Dark Knight Rises Set Interviews with Bale, Hathaway & Hardy


Next up is the lovely Anne Hathaway, who also wasn’t working that day, but who was very excited to finally have a chance to talk about a role she’s been wanting to play almost her entire life. What was interesting about the timing of this interview was that it was literally a day after the very first official picture of Catwoman was released by Warner Bros., as well as a number of more amateurish photos taken on location while they were shooting. This was another short interview but we got a good idea where Ms. Hathaway was coming from.

Q: Are you happy to be able to finally talk about the movie?

Anne Hathaway:
I’m happy to be able to talk about the movie as much as I can. (laughs) Obviously, a few secrets are out now so I can discuss certain things, but quite a few things are still under wraps.

Q: Did you check out any of the reactions to the photo that was released yesterday?

I asked people to check it out for me. It’s a little bit overwhelming.

Q: Can you talk about stepping into the shoes of such an iconic character that’s played such a pivotal part in so many actor’s careers? A lot of people grew up with Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman or Julie Newmar or Eartha Kitt. How does it feel to be Catwoman?

The first thing you have to say is what an honor (it is) and it was funny for me because when I got my start, I got my big break in a film called “The Princess Diaries” and during the press for that, everyone asked me, “Did you always want to be a princess growing up?” And the truth was, “No I wanted to be Catwoman.” I think a lot of young women feel that way, probably a lot of women in general, and the fact that I am actually her is such a dream come true. It’s such a pinch-me moment, and the fact that I am Catwoman in Chris Nolan’s Gotham to Christian Bale’s Batman is unbelievably cool. (Laughs)

Q: Why did you want to be Catwoman when you were a kid?

I loved Catwoman’s sense of humor. I love how sly she is. I love–to use a cat metaphor–how she walks the fence and you don’t know which side she’s going to come down on. She’s totally independent. Let’s just face it, she’s bad-ass.

Q: Who is your favorite previous Catwoman?

They’re all great! It’s true. Each Catwoman is specific to the Gotham city she lives in and the director that helps shape her. I’m not just being political, it’s hard to have a favorite because each one is so specific as themselves. You look back at the history of the comic and Catwoman gets reinvented every ten to fifteen years anyway. You can have preferences but the core of the character remains.

Q: Did you look at any of them as inspiration?

I grew up with all of them so I was well-acquainted with the character’s dimension; she’s one of my favorite characters in the comic book world and in the movie world. I didn’t go back to any of the other ones because I’m in Chris’s Gotham City. As extraordinary a performance that Michelle Pfeiffer gave, that was Tim Burton’s Gotham. For me, that didn’t make a lot of sense.

Q: Did you have any influence on her look?

I don’t know if I had any influence.

Q: How does it feel to be Chris Nolan’s first cool action hero female?

I didn’t realize I was the first and now I sort of feel a little nauseous – that’s a lot of pressure. I couldn’t feel more privileged to walk on the set every day. I’m the most annoying chipper person, because every day I walk on set I just want to do back flips at how happy I am to be here. I would have played Street Cop #3 if it meant getting to work with Chris Nolan, and I get to play Catwoman! If that’s the case, I just hope I don’t let him down.

Q: How is Catwoman being interpreted here as being different from previous interpretations?

You mean specifics?

Q: As much as you can say. In broad terms.

(she turns to her pet dog Esme who has accompanied her to the interview) Esme, help me. She fits into the Gotham that Chris has established. (laughs)

Q: When you got this role, what does Mr. Nolan tell you about not talking? Does he pull you aside and tells you not to say anything?

It’s sort of implied that everything is meant to be kept as under wraps as possible. The production isn’t called “Batman,” it has another name. When I first read the script I couldn’t take it home with me; I had to read it in a locked room. Maybe the room wasn’t locked, I could just be adding that for dramatic effect.

Q: How do you learn your lines if you can’t even take the script home with you?

I read it through once really fast and I went back and went over all of my scenes and tried to memorize them as much as I could instantly. It’s cool, you can call Chris and ask “What is this scene about again?” and eventually you get a copy of the script. But everything is done with the utmost secrecy. When I screen-tested, I took the sides home with me, and it was really awkward because the producer had to hunt me down to get the sides back so that they could be destroyed. It’s implied that this should be treated with a certain amount of respect and secrecy, which is great because I think it’s so much more fun to discover it in the movie theatre and there’s so much anticipation about the movie. I’m personally excited for people to discover it when it’s all pieced together the way Chris wants it.

Q: Being that you were a fan of Catwoman, when you come into this knowing Chris is directing and you read the script and something doesn’t connect with the Catwoman in your mind, how do you deal with that?

Dude, when Chris Nolan is your director, I just trust that and go, “I’m wrong.” I have no problems bowing down to Chris’ vision. I loved every movie he’s made. It’s an honor to be in one of them, and I think that if something doesn’t make sense, forcing yourself to understand from his perspective makes you better, and he’s right. Again, he’s not usually right, he is right.

Q: After Christian Bale you are the most high-profile person in the cast, so would you still consider this a very important moment in your career since you’re playing an equally well-known character?

Yeah, but obviously Christian is Batman and it’s the Batman series so he’s the star of it. One of the things that I love about working with Christian as an actor, but also what I’ve love about this franchise is that it does feel like an ensemble each time. Christian is the leader of the actors, and he is so generous with everyone and so lovely so I haven’t really thought about that to be honest.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge physically going into this film that you’ve done so far or something you still have to do?

I’ve always thought I was pretty healthy, and I always thought I was a really hard worker in the gym, and it turns out that what I thought was hard in Catwoman’s world is actually light to moderate. I’ve had to ratch-it everything up a notch. I have the most incredible stuntwoman in the world and she’s really gotten me and the character to another level.

Q: Can you talk about the different martial arts styles that you’ve learned from this film? Don’t you have a dance background that may have come in handy for this?

Yes, I do. Sorry this is going to make me sound like such an airhead, excuse me. I don’t actually know the name of it. The stunt department are all phenomenal fighters, so I’ve just been trying to mimic them and doing whatever they tell me to do. I just came from the gym and I was doing all sorts of kicks. I do a roundhouse kick. I think its all mixed martial arts. I don’t know what the martial arts technique is called but I’ve been doing it in heels. (laughs)

Q: What’s it been like shooting dialogue scenes with the IMAX cameras, since they make a lot of noise? How have you worked that out or have you not noticed that?

I have noticed the noise because it sounds like a cappuccino being made constantly! (Laughs) For the fight sequences, I actually love it because it keeps you out of your head and it adds to the adrenalin somehow. But I haven’t shot that many of the dialogue scenes yet on IMAX. I assume we’re just going to ADR it later on or our sound guy, who just won an Oscar, knows what he’s doing and we won’t have to.

Head to Page 3 for our interview with Tom Hardy on playing Bane!