Steve McQueen’s 2018 heist-thriller Widows earned $76 million at the box office on a $42 budget, so while it was “technically” a success, it should have made a lot more. Widows rules. Look at the cast alone: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Garret Dillahunt, Jon Bernthal, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Debicki, who was so good in the movie that it almost prevented her from being cast in Tenet.
In the Chicago-set Widows, Debicki plays one of the titular widows after her bank-robber husband is killed; the actress is Australian, while her character is American. Her accent was so convincing that according to Variety, “Debicki was almost too good an actor for Nolan to consider… Having seen her work in Widows, he assumed she was American”:
“I was looking for a very, very British characterization, an English Rose kind of character,” Nolan reveals. So when Emma Thomas, Nolan’s wife and producing partner, suggested Debicki, she had to inform him the actor wasn’t from the States. “Elizabeth’s one of these great actors who, when they’re brought to your attention, you realize you’ve seen them in a lot of things but not realized it’s the same person,” he says.
The moral of the story here is: if you want to be in a Christopher Nolan movie, be good at acting, but don’t be too convincing. Tenet is scheduled to come out on August 12.