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Oppenheimer is the first Christopher Nolan movie to have sex scenes and that made him nervous - Here's why

Oppenheimer was the first movie in Christopher Nolan’s career to get an R rating. 

Oppenheimer is the first Christopher Nolan movie to have sex scenes and that made him nervous - Here's why
Oppenheimer was a film of many firsts for Christopher Nolan

Last Updated: 03.57 PM, Jun 01, 2024


Whether you agree or not, even with the biggest names from across the globe marking their attendance with their movies, the year 2023 belonged to the tug of war between Barbie and Oppenheimer. The ambitious Christopher Nolan film, which brought in close to a billion dollars, was the talk of the town for a year, and it seems like the buzz is still very strong. Who would have thought that the first Nolan movie you watched after a pandemic would be a biopic? Well, this was a movie of many firsts for the filmmaker, including his first R-rated movie. Why the R-rating? Some sexuality, nudity, and language. Moreover, the intimate scene between Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh, which happens to be the first time Nolan directed a sex scene, was a notable factor.

Christopher Nolan Directed His First Ever Sex Scene

Yes, you read that right. A filmmaker with a resume as illustrious as Christopher Nolan, with films like The Dark Knight, Interstellar, and many others, never had an intimate scene in his movies before the film about the Father of the Atomic Bomb, Oppenheimer. This means the filmmaker was entering alien waters. As he has self-confessed, he was indeed very nervous before including those scenes. Read on to learn everything about this interesting trivia.


The scene in question is where Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy, gets intimate with Jean Tatlock, played by Florence Pugh. The visual nature of the scene was quite raw and very interesting. “Any time you’re challenging yourself to work in areas you haven’t worked in before, you should be appropriately nervous and appropriately careful and planned and prepared,” Nolan told Insider when he was asked about directing his first intimate scene.

Christopher Nolan Explains

Christopher Nolan explained why he felt the need to have the two characters share an intimate moment on screen and why he thought it was okay to finally include a sex scene in his film. He wanted to show that their romance transcended politics and that there was so much passion involved. “When you look at Oppenheimer’s life and you look at his story, that aspect of his life, the aspect of his sexuality, his way with women, the charm that he exuded, it’s an essential part of his story,” Nolan said.

The director added, “It felt very important to understand their relationship and to really see inside it and understand what made it tick without being coy or allusive about it—but to try to be intimate, to try and be in there with him and fully understand the relationship that was so important to him.”

Oppenheimer is now streaming on ZEE5 on rent, and you can watch it with your OTTplay Premium subscription. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else in the world of streaming and films.

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