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Matthew Modine Compares Christopher Nolan to Stanley Kubrick: Big Movies, Small Sets

Modine worked with Kubrick on "Full Metal Jacket," and then more then a decade later with Nolan on "The Dark Knight Rises."

FULL METAL JACKET, Matthew Modine, 1987, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

“Full Metal Jacket”

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Actors who worked with Christopher Nolan have plenty of stories about the methods to his madness. Earlier this year, comments from “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Interstellar” star Anne Hathaway got blown out of proportion when she said the filmmaker doesn’t allow chairs on his sets. (What she meant was Nolan doesn’t keep directors’ chairs clustered around the video-village monitors.) Now, “The Dark Knight Rises” co-star Matthew Modine, who played Commissioner Gordon’s second-in-command Foley, shared the major similarity between Nolan and director Stanley Kubrick. Modine starred in Kubrick’s 1987 war classic “Full Metal Jacket.”

The similar approach between the legendary filmmakers, Modine told Hollywood Reporter, is in the intimacy of the set despite the massiveness of the project. “Sometimes on ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ there weren’t more than 10 or 15 people on the set,” he said. “And as big as ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was, with all of the people that were working on it and the tremendous size of the cast and crew, it got smaller and smaller and smaller as you got closer and closer to the set where you were going to be filming. So there’s a similarity between Stanley and Chris.”

Nolan and Kubrick share a notoriety for perfectionism, Modine said, and that helped foster a great collaboration between the cast and crew. “As you got to the epicenter of where the action was taking place, it was incredibly calm, quiet, focused and intimate. All of the noise and all of those other things were kept far, far away from the set, and there wasn’t any reason to have a chair or a video village because for what purpose? Everybody could see what was going on. It was a quiet environment where we were making the film.”

Modine’s biggest recent role was a run on the Syfy series “Sanctuary,” and he’ll next appear in Tate Taylor’s star-stuffed “Breaking News in Yuba County,” alongside Mila Kunis, Juliette Lewis, Allison Janney, Awkwafina, and Regina Hall.

Nolan’s most recent film, “Tenet,” has just crossed the $250 million mark globally despite key markets remaining shut down in the United States.

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