If you’re not familiar, the recent Batman v Superman movie brought a big shock to the world when one of their main characters fell in love with and eventually married another. Well, turns out it isn’t a total shock. Not only is Robert Pattinson (Pattinson is the English male given name form of Robert) dating (or rather, dating back a few years) the woman who plays his on-screen girlfriend, the Dark Knight’s (Dark Knight is the American male given name form of Bruce) arch-nemesis, the Joker (just to name a few), but they also share the same stunt double!
In other words, for those of you who love the Batman franchise, rejoice. You’ll get your wish! It seems like Robert and the Joker (who is also his stunt double) have a lot in common. For starters, they both love to wear black, and they’re both really good at making people jealous. Furthermore, they both love to be the center of attention, and they’re both skilled at playing mind games with the people they love. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at these two infamous individuals and their unusual relationship.
According to a 2010 interview in GQ magazine, the first time Robert Pattinson met the Joker was almost 20 years ago, when he was just starting out as an actor.
“You know, it’s funny,” Pattinson said of meeting the actor. “I had done a play with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London a few years before, and I was in New York doing a movie when I got the phone call. He said, ‘Can you do me a favor? Can you go to this party? There’s this guy there who wants to meet you.’ And I went, ‘OK.’ And it was the most bizarre party. There were these massive cardboard boxes tied up with string, and people were jumping out and trying to psychologically traumatize each other.”
The two never really got along. In fact, the last time the Joker and Robert Pattinson were in the same room together was in 2008 when they both appeared on stage in London for the opening night of Kenneth Branagh’s Broadway play, Death of a Salesman.
The Dark Knight
Before we get into the uncanny stunt double connection, it’s important to discuss the Batman franchise and the many similarities between the characters of Batman and the Joker. Both are antisocial, loners who are skilled at mind games and enjoy shocking people (especially people they deem to be beneath them). The differences between the two are that the Joker is a complete psychopath while Batman is driven by a sense of justice and a desire to protect the people he cares about. Still, both are extremely good at what they do. And, speaking of which…
In 2007, the same year Death of a Salesman premiered on Broadway, the Dark Knight was released. And in a bit of a twist, the Joker’s resemblance to Robert Pattinson isn’t just skin-deep. The entire movie was probably shot with Pattinson in mind as the actor wore most of the same costumes as his character and double for many of the scenes. In the film, the Joker is a brilliant criminal mastermind who orchestrates elaborate heists and traps. He’s extremely good at getting under people’s skin and making them do his bidding. He’s also a master manipulator, and he uses Robin (the Boy Wonder), the police, and the media to create chaos and havoc. In addition to all of that, he’s also a gifted artist who likes to scribble dark drawings on the walls of his prison cells. All of this contributes to one simple fact: the Joker is extremely difficult to play.
Now, back to our main story. It’s no secret that the Joker and Robert Pattinson have a lot in common, and their history goes back a long way. But it’s also worth mentioning that they’re not the only famous individuals who share a special connection. Here are some other famous pairs of stunt doubles who worked together: James Bond and Pussy Galore, Marlon Brando and Christian Marquis, James Dean and Dennis Hopper, and John Wayne and Victor Mature. Are you starting to see a trend here? There are certainly more that could be mentioned, but these six individuals alone made quite the group!
Of course, the fact that these are all famous pairs of stunt doubles doesn’t necessarily mean that they all worked together. However, in many cases, they did. And the fact that they shared the same doubles means that they probably worked together on at least some of the same movies. Still, it’s amazing to think that six people could look so much alike that they could all play the same character. It’s also pretty uncanny that they all worked for the same studio. Was Batman secretly the master of disguise all along, orchestrating elaborate plans to catch the Joker? It’s doubtful, but it’s fun to think about!
It’s been almost 15 years since the last John Wayne movie was released, and even longer since the last Batman movie. But even though we’ve been away from the Dark Knight and his notorious adversaries for a long time, they’ve never been more popular than they are now. The popularity of these two characters is demonstrated by the fact that many fans have been trying to recreate the bond they shared on-screen for years. And they don’t just want to meet the characters, but they also want to experience what it was like to be with them on-set. This popularity is also why it’s been so difficult to find the right stunt double for the role. Not only do you have to be able to look like your character, but you have to be able to act and perform like them as well. This is why many famous pairs of stunt doubles break up after a few movies. It’s too difficult to keep acting in sync with someone else!
It’s no secret that the Joker and Batman are arch-rivals who fought a long and bloody battle before everything came to a head in The Dark Knight. And it’s also worth noting that while the Joker and Batman were always competing for the affections of the ladies, it was rarely the case for John Wayne and his iconic counterpart, the Marlon Brando-starred The Searchers. The Searchers was an early attempt at adapting the dark and stormy nature of the Batman story for the big screen, and it was an interesting (if flawed) attempt that revealed a lot about the conflicting nature of respect versus friendship. For his part, Brando’s John Wayne was closer to the traditional Batman in that he was able to rely more on brawn than brains when it came down to facing off with the Joker. Still, the film is somewhat of a masterpiece, and it’s interesting to see how different directors and storytellers have interpreted its ambiguous ending over the years. In many ways, The Searchers is similar to the Dark Knight in that it also pits a man (Wayne) against an adversary who is extremely skilled at psychological warfare, but it also differs in that Wayne’s struggle is more of a personal one and doesn’t involve the bigger society that Batman usually grapples with. There are no villains in The Searchers, and the movie itself is ambiguous as to whether Wayne will succeed in his quest or not. The film ends with an image of the lone protagonist reflected in a mirror. Is he walking towards a brighter future or descending into a deeper darkness? Perhaps this is why the Joker and Batman were able to work together on at least some of their respective projects, despite the fact that they were polar opposites in so many ways. Their shared history and their ability to understand each other’s behavior probably helped. But regardless, it’s neat to see these cinematic odd couples as allies in the fight against evil. (In the comics, John Wayne is often depicted with a pistol in one hand and a torch in the other, much like the Joker. In most cases, the Duke uses his pistol to shoot first and ask questions later, which is always the smart thing to do.)