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VIDEO: McConaughey, Nolan of Interstellar Talk to PJM About Future of NASA

Christopher Nolan, director of Interstellar, said NASA paying Russia millions to transport American astronauts to and from the International Space Station is “not a great thing.”

“I think the idea that in America at the moment we don’t have a way of getting our astronauts up and down is not a great thing and I think it’s indicative of how we need to get back out there,” Nolan said at the Interstellar premiere in Washington.

Nolan noted there have been some interesting developments such as SpaceX.

“I’m optimistic and excited and I think we’re going to get back out there,” he said.

Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, who stars in the film, was not aware that NASA pays Russia about $70 million per seat on Russian Soyuz capsules, which are reportedly the only flights available for astronauts after the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet in 2011. He said there are not many other places for the U.S. to explore.

“Do I think we’re in a place now where we have to get off the Earth to go find another habitable place? No. Do I think we’ll get there in my lifetime? No and I hope not. But as far as exploration, where else is there to look?” he said. “I know we haven’t seen all of the bottom of the sea, but still that seems like the tangible place as far as like the big backyard that we’re in with this one little blue dot in it. That seems obviously the place to look and at least understand it a little bit more.”

Academy Award-winning actress Anne Hathaway, who also stars in the film, was asked if she sees benefits to the U.S. continuing to invest in space exploration.

“NASA represents the best of what’s possible for us. I feel great pride at looking at concrete examples of what the human mind is capable of and what human ingenuity and hard work can produce,” Hathaway said. “It’s not the only thing that we can do. It’s not the only thing we can focus on. It’s about finding a balance for sure. I think we’re better off with a space program than we are without one.”

McConaughey was also asked if he was pleased with the results of the midterm election held on Nov. 4.

“I don’t even know. I haven’t even opened my computer or looked at my iPhone in 11 days,” McConaughey said. “I did see GOP wins.