Who Was the Only Actor Christopher Nolan's Ever Begged to Star in His Movie?

Who Was the Only Actor Christopher Nolan's Ever Begged to Star in His Movie?
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The biggest A-listers are willing to make sacrifices to work with Christopher Nolan — but one time, it was Nolan who had to basically beg this unique actor to join his cast.

Christopher Nolan is one of the most outstanding and acclaimed movie directors of all time, and even the most famous actors are often ready to do anything to get a part in his new film, so he has quite a variety of top-notch resumes to choose from. The director makes great use of this fact, and each movie of his features big names.

The biggest and richest A-listers like Robert Downey Jr. admit that when they received their call from director Nolan they went numb and accepted the offer right away… This enchanting quality of the director’s reputation is what makes him adamant in his decision-making: he never makes a second call if he hears a no.

This is just the way things are when you’re Christopher Nolan — but to every rule, there is an exception, and even Christopher Nolan had to beg an actor once.

“When we were casting The Prestige, we had gotten very stuck on the character of Nikola Tesla. Tesla was this other-worldly, ahead-of-his-time figure, and at some point, it occurred to me he was the original Man Who Fell to Earth. [David Bowie] seemed to be the only actor capable of playing the part. He had that requisite iconic status, and he was a figure as mysterious as Tesla needed to be,” Nolan explained.

The director was delighted to have finally come up with the perfect actor for the role but when he reached out to David Bowie, it appeared that the great singer and actor did not share Christopher Nolan’s enthusiasm. Bowie was not convinced he wanted to be part of the movie, and director Nolan had to plead for him to accept the offer.

“He turned down the part the first time. It was the only time I can ever remember trying again with an actor who passed on me. I petitioned to let me explain why he was the right actor for it. In total honesty, I told him if he didn’t agree to do the part, I had no idea where I would go from there. I would say I begged him,” the director shared.

Eventually, David Bowie gave up and agreed to star in The Prestige, and his Nikola Tesla turned out iconic — exactly the way Christopher Nolan had envisioned him. But not even once since then has the director begged an actor to star in his movie: from that point forward, it was only the other way around, if anything.

Source: Christopher Nolan via EW