Who is Christopher Nolan’s wife? Get to know all about Emma Thomas

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas

Christopher Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Known for his Hollywood blockbusters with complex storytelling, Nolan is considered a leading filmmaker of the 21st century.

He has received many accolades, including nominations for eight Academy Awards, and his films have grossed more than $6 billion worldwide, ranking him among the highest-grossing directors.

In 2015, he was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, and in 2024, he was honoured with the British Film Institute Fellowship.

Christopher Nolan

Nolan developed an interest in filmmaking from a young age. After studying English literature at University College London, he made several short films before his feature film debut with Following (1998).

Nolan gained international recognition with his second film, Memento (2000), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

He transitioned from independent to studio filmmaking with Insomnia (2002), and found further critical and commercial success with The Dark Knight trilogy (2005–2012), The Prestige (2006) and Inception (2010); the last of these earned Nolan two Oscar nominations—Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

This was followed by Interstellar (2014), Dunkirk (2017) and Tenet (2020). For the war drama Dunkirk, he earned two Academy Award nominations, including his first for Best Director.

Parting ways with longtime distributor Warner Bros. Pictures, Nolan signed with Universal Pictures for the biopic Oppenheimer (2023), which won him a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Direction.

Who is Christopher Nolan’s wife?

Emma Thomas
Credit: Variety

Emma Thomas Nolan is a British film producer best known for her creative partnership with her husband, Christopher Nolan.

Emma Thomas was born on 9 December 1971 in London. Her father worked in the Civil Service, and she spent part of her childhood living in the Middle East She originally intended on following her father into the civil service field after completing her education.

Thomas studied ancient history at University College London (UCL).[4] She lived in the same residence hall as filmmaker Christopher Nolan (her boyfriend and future husband), whom she met during her first week at university.

Nolan introduced Thomas to the UCL Union’s Film Society, where they arranged feature film screenings in 35mm and used the proceeds to produce newsreels and short films. Thomas credits Nolan and the Film Society for sparking her interest in filmmaking, and would provide refreshments for the crew members of her partner’s short films.

When did Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas get married?

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas

Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas got married in 1997, a year before the release of his debut feature film “Following”.

They met in college at the University College London. He was 19 at the time; she was 18.

According to ICG Magazine, both were English literature majors and hardcore film buffs, running a film society at school and arranging for classic movie screenings. Together, they sold tickets to these screenings, and saved up that money to use it to make Nolan’s first film, Following. 

This isn’t to say that Nolan discovered a love of film at UCL, though. Rather, he told Portico Magazine that he knew he wanted to be a filmmaker from a young age.

“…I chose [University College London] because I wanted to be in London, at the heart of the film business, and I very much liked the idea of studying English,” Nolan said. “…A lot of what I learned about literature during that period informed what I was doing in terms of my writing and screenwriting. So for me, there was a very inspiring relationship between what I was learning and what I was trying to do in my filmmaking.”

In an interview with Collider before the release of Inception, Thomas said that Nolan has not changed much since college in that he’s always had a very clear goal for his life.

“Chris… we met when I was 18 and Chris was 19,” she said. “And he had already known at that point for I think 10 years that he wanted to direct films. So he’s always been a very singular… he’s had a singular ambition.”

In October 2016, Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan returned to University College London in order to host a fundraiser for UCL’s Dementia Research Institute, according to UCL’s website.

Do Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas have any children?

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan walks red carpet with his wife and children at Oppenheimer premiere

Yes, 4 children, including Oliver Nolan, Rory Nolan, Magnus Nolan, and Flora Nolan.

In an interview with The Standard in September, Nolan said, “We have four children. We have a body of work that we have made together. So the moral of the story is: pay a lot of attention to who you meet on your first night at your halls of residence.”

Nolan has not spoken much about his kids, wanting to protect his family’s privacy. However, he has talked about the fact that having kids was a major inspiration behind Interstellar, a movie built largely around the main character’s relationship with his daughter.

“The story spoke to me as a father, more than anything,” Nolan told The New York Times. “Having children absolutely fine-tunes your sense of time and time passing. There’s a desperate desire to hang on to moments as your kids grow up.”

Emma Thomas has also said that Nolan wants to make movies that his kids can see, which could explain why his first three movies were rated R but his past seven movies, including Dunkirk, are rated PG-13.

“Where, in the past, he never made movies for any reason other than the fact that he wanted to see those movies himself, now he wants to make films he can watch with his kids,” Thomas told The New York Times in an interview conducted before the release of Interstellar. 

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