For Anne Hathaway, becoming Catwoman wasn't just a matter of slinking into the femme fatale's signature black suit. No, before cameras began rolling on the set of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises," Selina Kyle's real-life alter ego made sure to read up on Batman's sexiest adversary — a history lesson that informed her own vision of the chameleon-like character.

"I picked up 'The Dark Knight' archives, and I picked up a book that explored the history of Catwoman, which was actually really, really helpful 'cause you just realize she can take anything," Hathaway explained. "She's so the embodiment of her time and whatever world she's in. I've seen versions where she's incredibly glamorous, and I've seen versions where she's a street kid, and that kind of informed my idea is that part of the way she cons people is she seamlessly and effortlessly becomes whatever their idea of who she is, is."

Of course, Hathaway also had a stellar script to work off of, and she doesn't downplay what an incredible honor it was to be among the first to lay eyes on Nolan's final Batman installment.

"I was in a room by myself reading a script. I think there was a guard outside," she recalled of reading the screenplay for the first time. "A part of me was trying to stay professional, like, 'This is going to be your one chance to read it for many, many months, so really take it in.' And a part of me was like, 'Holy s---! This is so cool! Oh my god! I am the envy of so many million people right now.' I just could not believe my luck, so I had those two things going. Keeping it cool and, pardon the pun, bats--- crazy."

"The Dark Knight Rises," starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, opens July 20.

Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."

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