Elizabeth Debicki Q&A / Tenet
Everything about Elizabeth Debicki is striking: her talent, her beauty, and her height. Her willowy, 6’3″ frame has become one of the defining features of this brilliant young actress who first burst onto the scene with her portrayal of the socialite/golfer Jordan Baker in Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film, The Great Gatsby. But it was her commanding presence in the 2016 AMC six-part TV adaptation of John Le Carré’s The Night Manager – as the enigmatic mistress Jed to Hugh Laurie’s Richard Roper – that established her as a rising Hollywood star.
Now she’s about to be seen in Christopher Nolan’s TENET, the sci-fi action thriller that could well be the summer blockbuster that helps revive a film industry left reeling from the coronavirus lockdown. The highly anticipated $200 million epic, originally slated to open in July, is on target for an August 26th worldwide release date – with the exception of the U.S., where it opens on Sept. 3rd.
Debicki occupies the female lead in an ensemble cast that includes Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, Kenneth Branagh, Martin Donovan, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, and Michael Caine. She plays the estranged wife of Branagh’s Russian Oligarch character whom Nolan (Dunkirk, Inception, Interstellar) reveals “gets herself into a very tricky situation” in a high-octane story filmed in seven different countries over the course an arduous eight month shooting schedule.
“Chris (Nolan) builds everything; he constructs all the imagery piece by piece,” Debicki explains. “He has this ability to make a film that involves complex thinking and yet make it entertaining and accessible. It’s almost got the feel of an indie set because of the precision. Chris works very fast. Time and energy are spent on all the right things – there is nothing superfluous. It was a collaborative [experience] and definitely made me stronger as an actor and probably as a person…”