- No, the kids aren’t the same at the end.
- No, he didn’t intend it to be a veiled parable about movie-making with Leo as the director, JGL as the producer, Ellen Page as the set designer, et cetera.
- No, the ending probably isn’t a dream--what’s more important is that Leo doesn’t care to look at the top at point.
However, this is not to say you can't still look at it through the lens of those interpretations (and that’s distinction a lot of fans don't seem to get when it comes to "understanding" a movie.)
Whenever he talks about his movies, Nolan always impresses me how articulate he is. He fields all of these questions with great insight and tact. I especially appreciated his quick dismissal of Joseph Campbell’s mono-myth which, in my opinion, is a horribly-overused “formula” that’s resulted in many more bland, predictable movies than “modern legends.”
He also touches a little on video games' influence on the flick because, which he really had to because, c'mon, who didn't think the snow mountain portion felt like a bonus round in Modern Warfare with an infinitely-replenishing supply of special ops goons? Definitely give the full interview a read, if you get a chance.