Filmmaker Christopher Nolan's Interstellar still has fans talking two weeks after first hitting theaters, with many continuing to overthink the ending. During an interview with The Daily Beast, the filmmaker shed some light on a pivotal scene.
There will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.
One of the biggest surprises for audiences was the reveal that Matt Damon portrays Dr. Mann, one of the original astronauts sent out during the Lazarus missions to find a new home for humanity. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and the rest of the Endurance crew head to Mann's planet because the data from beacon readings were promising, but they come to realize that Mann faked the data so he could be rescued. Mann ultimately attacks Cooper and leaves him to die, leaving to set up "Plan B" on Edmunds' planet.
When asked about Mann's motivations for this actions, Christopher Nolan had this to say.
"It's very straightforward: selfishness and cowardice. It's very human, and I love what Matt did with that; he found the reality of it. It's the kind of sequence where you loathe the guy because he's doing something that you feel you might wind up doing in a similar situation. It's very logical, but the rationalization of it is extraordinary-the way he was able to rationalize his own cowardice into a positive thing. Loneliness and desperation will make us do crazy things."
When asked if Mann had gone crazy on his desolate planet, the filmmaker added more about his state of mind.
"[Mann is] not exactly crazy. It's weirdly logical, but appallingly selfish. The only outcome to the mission for him was [a colony]. I think, and it's something we talked a lot about - and it's something he says in the film - that there was no doubt in his mind that his was going to be the planet, his was going to be the mission. So whatever the risks, he felt very confident. And when he's confronted by the bleak reality of just dying out there alone, it all starts to unravel."
When pressed for more details on the highly-discussed ending, though, Christopher Nolan had this to say.
"No way, man! You're just going to have to go back and see it again. It's there for you to make what you make of it. People do always have radically different interpretations of things I put in there, but I know what I think and I don't like it to have any more validity than the experience you have watching it."
Like most of Christopher Nolan's films, Interstellar certainly requires multiple viewings, as explained in our breakdown of the ending. Thankfully, Paramount announced earlier this week that fans can purchase an "unlimited ticket," which allows viewers to see Interstellar as many times as they want at AMC Theatres.