.

"We needed someone to do that small part of a somewhat experimental and spontaneous sequence,” he said, adding: "So it was wonderful to just have her sort of roll with it.”

The 52-year-old does acknowledge it’s a bit of an odd role to cast his own child in, saying it was more of a spur-of-the-moment than a calculated decision as he added: “Truthfully, I try not to analyse my own intentions.”

Nolan continued: “But the point is that if you create the ultimate destructive power it will also destroy those who are near and dear to you.

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Universal Pictures

“I suppose this was my way of expressing that in what, to me, were the strongest possible terms.”

Nolan and Thomas also share three other children; Magnus, Oliver and Rory. They have each made appearances of some kind in at least one of their father’s films.

Flora played ‘girl on the truck’ in Interstellar, Magnus was the child James Cobb in Inception, Oliver made an uncredited appearance portraying Jess Borden as a baby in The Prestige and Rory appeared in both The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar.

Nolan explained also how an early draft of the new film in 2021 had one of his sons unconvinced there was need to worry about things like nuclear bombs anymore.

“My response at the time was to think, ‘Well, you probably should,’ and that became a reason for me to make the film,” he said.

Flora is actually credit on IMDb as ‘Burn Victim’ for her appearance in the movie.

Featured Image Credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/Universal

Topics: Celebrity, TV and Film, Christopher Nolan