The Real Scientists in ‘Oppenheimer’

Many of actor Cillian Murphy’s colleagues in the new movie Oppenheimer are real scientists.

The film, which chronicles the father of America’s atomic bomb, was filmed near the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Real nuclear scientists were recruited to pose as background extras in many scenes.

Scientists explained their research to the actors, including Robert Downey Jr., and were consulted on many of the details of the film. Though they weren’t trained actors, it wasn’t too hard, they say.

“As a scientist, I just had to be myself a little bit,” said one scientist.

Stephanie M. Lee interviews these “extras” in the Chronicle of Higher Education. (July 2023)

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