Matt Damon and Emily Blunt on Reuniting in 'Oppenheimer' and Why the Set Felt Like Summer Camp (Exclusive)

Christopher Nolan's new film, about the invention of the atomic bomb, is in theaters July 21.

Twelve years after starring together in The Adjustment Bureau, Emily Blunt and Matt Damon are reuniting in Oppenheimer, director Christopher Nolan's new epic, which stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who led the Manhattan Project during World War II and is often credited as "the father of the atomic bomb."

Oppenheimer's life and work was full of complex characters, and Nolan has assembled a star-studded cast to tell the complicated story. Blunt stars as Katherine "Kitty" Oppenheimer, who was a German-American biologist and botanist and a member of the Communist Party of America, in addition to being Oppenheimer's wife. Damon plays Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves Jr., the Army Corps of Engineers officer who directed the Manhattan Project for the government.

Both stars told ET's Rachel Smith how excited they were to work together again -- though they don't share much screen time -- particularly on a Nolan film.

"I mean, he is such a groundbreaking, extraordinary director -- I would have done one scene. I mean, I would have done anything," Blunt raved. "I think everyone felt that. You see all the cast that are in this movie and there's the huge, vast, ranging number of actors who showed up for him. It's just a testament to him and the kind of excellence he demands. People want to be a part of that. It's fun for us to be around it."

"Nobody says this out loud, but everybody feels lucky to be there," Damon agreed. "You're a part of a great director's vision, so it's very exciting."

Cultivating the on-set camaraderie came fairly easy, the pair explained, as the majority of the shoot was in a remote area of New Mexico -- meaning the cast and crew all stayed at the same hotel and ate at the same restaurant for each meal, leading to something of a "summer camp" atmosphere.

"We had dinner every night," Damon recalled, with Blunt reminiscing, "So many margaritas." 

"It was like the dining hall, you'd go in and you'd see everybody and so everyone would just end up sitting together," Damon added. "It always helps when you're kind of immersed with the cast."

The actors also had nothing but praise for their experience working with Nolan, detailing how the director first presented them with the Oppenheimer script in person, leery of sharing it digitally. 

"It was heart-racing, it was emotional," Blunt said of her first read. "This is not a dusty old biopic, this is like a bone-shattering experience, and it felt like that even when reading the script. You discover so much about the man and it's not about the science of it, it's about the trauma of living with a brain like that. What does that feel like? And what were his relationships? What was his life? It's so much more than just an account of what happened in his life."

Oppenheimer is in theaters July 21.


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