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‘Dunkirk’: Why Christopher Nolan Doesn’t Like Having Chairs or Water Bottles on Set

Mark Rylance explains one of the director's idiosyncrasies.

Christopher Nolan Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan and members of the crew of “Dunkirk” on location in the Netherlands.

Fokke Baarssen/REX/Shutterstock

Anyone familiar with Stanley Kubrick’s meticulous approach to filmmaking knows that esteemed auteurs often have their idiosyncrasies. Christopher Nolan is no exception to that rule, it seems, as “Dunkirk” star Mark Rylance explains in an interview with the Independent. Asked about his director’s oddities, the Oscar winner points to two items forbidden on set: “He does things like he doesn’t like having chairs on set for actors or bottles of water, he’s very particular.”

As for why such items aren’t allowed during filming, Rylance’s co-star Barry Keoghan offers a practical explanation. “They’re distractions — the noise of [the bottles], they’re like toys almost, playing around with toys.,” he explains. “[The lack of chairs, meanwhile] keeps you on your toes, literally.”

Most of his concerns are more craft-related, of course. Rylance says that Nolan is “very particular about using film and everything being real in front of the camera, so there were a lot of old techniques used in this film to make it look real. The flames on the water and men swimming in them; he really wants to minimise the amount of post-production and CGI stuff.” Read the full interview here.

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