Robert Pattinson said in a new interview that the new Christopher Nolan film “Tenet” was so confusing and complicated that he didn’t understand it while filming it.

What happened:

Pattinson told Esquire in a recent interview that he often had to speak with John David Washington about the plot so he could understand it.

So far, all that’s known is that the film deals with international spies who are trying to save the world from a third world war. And somehow time is involved.

  • Pattinson said: “It’s an incredibly complicated movie, like all of Chris’ movies. I mean, you have to watch them when they’re completely finished and edited three or four times to understand what the true meaning is.”
  • Pattinson said: “When you’re doing them, I mean, there were months at a time where I’m like, ‘Am I  . . .  I actually, honestly, have no idea if I’m even vaguely understanding what’s happening.’ And yeah, I would definitely say that to John David. On the last day, I asked him a question about what was happening in a scene, and it was just so profoundly the wrong take on the character. And it was like, ‘Have you been thinking this the entire time?’”
  • Pattinson said: “There’s definitely a bond in the end in kind of hiding the fact that maybe neither one of us knew exactly what was going on. But then I thought, ‘Ah, but John David actually did know. He had to know what was going on.’”

More on “Tenet” confusion

  • Kenneth Branagh, who plays a Russian-sounding character in the film, told Total Film (via Syfy Wire) that he was really confused by the plot, too.
  • He said: “Given the nature of it, as Chris to some extent sort of reinvents the wheel here, a lot of people start engaging with John David Washington’s character in both expected ways … so you might expect me to be an antagonist … but then (the story) doesn’t quite follow what you might expect as the story plays out.”
  • Branagh said: “I kid you not, I read this screenplay more times than I have ever read any other thing I have ever worked on. It was like doing the Times crossword puzzle every day, I would imagine. Except the film and the screenplay didn’t expect you, or need you, to be an expert.”