While it may feel like the trailers and photos from “The Dark Knight Rises” have shown us a lot from Christopher Nolan‘s third and supposed final trip to Gotham City, we have yet to see that much from Catwoman.
After spy photos from the set forced their hand, Warner Bros. released an early look at Anne Hathaway‘s take on Gotham’s most notorious cat burglar astride the Batpod, but aside from that photo and her brief but enticing appearance in the theatrical trailer, Selina Kyle’s role in “Rises” remains a mystery.
Hathaway did, however, open up to the L.A. Times‘ Hero Complex during a visit to the London set of “The Dark Knight Rises.” She spoke at length about why she loves her so-far divisive costume and how her Catwoman fits into Nolan’s Gotham.
When Warner Bros. released the first photo of Hathaway in full Catwoman attire, fan reaction ranged from full-fledged support to outright hatred. Hathaway has always stood by the costume’s unusual take on the classic look, and she once again made her case to Hero Complex. “I love the costume because everything has a purpose,” she said. “Nothing is in place for fantasy’s sake, and that’s the case with everything in Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City.”
Once Hathaway won the highly coveted role, she dove deep into research, taking in Catwoman’s classic comic book appearance and the original inspirations Bob Kane and Bill Finger used to create the character. Hathaway said she drew inspiration from actress Hedy Lamarr to help shape her performance. “[Lamarr] takes these long, deep, languid breaths and exhales slowly,” Hathaway said. “There’s a shot of her in [the 1933 film] ‘Ecstasy’ exhaling a cigarette and I took probably five breaths during her one exhale. So I started working on my breathing a lot.”
From there, a lot of the heavy lifting belonged to Nolan and his brother Jonathan, who co-wrote the script with the director. According to Hathaway, this Catwoman follows the pattern set by Nolan’s other Gotham City residents. “You look at Heath’s performance as the Joker, there was a lot of madness there but there was also a grace and he had a code there. There’s a lot of belief and codes of behavior in Gotham and my character has one, too,” she said. “A lot of the way she moves and interacts with people is informed by her worldview. Chris has given us all such complex, defined, sophisticated worldviews that it’s just a matter of doing your homework and getting underneath the character’s skin.”
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