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Florence Pugh says camera broke during Oppenheimer sex scene with Cillian Murphy: ‘It was not ideal timing’

Florence Pugh has recalled the “not ideal” moment when a technical difficulty arose while filming a sex scene with Cillian Murphy.

Pugh, 28, plays psychiatrist and physician Jean Tatlock in Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-nominated film Oppenheimer, a film about the life of the “father of the atomic bomb”, J Robert Oppenheimer, which stars Cillian Murphy in the lead role.

In the film, Pugh’s Tatlock was in a relationship and later had an affair with Murphy’s J. Robert Oppenheimer before and during his marriage to Emily Blunt’s Kitty Oppenheimer.

Speaking on a panel featuring Murphy and Blunt, with Jamie Dornan as the moderator, Pugh recalled the moment an issue with the camera equipment caused a delay while she and Murphy were in the middle of filming a sex scene.

“In the middle of our sex scene, the camera broke. No one knows this, but it did,” Pugh said, according to Variety. “Our camera broke when we were both naked, and it was not ideal timing.”

Pugh added that there were not many other cameras available, so the crew had to figure out how to fix the existing camera on set.

“Cillian and I are in this room together. It’s a closed set, so we’re both holding our bodies like this,” she said, wrapping her arms around herself. A person then came into the room to attempt to fix the camera.

“I’m like, well, this is my moment to learn. ‘So tell me, what’s wrong with this camera?’” she recalled saying to the person who entered the room. “You just make your moments. I’m like, ‘What’s going on with the shutter here, buddy?’”

Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock, and Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in ‘Oppenheimer’ (© Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.)
Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock, and Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in ‘Oppenheimer’ (© Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.)

Pugh then said director Nolan explained there was an issue with the way the light was coming in.

“It was just crazy that every person on this set was so knowledgeable and was so ready to make this kind of a movie that there was no dull moment. It was all amazing. It felt like we were lucky to be there every second of the day,” she said.

In another recent interview, Pugh recalled the moment that Nolan offered her the role in the film, but was apologetic for the size of the part.

“I didn’t really know what was going on or what it was that was being made,” Pugh told MTV UK.

“Except I knew that Chris [Nolan] really, really wanted me to know that it wasn’t a very big role, and he understands if I don’t want to come near it. And I was like, ‘Doesn’t matter. Even if I’m a coffee maker at a café in the back of the room, let’s do it.’”

Pugh said she met Nolan in New York while filming Zach Braff’s 2023 drama, A Good Person. “I remember he apologised about the size of the role. I was like, ‘Please don’t apologise,’” she continued.

“And then he said, ‘We’ll send you the script, and honestly, you just read it and decide if it’s like… I completely understand the sizing thing.’ And I remember that evening when I got the script being like, ‘I don’t need to… I know I’m going to do it.’”