Nomadland Movie Facts and Trivia


Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” took the world by storm with its mesmerizing storytelling, breathtaking cinematography, and a remarkable performance by Frances McDormand. This indie film not only clinched the Academy Award for Best Picture but also earned Chloe Zhao an Oscar for Best Director. Behind its critical acclaim lies a tapestry of intriguing facts and trivia that enrich the viewer’s appreciation of this modern cinematic gem. In this article, we delve deep into the world of “Nomadland,” exploring its unique production, hidden gems, and the impact it made on the film industry.

1. Real Nomads in the Cast

One of the most remarkable aspects of “Nomadland” is its use of non-professional actors, particularly real-life nomads. Several individuals featured in the film are actual modern-day nomads who live a transient lifestyle, moving from place to place in search of work and adventure. This authenticity brings a genuine quality to the film’s characters and their stories.

2. Fern’s Van, Vanguard, is Real

Frances McDormand’s character, Fern, lives out of her van throughout the film. Vanguard, the van featured in “Nomadland,” is a genuine vehicle owned and customized by Bob Wells, a van dweller, and nomad who plays himself in the film. The van serves as both a narrative element and a practical part of the production, highlighting the film’s dedication to realism.

3. Bob Wells’ Influence

Bob Wells, a prominent figure in the nomadic community, not only appears in the film but also served as a consultant. His YouTube channel, “CheapRVLiving,” provides valuable information for people interested in living a nomadic lifestyle. Wells’s involvement ensured that the film accurately portrayed the challenges and rewards of this way of life.

4. Chloe Zhao’s Unique Filming Style

Director Chloe Zhao is known for her unique filming style, which often involves using natural lighting and regular people. For “Nomadland,” she continued this approach, shooting the film with a small crew and allowing the actors the freedom to improvise. This style gives the movie an authentic, documentary-like feel that resonates with audiences.

5. A Road Movie with a Message

“Nomadland” is not just a road movie; it’s a moving exploration of the American dream and the impact of economic hardship. The film artfully balances breathtaking landscapes with intimate moments, drawing attention to the social issues faced by nomadic communities and the broader working class in America.

6. Frances McDormand’s Immersive Experience

Frances McDormand, known for her dedication to her roles, fully immersed herself in the nomadic lifestyle for the film. She traveled in her van, working odd jobs and connecting with real nomads to better understand their experiences. This commitment to authenticity shines through in her powerful performance.

7. The Real Town of Empire

The film’s portrayal of the fictional town of Empire, Nevada, is a poignant commentary on the decline of small American towns. However, Empire is a real place that once thrived due to a gypsum plant. After the plant’s closure in 2011, the town was left abandoned. “Nomadland” brought attention to Empire’s story, prompting interest and support from viewers.

“Nomadland” is a testament to the power of independent cinema and the art of storytelling. Its blend of documentary-style filmmaking, real nomadic experiences, and a touching narrative has touched the hearts of audiences worldwide. As we uncover these captivating facts and trivia about “Nomadland,” we gain a deeper appreciation for the dedication of the cast and crew in bringing this extraordinary story to life. Whether you’re a fan of the film or discovering it for the first time, “Nomadland” remains a compelling and thought-provoking cinematic journey.