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Robert Pattinson did 'tons and tons' of stunt driving in Tenet with only one day of training

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Jun 22, 2020

The Batman and Tenet actor Robert Pattinson is a notorious oddball when it comes to interviews, but the latest insight he's given to working on director Christopher Nolan's latest is one of the most surprising reveals he's given fans yet. Not much is known about the upcoming sci-fi film, aside from time "inversion" that sees plenty of activity (from gunshots to car chases) running in reverse. Now Tenet-heads know a few more things about the movie: the name of Pattinson's character and the fact that he performed his driving stunts with a single day of prep.

But first things first: Who is this guy? "We think he may be called Neil," Nolan told EW. "You never really quite know what's going on with these identities." Great. MAYBE Neil. Whatever his name is, Pattinson is playing a "slightly rascally character who operates within what they refer to as this twilight world of operatives in different secret services." "Slightly rascally" is a good way to describe the actor himself, who jumps to offer up the fact that for the car chase the production shot in Estonia, he did his stunt driving after one day of training.

"It's funny, I did one day's training for the stunt driving. I thought that I wasn't going to be doing any stunt driving in it, but then I ended up doing tons and tons," Pattinson said. "I remember doing one sequence where me and John David [Washington] are in a BMW with an IMAX camera rigged on the hood, which means you can't see anything through the windscreen, basically. And also, if you turn even slightly too much to the left or right, the rig hits the road, which is kind of terrifying. John David's turning to me and saying, ‘Are you, like, a stunt driver or something? Have you rehearsed this?' Under normal circumstances you wouldn't really be allowed to do this. But Chris has so much control over the set, you get to do the actual fun stuff, which normally would be reserved for experts and not people who can't even parallel park."

Who needs a stunt team anyway, when you've got The Fast and the Furious: Gotham Drift over here? Nolan had a rebuttal, of course, because there's no way that Pattinson's version of events could be regarded as safe film production operations.

"Rob is being typically cheeky and self-deprecating," the filmmaker explained. "His day of 'stunt training' was actually a day of ability assessment by our stunt team, who found him to be an excellent driver more than capable of safely performing the required shots, none of which, for the record, were as difficult as parallel parking." Parallel parking is still tough, Nolan! Especially if the director of The Dark Knight is filming you do it.

Tenet plans to welcome fans back to theaters — if the coronavirus can indeed be safely navigated — on July 31.

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