In a recent Variety interview/discussion, Anne Hathaway said some things about working with Christopher Nolan. Anne worked with Nolan on two films, and she claimed that on both of those films, Nolan banned chairs and cellphones from the set. Anne said: “Chris also doesn’t allow chairs. I worked with him twice. He doesn’t allow chairs, and his reasoning is, if you have chairs, people will sit, and if they’re sitting, they’re not working.” I have no idea if Anne expected those comments to go viral, but they did and there was a tremendous amount of discussion about it online. It got so bad that Nolan’s rep went to IndieWire to say that Anne Hathaway is made of lies!
Christopher Nolan does not ban chairs from his movie sets, a spokesperson for the director has confirmed to IndieWire. Social media buzz over an alleged chair ban on Nolan’s sets erupted June 29 after Variety published an “Actors on Actors” video interview between Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman in which the former complimented Nolan’s decision not to allow chairs on set. Hathaway has appeared in Nolan’s blockbusters “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Interstellar.”
“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 Kelly Bush Novak of ID said in a statement. “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.”
Hathaway’s interview prompted several film critics and journalists to speak out against an alleged “no chairs on set” rule. The backlash prompted acting extras from Nolan’s movies, such as “Mandy” co-writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn, to come forward and say there is no ban against chairs. Stewart-Ahn wrote on Twitter that “we had plenty of chairs and tables in our staging area” on “The Dark Knight Rises.” Journalists Jeff Jensen and Gregory Ellwood also took to social media to say there were plenty of chairs when they visited the comic book movie set. Jensen also visited the “Interstellar” set and said there were chairs.
LOL, I can’t believe this story blew up to this point, where people with any association to Nolan were rushing to defend his chairs’ honor. For what it’s worth, I actually believed Anne – I think when she worked on The Dark Knight Rises, she was probably told not to sit and ruin her costume or whatever, because so many actresses are told that a precondition of them doing their job is “to be as uncomfortable as possible.” And the way Nolan’s rep rushed out… it’s very suspicious. This Chair Conspiracy is a story worthy of a three-hour Nolan movie. The chairs, you see, represent time. A director’s chair is time collapsing in on itself. It all makes sense!
Photos courtesy of Getty.