The 48-year-old, who is a founding member of The Oppenheimer Project, joined family members for a conversation hosted by The Atomic Museum on Thursday (July 27) at the Beverly Theater in Las Vegas.
In an interview with Time magazine, which was published earlier this week, Charles revealed the one scene in Oppenheimer that he would have removed.
“I was bracing myself for not feeling great about [the movie], even though I talked to Chris Nolan and was very impressed by him,” Charles told Time. “When I talked to Chris Nolan, at one point he said something roughly like, ‘I know how to tell a story out of this subject. There are going to be parts that you have to dramatize a bit and parts that are changed. As family members, I think you’re going to like some parts and dislike some parts.’ That’s probably led into my acceptance of the movie, even though I saw it very late, just when it came out. As a dramatized representation of the history, it was really largely accurate. There are parts that I disagree with, but not really because of Nolan.”
Find out which scene he wanted removed…
Charles was not happy with the scene that showed Robert injecting cyanide into an apple to poison his professor. The moment was featured in the biography that the movie is based on.
“The part I like the least is this poison apple reference, which was a problem in American Prometheus. If you read American Prometheus carefully enough, the authors say, ‘We don’t really know if it happened.’ There’s no record of him trying to kill somebody,” Charles said. “That’s a really serious accusation and it’s historical revision. There’s not a single enemy or friend of Robert Oppenheimer who heard that during his life and considered it to be true. American Prometheus got it from some references talking about a spring break trip, and all the original reporters of that story—there was only two maybe three—reported that they didn’t know what Robert Oppenheimer was talking about. Unfortunately, American Prometheus summarizes that as Robert Oppenheimer tried to kill his teacher and then they [acknowledge that] maybe there’s this doubt.”
He continued, “Sometimes facts get dragged through a game of telephone. In the movie, it’s treated vaguely and you don’t really know what’s going on unless you know this incredibly deep backstory. So it honestly didn’t bother me. It bothers me that it was in the biography with that emphasis, not a disclaimer of, this is an unsubstantiated rumor that we want to put in our book to make it interesting. But I like some of the dramatization. I thought Einstein‘s conversation with Oppenheimer at the end was really effective even though it wasn’t historical.”
Christopher Nolan has revealed how he created the atomic bomb blast in Oppenheimer without using CGI.