Bradley Cooper Is Being Roasted For His 'No Chairs' Policy On Movie Sets

"Working 12 hour+ days without being allowed to sit down is inhumane," one person said.

Bradley Cooper’s eyebrow-raising revelation about his directorial process is being met with a chilly response.

The Oscar-nominated actor and filmmaker recently spoke to Spike Lee as part of Variety’s “Directors on Directors” video series and, in the interview, shared that he’s nixed chairs from the sets of movies he directs.

“There’s no chairs on sets,” Cooper said. “I’ve always hated chairs, and I feel like your energy dips the minute you sit down in the chair. So [an] apple box is a very nice way to sit and everybody’s together.”

He also told Lee that there’s “no video village,” referring to the behind-the-scenes area of a movie set, filled with monitors and screens, that’s typically reserved for the director.

“I hate that,” he said.

Though Cooper isn’t the first director to express his distaste for chairs on sets, some felt his remarks reeked of both privilege and, even worse, ableism.

“Anyway, I think every single person on set should get a provided chair, not just cast/video village, because working 12 hour+ days without being allowed to sit down is inhumane,” one person wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan at the "Maestro" premiere in Los Angeles.
Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan at the "Maestro" premiere in Los Angeles.
David Livingston via Getty Images

Added another: “As a wheelchair-bound actor, I feel like Bradley Cooper wouldn’t let me on set...”

Cooper is riding a wave of award season buzz for “Maestro,” which hits Netflix next week. The film, his directorial follow-up to the 2018 romantic drama “A Star Is Born,” is a biopic of composer Leonard Bernstein (played by Cooper), whose famous works include “West Side Story” and “Candide.”

Among those who allegedly share Cooper’s aversion to chairs is director Christopher Nolan. In 2020, Anne Hathaway ― who starred in Nolan’s films “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Interstellar” ― told Variety that the director “doesn’t allow chairs.”

“His reasoning is, if you have chairs, people will sit, and if they’re sitting, they’re not working,” Hathaway said at the time. She went on to note that she wasn’t completely opposed to Nolan’s approach: “I think he’s onto something with the chair thing.”

A representative of Nolan later told IndieWire that Hathaway’s remarks were misconstrued, clarifying that the director had only ever banned “cell phones (not always successfully) and smoking (very successfully)” from his sets.

Earlier this month, however, Robert Downey Jr. lent credence to Hathaway’s initial claim, telling Variety that there “were no set chairs” while working with Nolan on “Oppenheimer.”


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