“It’s About the Level of Distraction”: Christopher Nolan Explains Why He Never Uses a Smartphone

Nothing can distract him from his films

Renowned director Christopher Nolan, known for films like “The Dark Knight” and “Inception,” has a distinct approach to technology and communication. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan, who is currently directing the film “Oppenheimer,” shared that he prefers to stay unplugged by not using a smartphone or email.

Nolan explained that he writes his film scripts on a computer without internet access, emphasizing his intention to avoid distractions. Although his children might consider him a “Luddite,” a term used to describe someone who opposes new technology, Nolan doesn’t fully embrace that label himself. While he recognizes the wonders of technology, he chooses not to be overly involved due to the potential for distraction.

In a previous interview with PEOPLE, Nolan revealed that he uses a flip phone occasionally, as he finds constant internet access to be a hindrance to his creative process. He values the moments of idle time, which others often fill with online activities, as they allow him to think deeply and foster his creativity.

Nolan also expressed his preference for communicating via phone calls rather than email. He believes that each person finds their own preferred methods of communication and coping with daily tasks.

Nolan’s highly anticipated film, “Oppenheimer,” revolves around the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the renowned scientist who spearheaded the Manhattan Project during World War II. Featuring a star-studded cast including Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, and Florence Pugh, the movie draws inspiration from the critically acclaimed biography titled “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for its insightful portrayal of Oppenheimer’s journey.

Coincidentally, the release of Nolan’s film aligns with the premiere of “Barbie,” another movie featuring a cast member, Michael Cera, who also avoids using smartphones. Cera mentioned in a PEOPLE interview that he has a flip phone and was excluded from the film’s cast group chat, as he believes his character, Allan, exists in his own distinct world.

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