With Robert Eggers‘ second movie The Lighthouse about to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before its Oct. 18 release, star Robert Pattinson has been doing interviews, including one with Variety— the cover story, no less! — where he was asked a LOT about playing Batman in Matt Reeves‘ The Batman, a role he got back in May.
First of all, we learned that Pattinson had been chasing the role for quite some time:
“I’d had Batman in my mind for a while. It’s such an absurd thing to say. I sort of had an idea to do it, and I’d been prodding Matt. He didn’t accept any prods. I kept asking to meet him.”
And yet, there was a moment where he thought he lost the role because he was in Cannes promoting The Lighthouse and somehow it leaked that he was up for the Batman role. “When that thing leaked, I was f*cking furious,” he told Variety. “Everyone was so upset. Everyone was panicking from my team. I sort of thought that had blown up the whole thing.” He even got busted on a plane Googling himself to see how bad the leak had gotten.
When Reeves finished the script, he agreed to meet with Pattinson. “And then I had to kind of try to imagine what he’d written, and I hadn’t even read the script. I’d come with this pad full of notes,” Pattinson said about this meeting. After that, Pattinson went to Cannes just as word got out of the meeting.
Of course, when you ask an actor about playing Batman, you absolutely MUST ask what it’s like putting on the Bat-suit, which eventually we’ll get a chance to see and criticize, because that is what we do:
“I put it on. I remember saying to Matt, ‘It does feel quite transformative!’ He was like, ‘I would hope it does! You’re literally in the Batsuit.’ You do feel very powerful immediately. And it’s pretty astonishing, something that is incredibly difficult to get into, so the ritual of getting into it is pretty humiliating. You’ve got five people trying to shove you into something. Once you’ve got it on, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I feel strong, I feel tough, even though I had to have someone squeezing my butt cheeks into the legs.’”
“You’re trying to think of the way to balance, how to bring something new to it and not want to scare people off. And work in the confines of the costume.”
Five days after trying on the suit, Pattinson got the role, just as he was starting work on Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet.
“I don’t know anything. I’ve got an idea how to do about four scenes, and then I’m working on the rest gradually,” he said about doing more than one movie. Apparently, he let slip a comment about Joaquin Phoenix, which he immediately asked to retract, because he was worried someone might link his performance in the upcoming Todd Phillips movie Joker to what he’s doing in The Batman.