Director Christopher Nolan has a new movie coming out soon: Interstellar, a big budget, original sci-fi film (original, as in, not adapted from any pre-existing novel or comic book property), which hits theaters and IMAXes across the US on Friday, November 7th. I'm excited to see it, as I'm sure many of you are. But until then, you can whet your appetite with a lengthy New York Times Magazine profile of Mr. Nolan, which explores how he came to make a bunch of commercially successfully and critically acclaimed movies over the past two decades: Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight trilogy among them.
The article reveals many intriguing aspects about Nolan's work ethic and personality, but here are my favorites. Read the full profile for yourself at The New York Times Magazine. (The Wall Street Journal also published its own profile of Nolan that is slightly shorter and less kind.)
1. He "claims not to have an email address," so his assistant prints out important emails for him to read.
2. He's always on time.
3. He never works weekends.
4. Like Steve Jobs and others, he wears the same exact thing every day. In Nolan's case: a "dark, narrow-lapeled jacket over a blue dress shirt with a lightly fraying collar, plus durable black trousers over scuffed, sensible shoes. In colder weather, Nolan outfits himself with a fitted herringbone waistcoat, the bottom button left open. A pair of woven periwinkle cuff links and rather garish striped socks represent his only concessions to whimsy or sentimentality..."
5. He's addicted to hot tea, so much so that he always carries a flask of it around with him in his pocket and his teeth are stained "a chestnut gradient". Michael Caine (who plays Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's butler in The Dark Knight trilogy) asked him if he puts vodka in it, but Nolan allegedly said no.
6. Before he makes a movie, he spends up to two weeks typing the original idea out for the film on his father's old typewriter.
7. He tries to film as many of his special effects in-camera as possible (rather than editing them in after), to the extent that his postproduction coordinator told The Times Magazine that he worked on romantic comedies with more after effects than there were in The Dark Knight Rises.
8. By the same token, he builds humungous model sets in old aircraft hangars that are so immersive, one Warner Bros. executive actually got lost in the fake rain falling on the Gotham set that was built for one of The Dark Knight movies.
9. He's a fierce advocate for analog 35-millimeter film over digital, so much so that he came to New York City to visit theaters to make sure they were correctly outfitted to be able to project Interstellar.
10. He also shot even the Skype-like video transmissions that appear within Interstellar on 35-mm film.