17 Cool Things I Just Learned About "Nomadland" That You'll Probably Want To Know Too
The woman who plays Fern's sister is actually one of Frances McDormand's oldest friends in real life.
Almost the entire cast was comprised of "real" people, i.e. not professional actors.
In fact, all the characters in the film are named after the people who played them in real life — except for Frances McDormand and the woman who plays Fern's sister Dolly.
When she was younger, McDormand said her dream was to change her name to Fern and "hit the road" in an RV when she turned 65.
And the crew all lived out of vans, including the one in the movie, "Vanguard" (Fern's van), during filming.
They were able to film inside an Amazon packaging facility simply by "asking."
McDormand's husband, writer/director Joel Coen, actually visited the set one day.
McDormand — who also produced the film — found director Chloé Zhao at the Toronto Film Festival.
Because the production was physically demanding, McDormand said she was actually assigned a "baby-sitter" to make sure she got to bed and got up on time so she wouldn't get exhausted.
The film is based on the non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, but the filmmakers really think of it as more of a "companion piece."
In fact, many of the real people in the movie were also in the book, like Bob Wells, for example.
Zhao and McDormand started filming scenes for Nomadland just three months after the actor's second Oscar win.
And that evening, while they were in the van, McDormand got an upset stomach from dinner and really took a dump in a five-gallon bucket.
Wall Drug is a very real place. In fact, it's one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Dakota.
One of the film's producers, Peter Spears, has a small role in the film as, well, Peter. He's one of the other people at David's son's home.
And finally, the Autumn Leaves plates Fern said were given to her by her father in the movie were REALLY gifted to McDormand by her own father when she graduated from college.
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