Inception star Cillian Murphy reflects on his exciting first day on the set of the Christopher Nolan film, which included a massive practical effects rig. Released in 2010, Nolan’s mind-bending thriller stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb, a thief who uses dream-sharing technology to undertake a mission that will finally reunite him with his children. Murphy stars in the movie as Robert Fischer, Cobb’s target, with the project serving as the third time Murphy and Nolan have collaborated.
In a recent interview with BBC Radio 1, Murphy takes a look back at the big movies of his career, reflecting on one memorable Inception filming experience.
As the actor recalls, he filmed one of his most involved and important scenes on the first day, which included a tilting set. Check out Murphy’s full comment below:
Relatively early on his career, Nolan became known as a filmmaker who highly valued practical effects and a more old-school style of filmmaking. The director’s love of practical action is on clear display in his Dark Knight trilogy, and has only become more legendary with each passing film. Oppenheimer, his latest release, even recreates a nuclear explosion with no CGI, with practical elements layered with VFX to create the blast.
Nolan takes this same approach with Inception, with much of the film’s action standing the test of time because of the more old-school way in which it was captured. While certain sequences in the film do rely on VFX, many are impressively real, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hallway fight, for example, being filmed inside a constructed hallway that could rotate 360 degrees.
The practical action in the movie compliments a genuinely novel idea, with the notion of a dream heist being something that is truly original. That’s not to mention the fact that Inception’s ending scene is deliciously ambiguous, generating conversations and theories that persist to this day. While Inception has ebbed and flowed in terms of its position in Nolan’s larger filmography, the film remains a testament to the director’s vision and talent, and Murphy’s latest recollection further speaks to the impact the filmmaker’s approach has on the actors involved.