As a result of yesterday’s revelation from Anne Hathaway that Christopher Nolan didn’t allow chairs on the set of The Dark Knight Rises because sitting somehow implies that actors aren’t actively engaged with the work, Twitter has sprung into action to criticize the director’s anti-sitting stance. Comments have been running the gamut from labor concerns to obligatory dunks with memes.
Twitter is also split about how far-ranging this “policy” might actually be. Hathaway mentioned it in passing to Hugh Jackman–who also worked with Nolan on 2006’s The Prestige–in an interview from Variety‘s long-running Actor on Actors feature. Hathaway described the director’s preference both in the context of wanting her to be able to do as many of her own stunts as possible, to be an actor with physical endurance. But elsewhere in the interview, she also mentioned working with Nolan on another film (presumably 2014’s Interstellar), and there not being chairs available there, either.
Here’s Hathaway’s full quote on that: “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. I think he’s onto something with the chair thing.”
Here’s a small sampling of the tweets floating around.
To everyone who thinks we’re mad at Christopher Nolan not allowing chairs for no reason: disabled actors exist and shouldn’t have to fight for the basic right to sit, which can be immensely helpful in pain management. Disabled actors deserve roles too.
— Elle Rose ??? (@scretladyspider) June 29, 2020
The entirety of The Prestige was improvised when Christopher Nolan brought a single chair to the set and instructed Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale fight to the death for it
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) June 30, 2020
Guys you don’t understand, when Christopher Nolan was younger, a chair crashed through his window, frightening him
— Brian Lynch (@BrianLynch) June 29, 2020
Nolan’s newest film, Tenet, is currently slated to be in theaters August 12–although the release date has been pushed back twice so far due to complications with theater and COVID-19. When originally announced, it was slated to arrive in theaters July 17. You can watch Tenet’s trailer below.