Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. You seem to have perfected the walk as 50% slink and
50% attitude, was that something you cultivated?
A. Thank you for that. Part of it came from studying
cat movements and the whole costume was designed to show a little
bit more of the body; not just to show skin, but to show the sinuinous
of the cat, and probably show the movements a little bit better.
So that walk was derived from just studying hours and hours of
tapes of cats, and trying to move in sort of the way that cats
Q. How long did it take to do the cat-fight and did you
hold anything back at all?
A. That sequence took us about nine days to shoot, and
it was pretty intense. We worked a lot with our doubles, because
I really didn’t want to take Sharon’s teeth out [laughs].
I really, really didn’t. We’re really not trained
to do that kind of thing, but Sharon and I both welcomed the idea
of working with each other’s doubles, so that we could feel
free to do the best we could. I think that’s sort of what
freed me up to try and go further and try more and risk a lot
of the stuff myself, because I knew I wasn’t going to hurt
anyone, especially Sharon.
Q. Would people describe you as having feline grace,
or do you err on the side of clutsiness in real life?
A. I think I’m a good mix of the two, which is
why this was a perfect choice for me in terms of the character
I play. I think there are times in my life when I can very much
relate to who that Patience character was, feeling when I don’t
quite fit in, feeling not to sure of myself, and there’s
times when I’ve been as fierce as a tiger and held my ground
and stood up for what I’ve believed in, you know, and overcome
great adversity. So I’m a little bit of both of them.
Q. As a former model and the current spokesperson for
Revlon, how on the button do you feel the film’s depiction
of the cosmetics industry is? Is it that ruthless?
A. Obviously because I am a spokesman for Revlon [laughs],
I’m not a fool! No, I think the movie is really not meant
to be a slant on a cosmetics company, it’s meant to really
depict what can happen to human beings within any company. It
didn’t have to be a cosmetics company that Laurel and George
Hedare worked for. It could have been any company, it was just
sort of the corruption that goes on behind a company, and they
chose a cosmetics company, and they chose to be using a cosmetic
cream, because one of the themes of the movie was really to sort
of blow open the fact that as women do start to age in life, we’ve
been given this great burden of feeling like we have to search
out the fountain of youth, or else we’re not accepted anymore,
we’re not welcome, we’re not wanted, we’re not
appreciated. I think that was the underlying theme. That was the
message, and using a cosmetics company to use this cream to make
women look younger longer was just a way for us to get that beat
home. It really wasn’t about a cosmetics company. It wasn’t
the company that was bad, but the individuals that worked for
Q. What is it about lotions, potions and cream? And do
you think that the relationships that women have with their beauty
is getting unhealthy?
A. I’m like the average mousey girl that could
care less about that stuff in the movie and I think that my character
is the ying to Sharon’s yang. I do think that we have become
obsessed with beauty and that fountain of youth I mentioned earlier.
Personally, I’m really saddened by the way in which women
start to mutilate their faces today in search of that. In terms
of getting plastic surgery and pulling themselves this way and
that, it’s like a slippery slope. Once you start, you pull
one thing one way, and you think, ‘oh God, now this looks
wrong and you pull it that way’ and you start pulling again
at the other side. And then you have this plastic-plastered copycat
sort of face and that’s frightening for me, so I try to
use my voice in any way that I can to say just what I’ve
said right now. It’s really insane and I feel sad that this
is what society is doing to women. And I think our movie sort
of addresses that in a real subtle way. I mean it was a real popcorn
eating, rip-roaring, hopefully visual spectacle, but there were
little messages to be had if one wanted to see them. This was
one, that women invest so much time and energy on their physical
self, and go to such extremes, that what happens to Laurel Hedare
is a metaphor for what is really going to happen to the rest of
Q. How do you think you compare
with the Michelle Pfeiffer version of Catwoman?
A. I think we’re very different. Our story was
very different from the world and the universe that Michelle Pfeiffer’s
Catwoman existed in.
Q. Was there ever a problem filming with all those cats
in the scenes?
A. No, the cats were great. I mean I have to say, they’re
like children and they get all the focus on the day that we shoot.
But they were wonderful. I’m an animal lover, I even adopted
one of the kitties from the movie, so it was great. And they were
live cats, they were not CG cats, which was a nice element. So
much in the movie we did things for real and the CG came in when
it was really impossible to get things done, but Pitof really
tried to use the real everything, all the time.
Q. What did your children think of you being Catwoman
and did they get involved in any way?
A. Yes, mine were. But mine was a part of the entire
process. When I was first offered the role, I went straight home
and told her and she celebrated, because as a young woman, especially
a woman of colour, even at the young age of 11, she knew the importance
of that. And she knew how happy I was in return. She was thrilled
because she would be able to see this image, a strong, powerful
woman, because she was a fan of Batman, Superman and Spider-Man
and now she’d get to see Catwoman in a real way.
She was really, really happy and inspired, and she loved the movie.
I said to her, you know, ‘are you sure it’s not just
because I’m your mum?’ And she said, ‘no’,
she really, really enjoyed it.
Q. How much did Eartha Kitt’s portrayal of Catwoman
A. I had some sporadic images of all of the Catwoman
of the past in my mind. But what I really didn’t want to
do was go back and really revisit their performances, because
I think the worst thing an actress can do is mimic or copy someone
else. So I had it in my mind, sure, and I had Michelle Pfeiffer
very much in my mind, because she was the last one, but I really
wanted to take the script that we had before us, which was very
different; she wasn’t in Gotham City, there was no Batman,
there was no Joker, and wanted to take the script that I had before
me and figure out who this Catwoman would be, within this universe,
and bring my own self to it, and certainly not copy or mimic anyone
Q. How was the whip?
A. I think that the whip was very exciting, because everyone
wanted to try it, and get the crack, when you break the sound
barrier, and the whip is moving faster than the speed of light.
Just that act alone makes you want to have a go, to see if you
can make something move that fast. And I think everyone gave it
a shot, and it’s very elusive, that whip, because you think
it’s going to be easy, but it really doesn’t happen
Q. What was your favourite comic book character as a
kid? And which comic book character would you still like to play,
A. I really didn’t grow up reading comic books.
But as I came into my adult life I became more aware of them,
but I have to say that I doubt I’ll play another comic book
character. After playing Storm in X-Men and now Catwoman, I think
my comic book days are probably over, unless I get to play Catwoman
again, because I would love to do that. Other than that, I think
I’ve pretty much done it.
Q. Did your catsuit change your mindset about how to
play the role once you saw it?
A. No, but I think every movie role that I venture to
play always does something really wonderful for me in my personal
life. I don’t think I would do it, as much as I love entertaining
people, I’ve found that it offers me, personally, so much
more. I don’t think I would fight quite so hard and persevere
the way I have been able to, if it didn’t really offer me
something very profound in my real life. At the end of every movie
experience, I have this great catharsis that happens, and I feel
that roles come to me, in my life, at the exact moment that I’m
needing and wanting to express whatever that character is expressing.
And Catwoman was no different. It came along at a time when I
was really at a personal crossroads, and I needed to feel my own
sense of power, my sense of strength of a woman. I had to make
some tough, life-changing decisions and, believe it or not, donning
that suit, every day, for six months, really helped me. And not
just the suit, but daring to live and walk with such truth and
have such power, and wield that power, and feel how people treated
me differently during that time, really was the catalyst for me
to make some powerful life-changing decisions.