As 2012 creeps ever closer and we become more and more excited about finally getting to see Chris Nolan’s third and, assuming Warner Bros. doesn’t find some way to make him stay, final trip to Gotham City with The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway has been chatting to the LA Times’ Hero Complex blog about the way she’s playing Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman.
Turns out, she’s taking her inspiration from the world Nolan, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy and the rest have created this time. “What’s come before doesn’t limit or even affect this new version,” Hathaway says. “It doesn’t affect me because each Catwoman – and this is true in the comics as well – she is defined by the context of the Gotham City created around her. Catwoman is so influenced by Gotham and whoever is creating Gotham at the time. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman was informed by Tim Burton’s Gotham and Eartha Kitt was informed by Adam West’s Gotham. You have to live in whatever the reality of the world is and whatever Gotham is.”
So what is the world this time, then? “Gotham City is full of grace. 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 behaviour in Gotham and my character has one, too. 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.”
Part of that approach saw the actress drawing inspiration from a sexy siren of the past, in the shape of Heddy Lamar. Particularly her performance in 1933’s Ecstasy. “I know this sounds odd, but her breathing is extraordinary,” Hathaway says. “She takes these long, deep, languid breaths and exhales slowly. There’s a shot of her exhaling a cigarette and I took probably five breaths during her one exhale. So I started working on my breathing a lot.”
We’ll see the results on July 20. For more from Hathaway – including a small, but relevant spoiler about a major scene in The Dark Knight Rises – head over to the Hero Complex site.