“He has these incredible movies in terms of scope and ambition and technical prowess and emotion,” Hathaway said of Nolan. “I think he’s onto something with the chair thing.”
Anne Hathaway has revealed why director Christopher Nolan has a “No-Chair” policy on his movie sets.
During a virtual conversation with Hugh Jackman for Variety’s “Actors on Actors,” Hathaway, 37, reflected on her experience working with the award-winning British filmmaker on the 2012 movie, “The Dark Knight Rises” and 2014’s “Interstellar.”
While Hathway and Jackman were discussing directors who ban cellphones on set, Hathaway brought up Nolan.
“I don’t want to contradict you,” she said after Jackman had only named two directors who implement the policy. “But you’ve worked with three directors that don’t allow cellphones: Christopher Nolan.”
“Oh, that’s right,” recalled Jackman, who starred opposite Christian Bale in the 2006 magician drama, “The Prestige.”
Hathaway then pointed out another one of Nolan’s on-set policies and explained why she thinks he’s “onto something” with his unique rule.
“Chris also doesn’t allow chairs,” she revealed. “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 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,” Hathaway continued. “I think he’s onto something with the chair thing.”
The Oscar winner also opened up to her “Les Miserables” co-star about conversations she had with Nolan before she transformed into Selina Kyle/Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises,” opposite Bale’s Batman.
“You know how you have those jobs and you just go, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to work again because this was such fun,’” Hathaway recalled. “I’m such a director nerd. I love just seeking out the best directors I can and then just watching them. Chris’ whole approach to filmmaking is one of my favorite ones. He’s broken it down to its most minimal, but also his movies are just so huge and ornate. That combination of really being intentional about what it was that we were doing — and also, he’s just so inspiring.”
Hathaway, who followed a strict diet to put on the skin-tight Catwoman suit, said Nolan was more concerned about her getting stronger, rather than what she looked like.
“Chris sat me down and he said, ‘It has nothing to do with your appearance. If we’ve shot tomorrow, I’d be so happy,’” she said, recalling Nolan’s words. “‘When we did ‘Inception,’ Joseph Gordan-Levitt trained for 12 weeks to do a four-day stunt sequence because he wanted to do every shot. I want you to do as much of the stunt work as you can. So I need you to be strong enough to do that. I can’t have you be one of those actors that does one take, two takes and then you’re too tired. I want you to do everything.’”
“That was what he told me to get me to embrace the physical side of the character and really commit that,” Hathaway said.
See more from Hathaway and Jackman’s “Actors on Actors” conversation in the full video, above.