Compiled by: Jack Foley
Excerpts taken from the London press conference held
at The Dorchester Hotel
Q. A lot’s been made of how tough it is to act
in a batsuit. But just how difficult is it to… to move and
act in… in that suit?
A. I think I probably had the easiest time of any actor
that’s played the role - well, probably apart from Adam
West – that looked like a pretty flimsy outfit he had there.
Lindy Hemmings and the other designers came up with the lightest
weight batsuit so far and with the most mobility as well.
I don’t know if people noticed but our Batman was actually
able to turn his head which has never been done before. Everyone’s
always been very robotic. And yeah, you know, it’s hot and
it’s sweaty and it gives you a headache and everything like
that. But I didn’t complain about it; I’m getting
to play Batman.
Q. I think this is the first time that it hasn't felt
as though Batman has been a guest star in his own movie. You know,
the villains have always been more charismatic than Batman. That
presumably was the attraction to you in doing this?
A. I felt similarly that I’d never actually realised,
from seeing the other movies, just how interesting Batman was,
because I was so fascinated with the villains that, in many ways,
it felt like treading water when Batman arrived.
It wasn’t until reading the Graphic novels and the first
one I read of that - because I’m not a comic book fan -
was in 2000 and that was when I was really surprised at just how
interesting the character of Batman could be and wasn't sure why
that had never been seen in a feature film.
Q. How hard was it for you to get back to physical fitness
again after the extreme weight loss that you endured for The
Machinist? Did any of the scenes have to be postponed until
you were physically fit and able to do them again?
A. I don’t believe that we had to postpone anything
unless these guys weren’t telling me anything, but I think
my heart was wondering what the hell was going on.
It was a great deal of weight that I did have to put on, but it
was something necessary for the character.
You know, he has no superpowers whatsoever so you have to really
believe that he’s capable of it, and I think probably I
kind of knew that I’d be able to do it.
I think probably Chris [Nolan] was worrying far more than me,
because we were speaking. I spoke to him one time on the telephone
while we were doing The Machinist and he did say to me, 'well,
you know, how you looking these days?' And it was frankly pathetic.
It was 121 pounds and I couldn't do a single push-up! 'Mm, maybe
not the guy you want to cast as Batman, you know, but we had enough
It was a pretty arduous journey to get there, but my feeling was
that I kind of just managed to get into appropriate shape by the
time we started filming.
In fact, I went way too big. There were some 'Fatman' comments
made at me when I first arrived on the set, yeah.
Q. Did you have any preconceptions about what a comic
book movie would be - because for a long time people thought they
were the kind of poor relation to Hollywood movies; lots of money
spent, but not a lot of character?
A. I think that we’d seen what a comic book movie
could be with the last two Batman movies, you know, and very definitely
we were trying to create something completely different.
I like to think of this as being a graphic novel based movie,
much more than a comic book.
But more than that, I think Chris [Nolan] took it beyond the realm
of the graphic novels, so it’s able to be a finely made
movie just in itself.
Q. Batman channels some of
the anger that he feels for what happened to him as a child. You
had a fairly nomadic life as a child, so I wonder if that helped
drive your anger here?
A. Having a nomadic childhood certainly helps with doing
this job, you know, living in a different place for every single
job and I kind of need that because that is a normalcy for me.
But as for any correlation between whatever anger I felt as a
child, I don’t think there’s a person alive that doesn’t
have some kind of anger stemming from their childhood. But I can’t
say that I ever really consider my own history when I’m
playing and creating a different character.
Q. How was it to act with such great actors as Michael
Caine and Morgan Freeman, who are really among the greatest in
A. Well, it was fantastic getting to work with Michael,
Morgan, Gary and Liam. It was a wonderful thing to see that this
calibre of actor was interested in the movie and showed a great
recognition that, you know, here we had a good filmmaker who they
knew they could trust and who was going to be making an original
and smart movie.
Also, this is a great story, which I think is really essential
to remember, because that gets forgotten a lot in large movies
with lots of special effects and explosions and everything. Often
storyline goes out of the window and I think that with Chris [Nolan]
that never happened at all.
Q. Will you be back for the sequel? And if you’re
to prepared to commit on that, where do you see the character
progressing beyond the parameters of this film?
A. I’m signed up for the next one. But it is certainly
something that I’m more than happy to be back for if people
embrace this movie and enjoy the style, and my portrayal of Batman.
I think it’s kind of limitless with this superhero, unlike
others, because he is so contradictory, he is so complex, he has
so many demons and issues.
I think that there are many things that can be done further but
there would be no point in making a sequel if there was not going
to be anything new, you know?
I don’t think it would make any sense to suddenly return
to what we’ve seen in the past, where suddenly Batman is
sidelined and the villains are the interesting ones again.
We’ve established that Batman is just as interesting and,
in my mind, a more interesting character than the majority of
the villains, so I would hope that would continue.
Q. How did you do the Batman voice? Did you just lower
your voice or did you get technical help, like Dart Vader?
A. When we were filming it was just my voice and we had
a gentleman there who was kind of helping me out, so that I could
speak the next day. And then we did try a few different things
My understanding is that a couple of those things did work and
Chris, I believe, used some effects on a couple of occasions.
But, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure where they were.
Chrisopher Nolan: Basically, the voice Christian
did in production was very powerful and we found that when any
attempt was made to over-manipulate it, it became very obvious
and didn't really work. But the truth is, I think that there is
a degree of performance that, frankly, just being in the suit
and adopting the character onset, lends the voice that’s
incredibly impressive. So we wound up using that very much as
the basis of it.
Q. Do you have special fears or phobias – bats,
A. I was a bit of an odd kid actually; I liked scary
movies; they were certainly my favourite kinds of movies and I
enjoyed going walking in the woods at night time and walking down
dark alleyways and things, just to purposely get the hair on the
back of my neck to stand up. I always kind of enjoyed toying with
my own fears.
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