Christopher Nolan Doesn’t Allow Chairs on His Movie Sets

Director Christopher Nolan is responsible for some of the biggest and most critically acclaimed blockbusters of recent years. Actress Anne Hathaway, who worked Nolan on The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar, thinks she might have cracked the code to Nolan’s success: he doesn’t allow chairs on his movie sets.

Hathaway revealed this unusual working method during a one-on-one interview with her Les Miserables co-star Hugh Jackman, spearheaded by Variety (via the Playlist). According to the Catwoman actress, Nolan’s philosophy can be summed up this way: “If you have chairs, people will sit, and if they’re sitting, they’re not working.”

Hathaway continued, “I mean, he has these incredible movies in terms of scope and ambition and technical prowess and emotion. It always arrives at the end under schedule and under budget. I think he’s onto something with the chair thing.”

Nolan fans will remember Jackman also starred in a Nolan film (2006’s The Prestige), but he doesn’t reveal whether that “no chairs” rule was in effect back then.

(It should be noted that film sets are very busy and often crowded and cluttered places with the most notable seating usually reserved for the video village where a bank of monitors allow for playback. Stars, of course, have trailers they can return to during downtime on set.)

Nolan’s next big screen epic is Tenet, an ambitious, time-bending spy movie starring John David Washington and future Batman Robert Pattinson. We’re still not entirely sure what the movie is about, and even Washington admitted the cast was confused about the plot of Tenet.

Unfortunately, it’s also hard to say when exactly Tenet will arrive in theaters. Like many film and TV projects, Tenet’s release date has already been pushed back multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nolan was reportedly very adamant to release the film theatrically in July, but Warner Bros. has now pushed the release back to August 12. Accordingly, AMC Theaters has delayed its planned reopening until July 30.

Do you think an anti-chair agenda is the secret of Nolan’s filmmaking success? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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