Christopher Nolan Insists His Crew Can Sit ‘Whenever They Need’ on His Sets

Contrary to what Anne Hathaway says, the “Tenet” filmmaker bans cell phones and smoking but not chairs

Christopher Nolan must have gotten tired of being called a grocery store manager on Twitter because he has released a statement refuting Anne Hathaway’s claim that he does not allow chairs on set.

The meme was created earlier this week from a “Les Miserables” reunion between Hathaway and Hugh Jackman for Variety’s TV series “Actors on Actors.” Hathaway, who worked with Nolan on “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Interstellar,” said during the interview that the filmmaker doesn’t allow chairs on set because he believes that “if you have chairs, people will sit, and if they’re sitting, they’re not working.”

“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,” added Hathaway.

But since the interview went viral, some have stepped forward to refute Hathaway’s claims. “Mandy” co-writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn, who was an extra on “The Dark Knight Rises,” said that there were plenty of chairs around when he was on set. Film reporter Jeff Jensen noted the same from his set visit of the 2012 Batman film. Now Nolan himself has stepped forward via a spokesperson to set the record straight.

“For the record, the only things banned from [Christopher Nolan’s] sets are cell phones (not always successfully) and smoking (very successfully),” Nolan’s spokesperson said in a statement to IndieWire. “The chairs Anne was referring to are the directors chairs clustered around the video monitor, allocated on the basis of hierarchy not physical need. Chris chooses not to use his but has never banned chairs from the set. Cast and crew can sit wherever and whenever they need and frequently do.”

Nolan’s correction may be enough to get this Film Twitter controversy to die down, but the director has other problems to deal with. While Nolan has been adamant that his latest film, “Tenet,” should be among the first films released in theaters to help cinemas rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, surges in infections in the U.S. have forced Warner Bros. to push the film back from its July 17 release date.

“Tenet” is currently set for release on August 21, but could move back again if the pandemic continues to worsen.

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