Oppenheimer stars reveal Christopher Nolan’s bizarrely strict rules on set

Kayla Harrington
Cillian Murphy in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer

Robert Downey Jr. revealed one of Christopher Nolan’s quirks on the Oppenheimer set as the director almost never let the film’s stars break for something as necessary as a trip to the bathroom.

Oppenheimer took the world by storm last summer as both one half of the anticipated film card alongside Barbie and one of the only biopics to amass almost $1 billion at the box office.

However, the road to a billion was paved with a ton of on set quirks as the stars of the film have revealed how director Christopher Nolan sets himself apart from his peers due to his unique demands.

One of those stars, Robert Downey Jr., recently revealed that one of Nolan’s on set rules came in the form of enforcing strict bathroom policies.

Nolan detested any bathroom break during Oppenheimer

Downey Jr. had a chat with Vanity Fair alongside co-stars Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt where the trio recalled working alongside Nolan, which, according to Downey Jr., meant minimizing wasting time at all cost.

“If I see Nolan, I throw my phone,” Downey Jr. explained, “He doesn’t even really like it when you go to the bathroom, but he understands you have to.”

The actor then recalled asking Nolan when he was planning on taking a break for the restroom to which the director answered, “11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.,” prompting Downey Jr. to respond, “Are you fucking with me?” 

Downey Jr. went on to say that this request isn’t unusual for Nolan because “he won’t ask anyone to do anything that he’s not willing to do himself twice as hard.”

This is not the first time one of Oppenheimer’s actors referred to Nolan’s strict bathroom policies as during the film’s summer press tour, Murphy told Collider, “He’s not that sympathetic to toilet breaks. [And] I’ll leave that there.”

Nolan is very well known to have eccentric demands when it comes to filming as Downey Jr. and Anne Hathaway, who worked with the director during the Dark Knight trilogy, both confirmed that Nolan has a “no chair” policy on his sets.

But, his methods of filmmaking obviously work as many A-list actors have continued working with him and his films have won a ton from awards from the Golden Globes to the Oscars.