It’s common knowledge by now that Christopher Nolan is not like other guys. He doesn‘t have an e-mail address or carry a cell phone (he doesn’t let anyone on set bring their phones with them either), which is probably why he often works with the same group of actors — because they’re the only ones who have the homing pigeons that know the way back to Nolan’s fortress. A couple new Nolan quirks recently came to light after the release of Dunkirk, and boy, do they make being on this guy’s set sound like a whole lot of fun.

While chatting with The Independent’s Kernels podcast, Mark Rylance and Barry Keoghan described what it was like working with the director. When asked whether Nolan had any “directorial idiosyncrasies,” Rylance replied,

Very much so; he’s 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 minimize the amount of post-production and CGI stuff. He does things like he doesn’t like having chairs on set for actors or bottles of water, he’s very particular.

Keoghan chimed in:

They’re distractions — the noise of [the bottles], they’re like toys almost, playing around with toys. [The lack of chairs, meanwhile] keeps you on your toes, literally.

Sounds like a bit of a drag to us laypeople, but these guys are professionals. Nolan is a very intense director, and Dunkirk is a very intense movie, and if some esteemed actors have to forego a few sips of water to make a prestige picture, all the more power to them.

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