Christopher Nolan made an appearance at the New York Film Critics Circle awards on Tuesday, where he recalled the surprising experience of having his 2020 film Tenet slammed by his Peloton instructor mid-workout.
Instructor Jenn Sherman Rips Into Tenet During Virtual Cycling Class
While participating in a 45-minute Peloton cycling class last year, Nolan was shocked when the instructor, Jenn Sherman, went on a rant about how Tenet was “the worst” and a “complete waste of time.” Nolan remembered Sherman saying, “That’s two and a half hours of my life that I want back.”
Unbeknownst to Sherman, Nolan himself happened to be taking the virtual class that day. “I was just in a class and the instructor was like, ‘Oh I watched Tenant. That was awful. That was terrible,'” Nolan recounted. “She starts ripping into Tenant while I’m like right there.”
Nolan Takes Criticism in Stride, Sees Value of Honest Review
Rather than being offended at Sherman’s blunt appraisal, Nolan explained that “You have to acknowledge that someone who knows what they’re talking about can have that opinion.” While the sci-fi thriller was divisive among critics and audiences, Nolan recognized Sherman’s review as an authentic reaction.
In fact, Nolan extended an invitation for Sherman to join him at an upcoming screening of his next film Oppenheimer: “I’m hoping Jenn Sherman will come to the opening if we play at Radio City and see if we can win her over with the next one.”
Instructor Apologizes, Invites Nolan Back for Another Class
Shortly after video of Nolan’s story went viral, Sherman addressed the incident on Instagram, saying she “feels awful” about the situation and would happily refund Nolan’s class. Sherman explained that “You sometimes forget that there are real people, with real feelings, that created what you are watching.”
Extending an olive branch, Sherman told Nolan “Please come take another one of my classes, and let’s start over. And this one is on me.” While controversial, the viral moment sparked a thoughtful discussion about the purpose of film criticism and personal versus universal standards in evaluating creative works.
Background on Christopher Nolan’s Tenet
Christopher Nolan is renowned for directing complex, high-concept films like Inception and Interstellar. In that vein, 2020’s Tenet continued Nolan’s trademark mind-bending style. Tenet follows a CIA agent (John David Washington) manipulating time in order to prevent World War III. While featuring stunning visuals and a standout performance by Robert Pattinson, the film’s convoluted plot left many viewers, including Jenn Sherman, confused and dissatisfied.
Impact on Nolan and Future Projects
Rather than dampening Nolan’s creative spirit, this experience has proven educational for the eminent director. When asked about Sherman’s viral criticism, Nolan reiterated the subjectivity of artistic perception, saying “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Absolutely.”
Nolan remains hard at work on his star-studded Oppenheimer biopic, due in theaters July 2023. With A-listers like Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon aboard, Nolan will certainly aim to craft a more universally resonant film this time around. Only time will tell whether he can sway the skeptical Sherman.
Jenn Sherman’s Rising Fame
While Jenn Sherman was already popular among the Peloton community, her blunt Tenet takedown has significantly raised her visibility. Sherman boasts over 200,000 Instagram followers, with fans praising her motivating coaching style. An in-demand Peloton presence, Sherman teaches up to 14 cycling classes per week.
Widely considered one of Peloton’s top instructors, Sherman is known for her infectiously upbeat energy and empowering affirmations. As a fitness influencer first and amateur film critic second, expect Sherman’s star to keep rising.
That covers the key details on director Christopher Nolan’s unexpected crossover with Peloton celebrity instructor Jenn Sherman regarding his polarizing thriller Tenet. Their viral interaction made waves by illustrating how intensely personal our relationship with cinema can be. While Nolan took the criticism in stride, time will tell whether he can change Sherman’s mind.
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