Top 10 Facts About The Writer & Director Christopher Nolan

Christopher Edward Nolan is an English-American film director, screenwriter and producer. He is one of the highest-grossing directors in history, and among the most successful and acclaimed filmmakers of the 21st century.

1. Christopher Nolan is a self-made man.

Christopher Nolan’ English father, Brendan James Nolan, was an advertising executive, and his American mother, Christina, worked as a flight attendant and an English teacher. Nolan is a literature graduate who never attended film school. His first feature was Following, a £3,000-budget film that was entirely funded by him. Following was filmed with friends, and shot on weekends, using amateur equipment. The film netted over £240,000 worldwide and won several awards.

2. Christopher Nolan is Hollywood’s most successful director.

Obviously he is very famous for The Dark Knight series. However, his success is bigger than just batman! Seven of his 9 movies are on the IMDB’s Top 250 list. All nine of Nolan’s mainstream movies have been critical and box-office successes. He is the sixth-highest-grossing director by worldwide box office ($4.222 billion) and have earned a total of 26 Oscar nominations.

Nolan is the second director to have made 2 movies – “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” that have grossed more than $1 billion in the worldwide box office, following James Cameron. However, he is the first director to have released both of his billion dollar grossing movies only in 2D as Cameron’s films “Avatar” and “Titanic” were also released in 3D.

3. Christopher Nolan is old school. He does not use a mobile phone, email & drinks lots of tea!

That’s right, Nolan prefers being “old-school”, and even prohibits the use of mobile phones on set. He gets his assistant to print out important emails instead. He likes drinking tea so much that he always carries a flask of it around with him, causing his teeth to go a “chestnut gradient”. Michael Caine was convinced he mixed it with alcohol, asking him on set “You’ve not got vodka in there, have you?’

4. Christopher Nolan is minimalistic.

Not only for movies, he keeps himself minimalistic even in real life. Like a lot of creative people (including Steve Jobs), he likes to wear the same outfit every day. In the warmer months this consists of a dark jacket over a blue dress shirt (with slightly fraying collar) and black durable trousers with scuffed, sensible shoes. In the colder months this is paired with a herringbone waistcoat.

5. ‘Waterland’ novel by Graham Swift is the inspiration behind Christopher Nolan’s non-linear storylines.

He mentions “[Waterland] opened my eyes to something I found absolutely shocking at the time. It’s structured with a series of parallel timelines and effortlessly tells a story using history–a contemporary story and various timelines that were close together in time (recent past and less recent past), and it actually cross cuts these timelines with such ease that, by the end, he’s literally sort of leaving sentences unfinished and you’re filling in the gaps.”

6. Christopher Nolan is with his better half – Emma Thomas for past 27 years.

Nolan is married to Emma Thomas, whom he met at University College London when he was 19. She has worked as a producer on all of his films, and together they founded the production company Syncopy Inc.  The couple have four children and reside in Los Angeles. Protective of his privacy, he rarely discusses his personal life in interviews. He is never late for work, but it’s said that he does not work on weekends!

7. Christopher Nolan is big fan of Star Wars & James Bond!

Growing up, Nolan was a great admirer of Star Wars (1977), and around the age of eight he made a stop motion animation homage called Space Wars.  About James Bond, he mentions “I love James Bond and I’ve talked with the producers over the years, but nothing’s ever worked out. They do a great job-they don’t need me right now, and Sam [Mendes] is an extraordinary talent. I will absolutely be first in line to see the next Bond film as I have been for all of them.”

8. Christopher Nolan prefers to build spaceships & destroyers, over CGI in movies.

Following the tradition, the director has decided to use the real naval destroyers instead of CGI for sea battle sequences in his upcoming movie – Dunkirk (2017). He also requested to build real structures of spaceship during Interstellar, rather than using CGIs.

9. Christopher Nolan has dual citizenship!

He is both British and American. Christopher Edward Nolan was born 30 July 1970 in London, UK. When Nolan’s family relocated to Chicago during his formative years, he started making films with Adrien and Roko Belic. He has continued his collaboration with the brothers, receiving a credit for his editorial assistance on their Oscar-nominated documentary Genghis Blues (1999).

10. Christopher Nolan occasionally collaborates with his brother Jonathan for movies!

He has an elder brother Matthew, and a younger brother, Jonathan, who is also a screenwriter, television producer, director and author. It was his brother Jonathan who pitched the idea for “Memento Mori” while a trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. Also, the screenplay of “The Prestige,” was an intermittent, five-year collaboration between him and his brother Jonathan, whom he approached Jonathan for help in writing the script in 2001. In fact, it was Steven Spielberg who was to direct the movie Interstellar in 2006, with Jonathan writing the screenplay. Since Spielberg chose other projects, Jonathan suggested this project to Nolan in 2012.