Christopher Nolan Explains His Daughter's Gruesome Role In Oppenheimer

Flora Nolan makes a traumatic cameo appearance in the director's forthcoming film.
Christopher Nolan attends the Oppenheimer UK premiere
Christopher Nolan attends the Oppenheimer UK premiere
Samir Hussein via Getty Images

Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan has explained why his daughter has a particularly gruesome role in the film.

Flora Nolan has filmed a small role in her father’s forthcoming blockbuster, which tells the real-life story of Robert J. Oppenheimer, who is known as “the father of the atomic bomb”.

She plays a girl – credited on IMDB as “Burn Victim” – whose face becomes damaged during an explosion.

A bio of the character describes her as a “young woman who appears to the title character in a hellish, conscience-pricking vision, in which the flesh is flayed from her face by a piercing white light”.

Speaking to The Telegraph about the role, Christopher said: “We needed someone to do that small part of a somewhat experimental and spontaneous sequence. So it was wonderful to just have her sort of roll with it.”

The filmmaker said he didn’t want it to sound like he was Michael Powell on Peeping Tom, the 1960 film where the director’s son was cast as child version of the serial killer.

“Truthfully, I try not to analyse my own intentions,” he said. “But the point is that if you create the ultimate destructive power it will also destroy those who are near and dear to you.

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

Christopher with daughter Flora in 2014
Christopher with daughter Flora in 2014
Ray Tamarra via Getty Images

Full reviews for the movie are still under embargo, but critics’ initial reactions to the film suggest it’s one not to be missed.

Oppenheimer hits UK cinemas on Friday.


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