Kenneth Branagh Compared Reading The ‘Tenet’ Script To Doing A Crossword Puzzle

The Playlist, 9 June 2020
By Charles Barfield

Going into a Christopher Nolan film, especially ones like “Interstellar,” “Inception,” and the upcoming “Tenet,” audiences expect their perceptions of how things are to be altered. The laws of physics will be inverted or bent. (Pseudo-)Science will be spouted and explained in exposition. And honestly, you just hold tight as the plot moves forward and hope you can keep up. And apparently, that same level of surprise and confusion extends to the actors working on the films, themselves.

Speaking to Total Film (via SYFY), Kenneth Branagh, who co-stars in “Tenet,” explained that reading the script for Nolan’s latest was akin to working on a difficult crossword puzzle, resulting in multiple re-reads just to understand what was going on.

“I kid you not, I read this screenplay more times than I have ever read any other thing I have ever worked on,” Branagh explained. “It was like doing the Times crossword puzzle every day, I would imagine. Except the film and the screenplay didn’t expect you, or need you, to be an expert.”

He added, “In the playing of it, and in the scenes, he keeps upturning, or playing forward and backward, our expectations of what the character should be. So my conversations with [Nolan] about my character were constant, because the character’s evolution was not set. It was a series of constant surprises.”

The fact that Branagh was confused makes sense, given the trailers for the film have yet to fully be able to explain what “Tenet” is actually about. Sure, it’s obvious that a group of good guys is attempting to stop World War III, but then time is doing backward stuff and there are mysteries upon mysteries. It’s exciting for someone that hates to get things spoiled in the trailers and marketing but could be bad news if the film is actually not able to help convey the information in a better way.

Of course, we won’t find out how well “Tenet” tells its story or if audiences will leave confounded themselves until the film arrives in theaters (maybe) on July 17.

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