Batman wears a mask to protect the people he loves. Bane wears a mask because he needs it to nullify his otherwise ever-present pain.
But it’s not just the difference in motivation that separates these masked warriors. In the case of Bruce Wayne’s crime-fighting alter-ego, you can still see his eyes and his mouth — you can see the rage, or satisfaction, on his face at any time. Bane, however, is a harder read. Not only is his voice digitally altered by the mask he wears, but his mouth is entirely covered up, leaving his facial expressions impossible to decipher.
A challenging notion for any actor, no doubt, but Tom Hardy found ways to compensate for his lack of facial mannerisms, as observed by his co-star Anne Hathaway.
“What I thought was so cool about what Tom did, because he didn’t have his face to help show the character and tell the story, he did so much physically,” she told MTV News at the “Dark Knight Rises” press junket earlier this month. “You saw who this character was just through his movements. It’s something that shows later on in the movie, and you see a difference in him. I thought that was really beautiful acting. He projects a lot physically.”
Even if Hardy had complaints about aspects of his “Dark Knight Rises” performance, such as his completely obscured face, he didn’t make them known. Indeed, complaints aren’t a particularly hot commodity on a Christopher Nolan Batman set, said Hathaway.
“Christian [Bale] in the first film, with the way they made the bat-suit, he couldn’t turn his head. And he never complained,” she said. “That sort of attitude permeated throughout the set. And Chris doesn’t like complaining, so you just don’t.”
“Whatever it is, you find a way to make a joke about it, or you grip about it at home — or you cry about it at home, in my case,” she added with a laugh.
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