Listen, Kenneth Branagh Isn’t Sure How to Describe ‘Tenet’ Either

     June 8, 2020

And now for the latest entry in what is quickly becoming an ongoing series: The Cast of Tenet Does Not Know What Tenet Is About. Today’s story comes to you from a conversation with Kenneth Branagh, who told Total Film [via Syfy] that sometimes you may think he’s playing the antagonist, other times you may not, and it all kind of depends on what direction Christopher Nolan‘s script is heading in that particular moment.

Yeah, here’s exactly what the actor said:


Image via Warner Bros.

“Given the nature of it, as Chris to some extent sort of reinvents the wheel here, a lot of people start engaging with John David Washington’s character in both expected ways … so you might expect me to be an antagonist … but then [the story] doesn’t quite follow what you might expect as the story plays out.”

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,” Branagh said. “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.”

Tenet stars John David Washington (BlackKklansman) as a man embroiled in international espionage that is, somehow, not playing out in a linear fashion. It’s not time travel, per se, but time “inversion”, which is more like rewinding and will at some point involve Robert Pattinson deciding to blow up a whole damn plane.

There’s a lot of moving parts to Tenet, so it’s no surprise Branagh notes that reading the script was an experience all its own.

“I kid you not, I read this screenplay more times than I have ever read any other thing I have ever worked on,” Branagh said. “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.”

For more on Tenet, here is the latest TV spot. The film—which also stars Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, and Michael Caine—is still slated to hit theaters on July 17.

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