While in town for the Los Angeles premiere of The Batman, Robert Pattinson stopped by the Empire Studio to chat about taking on the Caped Crusader, being the villain of your own story, and his character’s “interesting” relationship with Bruce Wayne.
On being the final word on detective work:
“I feel like I’m the last word on everything. If there’s a problem, I’ve probably tried and solved it, so people come and ask me questions and I feel like I can give them good advice. And if there’s something that someone doesn’t understand, then I’ll make sure that they understand it. So I feel like I have this kind of all-encompassing knowledge base that I can draw on, because I’ve always been interested in so many different things. Even when I was a kid, I was always making my parents buy me hobbies and things to do as an adult because I didn’t want to be stereotyped as ‘the kid who plays video games all day.’ I’ve never really fit the mold, I suppose. I like to read and I like to solve puzzles. When I was 7, I would go through old encyclopedias looking for things that I could understand and then try to put them into practice. I was always the kid who looked up the things that you’re supposed to do as a kid, and did the opposite – I don’t think that I ever played with dolls as a child, I always preferred to play with action figures instead. So I feel like I’ve always been pretty driven and determined, and I feel like that’s served me well in life, because it’s made me the man that I am today. It also means that I’m never going to fit into the ‘popular’ category, which I think is a good thing because if you look at our society today, it’s all about fitting in. It’s about being popular, being accepted, and being comfortable. That’s not really what I want out of life, that’s what society wants out of me, but that’s not going to define me as a person, I’ll never be able to satisfy them so I might as well not try. That’s not my style, my way of living, or my values. So I think that it’s good that I’m not going to be like everybody else, it gives me more freedom. I can be myself and they can accept me for who I am, which I think is most important.”
On being compared to the caped crusader:
“I get compared to Batman all the time, especially since I play the part of a billionaire… But I don’t really see myself as a superhero, nor do I want to be one. Batman is Batman because he’s a superhero, he doesn’t dress up and pull pranks like the Riddler. People always seem to want to put me in that bracket because I play the part of a millionaire who does bad things. But you know what? Batman isn’t always an hero, he’s often times been referred to as the ‘dark knight’. So if Batman fails, I’m out. If the Batman fails, I’m out. It would be a shame to not see the potential that this character has. If nothing else works out for me in terms of legacy and fame, at least I can walk away feeling that I’ve given it my best shot and lived a life that I’ve enjoyed. Batman is a symbol of inspiration to a lot of people, his story and his journey is one that a lot of people can relate to. Even if you don’t agree with what he’s done, at least you can respect what he’s trying to do. It would be a much easier life if everybody loved what you did, but that’s not how life works, sometimes you have to take the consequences of your actions, win or lose, but at least you tried.”
The Making Of ‘The Batman’
One of the greatest joys of reading Batman comics is getting to see the creative process behind the scenes. Now that we’re actually getting to see the film version of the story, it’s even more exciting to see the different takes and the unique stories the various artists had for the characters they portrayed. While we wait for the film to be released, here’s a look at some of the amazing artwork and designs that never made it to screen. Keep an eye out for more as the film progresses.
“I think one of the greatest joys of playing the Riddler is that he’s so much fun to work with. He has this brilliant mind and has these plans that he wants to carry out, and he’ll just come up with new ideas all the time. It makes coming up with puzzles and riddles so much fun. We even have a saying in the office, ‘Let’s give the Riddler a brain,’ which is a very jocose way of saying, ‘Let’s come up with some really crazy ideas.’ Even the older members of the crew have a blast working with the Riddler. He keeps us on our toes and makes every shoot fun. The best part is that he’s very open to new ideas and he wants to make sure that whatever we come up with, it will be perfect. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also a lot of fun. We’ve created something that the fans are going to love and that the entire world is going to enjoy. We’re excited to show the world what we’ve done, and what the Riddler has done.
“What’s amazing about the Harley Quinn character is that, at first, it was such a fresh concept. She was the funny, crazy, and popular neighbor girl who fell in love with the Joker and ended up getting framed for his murder. It was such a unique take on the classic ‘boy meets girl, boy knocks girl out, boy marries girl’ story, and it became one of the most popular arcs in the entire series. It’s still talked about, more than 10 years after its initial publication. This week, the Joker is celebrating his anniversary with the Harley Quinn character and there were big celebrations at conventions across the country. It’s such a shame that we’ve had to wait so long for the next installment. We’ve had to wait so long for the Harley Quinn animated series, but we’re going to get our fix now. She’s such a cool character and it’s been amazing to see how much she’s developed over the years. To get to play with such a legendary character, especially one that is so unique and compelling, has been such a thrill. It was a real honor to play her, and it’s been an honor to watch the audience respond to her in such a positive way. She’s a very complicated character, but she’s also very lovable. People connect with her because she’s so different from what they’re used to seeing on screen, and that’s what makes her interesting, in a good way. She’s very much a part of the zeitgeist right now, which is amazing considering that she’s been around for such a short time. It seems like just yesterday that we were talking about Harley Quinn and just now, she’s one of the most popular topics of conversation amongst comic book fans. It’s been quite the ride and it’s been a real honor to play a part in making her such a prominent character. Maybe one day, we’ll even get to say, ‘I knew her back in the day.’ That would be an amazing story to tell.”
Speaking of awesome villains, who didn’t just love Anne Hathaway’s chilling performance as the feline femme fatale, Catwoman? It wasn’t just the fans who fell in love with her, the filmmakers certainly did too. There was even a point during filming where they considered giving her a soul. The character was initially created for the 1960s Batman television show, but she didn’t make her first big appearance until almost 20 years later in the 1989 Batman film. Since then, she’s become a popular character among both fans and filmmakers, appearing in several major motion pictures, as well as having her own animated series. It wouldn’t be correct to say that she’s had a better career than Bruce Wayne, however, she did have a hugely successful run in the ‘90s that saw her become one of the most prominent villains of the decade.