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Florence Pugh Says Christopher Nolan ‘Apologized’ for Casting Her in Small ‘Oppenheimer’ Role

There are no small parts, only small actors, according to Florence Pugh.

The Oscar-nominated star revealed to MTV UK in the below video that “Oppenheimer” writer-director Christopher Nolan apologized for offering her a smaller role in the ensemble film. Pugh was cast as J. Robert Oppenheimer’s longtime love, psychiatrist Jean Tatlock.

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“I didn’t really know what was going on or what it was that was being made,” Pugh said of the film. “Except I knew that Chris really, really wanted me to know that it wasn’t a very big role, and he understands if I don’t want to come near it. And I was like, ‘Doesn’t matter. Even if I’m a coffee maker at a cafe in the back of the room, let’s do it.'”

The “Little Women” actress continued, “I remember [Nolan] apologized by the size of the role. I was like, ‘Please don’t apologize.’ And then he said, ‘We’ll send you the script, and honestly, you just read it and decide if it’s like…I completely understand the sizing thing.’ And I remember that evening when I got the script being like, ‘I don’t need to…I know I’m going to do it.'”

The intimate scenes between Pugh’s Tatlock and Cillian Murphy’s Oppenheimer sparked backlash in India for the inclusion of reading the “Bhagavad Gita” mid-sex.

Pugh previously gushed about working with Nolan and called “Oppenheimer” one of the “most thrilling experiences” as an actress. “[Nolan’s] dedication to the craft of filmmaking and old filmmaking is just magical to watch,” she said. “Everybody has so much pride in their own work and so what that does is it means that everybody is constantly trying to be better the next day. And I’ve never seen that feeling on set before.”

The “Don’t Worry Darling” actress added to Radio Times (via Daily Mail) that while “Oppenheimer” is “one of the biggest movies” she’s been a part of, Nolan’s filmmaking approach was “similar to indie movie-making.”

Pugh added, “When I walked on set, I couldn’t believe there was that similar, incredible adrenaline, which I hadn’t felt on a massive movie for a long time. It’s a wonderful thing to inject into a film set — believing in yourself and what you’re making.”

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