While Oppenheimer is being lauded for — among many other things — its historical accuracy, one of the film’s most shocking lines was actually improvised on the spot.
According to director Christopher Nolan, veteran character actor James Remar — who is known for his role in films such as The Warriors, 48 Hrs., Drugstore Cowboy, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Blade: Trinity, X-Men: First Class, and more — improvised the line about honeymooning in Kyoto.
Playing Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Remar is reading off a list of potential Japanese targets for the atomic bomb when he decides to cross Kyoto off the list because he and his wife honeymooned there.
“There’s a moment where James Remar… He kept talking to me about how he learned that Stimson and his wife had honeymooned in Kyoto,” Nolan said in a recent interview with the New York Times.
“That was one of the reasons that Stimson took Kyoto off the list to be bombed. I had him crossing the city off the list because of its cultural significance, but I’m like, ‘Just add that.’ It’s a fantastically exciting moment where no one in the room knows how to react.”
Remar is just one of many acclaimed character actors to appear in Oppenheimer, which has made over $400 million at the global box office since hitting theaters on July 12.
The film stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer alongside Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, and Florence Pugh. Additional cast members in the ensemble include Josh Hartnett, Benny Safdie, Jason Clarke, Alden Ehrenreich, David Krumholtz, Kenneth Branagh, Tony Goldwyn, Jack Quaid, Alex Wolff, Gary Oldman, and more.
In addition to its massive box office totals, Oppenheimer is also a hit with critics, as the film is expected to be a major contender at next year’s Academy Awards, including in categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and so on.