The cast of Interstellar on climate change, the future and aliens

“Get out there and save the world,” Michael Caine tells Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar – but is it too late for humanity?

In an interview with The Guardian, the stars of Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming sci-fi talk about everything from climate change to aliens and our place in the universe. Leaning heavily on the scientific aspect, it promises to deliver a heady mix of hard science-fiction and human drama.

“For us to take action, we have to have some kind of personal stake in it,” McConaughey suggests. Interstellar is expected to put the wind up all of us, with the emotional story of a widowed father leaving his children behind on Earth, while he searches for a new home in the stars, where the ravages of climate change will not be felt.

“You have to wait until their backs are up against the wall, but people do do the right thing,” says a cheerful Anne Hathaway, on the potential demise of the human race. She finds “tremendous hope and faith” in our ability to survive and take care of each other.

The final frontier

McConaughey plays Cooper, an engineer turned farmer, who joins the space mission in the hope that the survival of his children’s generation lies in the far reaches of space. “We grow up thinking that the unknown, darkness, is bad or scary,” the actor muses, “when it’s usually not.” In this case, it might be our only chance.

Jessica Chastain, who plays Cooper’s grown-up daughter, is more pragmatic. She sees Interstellar as a warning about the future that we might face. “At some point we’re all going to be personally affected,” she predicts, “so I hope that people will take note, before it gets to stages like that [in the movie].”

Are we alone?

Hathaway, who plays Cooper's fellow astronaut, is comfortable that there is probably alien life out there somewhere, and says working on the movie didn’t change her mind either way.

“Maybe they don’t like us?” she suggests, when asked why aliens haven’t contacted us yet. “We’re pretty warmongering.”

Chastain is disappointed that in the US, NASA gets half a penny for every tax dollar, when there’s a whole universe out there waiting for us to explore. She hopes that Interstellar will inspire more people to look up at the sky.

Sir Michael said he wasn’t that worried about global warning until he flew from London, where it was hot, to LA, where it was raining – a sure sign that something’s gone awry. But he remains optimistic; he has hope in the next generation to take us into the future.

“I think Mother Nature’s gonna be just fine,” McConnaughey concludes. “It’s us that may not be.”

Interstellar is released in Cineworld on Friday 7th November – click here to book your tickets