Christopher Nolan Cast His Daughter in ‘Oppenheimer’ as a Girl Who Gets Blown Up in Nuclear Explosion

Christopher Nolan cast his eldest daughter in a gruesome role for his forthcoming feature “Oppenheimer.”

Speaking with the Telegraph, Nolan revealed that his daughter, Flora, visited the “Oppenheimer” set, alongside his wife and producer Emma Thomas, while the film was still in production. Nolan then had the idea to cast Flora in a then-open role: a nameless young woman who has her face damaged by a nuclear explosion in a sequence within the main character’s mind.

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

Nolan recognized the peculiarity of the casting, revealing that it was a decision that came quickly and one that was not premeditated: “Truthfully, I try not to analyze my own intentions.”

He explained that the casting further illustrates the theme of “Oppenheimer” at large: “But the point is that if you create the ultimate destructive power it will also destroy those who are near and dear to you. I suppose this was my way of expressing that in what, to me, were the strongest possible terms.”

Nolan also joked that the casting somewhat resembled a role in Michael Powell’s 1960 horror classic “Peeping Tom,” in which the English director cast his young son as the childhood version of a serial killer.

“Oppenheimer” explores the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II, an effort spearheaded by J. Robert Oppenheimer and the U.S. military. The epic-length feature sports an all-star cast including Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr., amongst others. Universal Pictures is releasing the film to theaters on July 21.

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