Why Christopher Nolan Bans Chairs And Water Bottles On Sets

Dunkirk cast sitting

Filmmaking is a serious business to a lot of directors, which is why some of them have their oddities when it comes to behavior on set. Martin Scorsese, for example, asks people on set not to wear a wristwatch to ensure total silence. Christopher Nolan takes it a bit further than that. Not only are there no chairs to be found on a Nolan set, but no one is allowed to drink any bottled water either. You might think this makes for a dishearted crew, but they also get to work for Christopher Nolan so it evens out.

Dunkirk is a pretty intense film, and Christopher Nolan was intent on making sure the filming environment reflected that feeling. Mark Rylance and Barry Keoghan, two of the actors from the WWII thriller, spoke with Independent on Nolan's craft and his attitude toward filmmaking. The two of them spoke about how Nolan considers everything and has his "eye on every aspect of the creation of the film." The cast and crew were all too happy to give in to the director's idiosyncrasies to make a great movie, which included not having chairs or bottled water on set. The actors explained:

Mark Rylance: He does things like he doesn't like having chairs on set for actors or bottles of water; he's very particular.Barry Keoghan: They're distractions - the noise of [the bottles], they're like toys almost, playing around with toys. [The lack of chairs, meanwhile] keeps you on your toes, literally.

In order to make Dunkirk as intimate as possible, Nolan took great care to make sure that there would be no distractions on set. This meant that there could be no bottled water, which (as we all likely know) makes a very distinct and loud crunch noise when empty. They're pretty annoying, so I feel you, Nolan. As for chairs, their absence keeps everybody from getting too relaxed, in addition to avoiding any more stray noise. One can only wonder where people had to sit while filming The Dark Knight Rises or Interstellar.

Christopher Nolan's unusual policies played off well in Dunkirk. The film follows several storylines that center around the real-life Battle of Dunkirk, where thousands of British soldiers waited for evacuation. Sequences shift from different perspectives and there's very little dialogue in the film. Nolan also shot it on film and made sure that as many practical effects were used as possible.

You can still catch Dunkirk in theaters now. Make sure to keep checking in with CinemaBlend for all the latest movie news and updates. Don't forget to also check out our 2017 upcoming movie schedule to learn about all the big releases coming up in the near future.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.