Christopher Nolan revealed on “The Rich Eisen Show” during his “Oppenheimer” press tour that he considers “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” to be one of the “great comedies,” which may come as a surprise to anyone who assumed the Oscar-nominated filmmaker is as brooding and cold as some of his films are. Eisen asked Nolan to name his favorite “remote drops,” referring to films that you just have’t watch any time you’re scrolling through TV channels and see it’s airing.
“I mean, god, anything by [Stanley] Kubrick, you know? It’s a remote drop,” said Nolan. “And some of the great comedies too, I mean ‘Talladega Nights,’ I’m never gonna be able to switch that up.”
“‘The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’ is a Christopher Nolan mic drop movie?” Eisen asked.
“If you ain’t first you’re last,” replied Nolan, referring to Will Ferrel’s famous catchphrase from the 2006 comedy about the rise and fall and rise again of a race car driver. Ferrell starred in the Adam McKay-directed comedy opposite John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole and Michael Clarke Duncan. The film $163 million at the worldwide box office.
“Talladega Nights” is a more surprising “remote drop” pick for Nolan than Kubrick films, as Nolan has been an outspoken Kubrick super-fan for the majority of his career. He often cites Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” as one of the greatest films ever made and even helped restore a film print of the epic a few years ago.
“I just felt this extraordinary experience of being taken to another world,” Nolan once told Entertainment Weekly about the film. “You didn’t doubt this world for an instant. It had a larger than life quality.”
Nolan is currently basking in the success of “Oppenheimer,” his atomic bomb drama starring Cillian Murphy that has earned nearly $650 million and counting at the worldwide box office. The film will easily cross the $700 million mark in the coming days, a staggering accomplishment for a three-hour biographical drama that’s rated R.