Speaking at the film's European premiere last night (July 18), the actors reflected on what it is about Nolan's approach that has made him such a critical and commercial success.
"He's a really economical filmmaker and he doesn't direct from a place of ego," Hathaway revealed, "and I think that's why he's able to do so much.
"He's a problem solver - he dreams up these fantastic ideas, but then he's very logical about how to solve them."
"He challenges himself, I think," Tom Hardy pitched in. "He has an enormous team that supports him, and he challenges them and they challenge him."
"I wish I could pinpoint [what makes him great], and say it's this or that," Freeman mused. "We all think he's probably one of the best directors in the business.
"You've got going for you a very smart head for writing, and a clear head for directing."
> 'Dark Knight Rises' premiere interviews: Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, more
> Christopher Nolan on 'Dark Knight Rises' Bane: "We needed a brute"
The Dark Knight Rises is released tomorrow (July 20).
Photo gallery - The Dark Knight Rises London premiere:
Copyright: PA Images Lewis Whyld/PA Wire