August 29th, 2021 / 3 Comments

When rumours first started circulating in February 2019 about Rob being in the running to portray Batman there were a lot of cynics (even in the fandom) who just didn’t or couldn’t believe Rob would leave his indie world behind to front the face of another franchise. Yet here we are in 2021 waiting patiently for the release of the first film. I thought I would do a roundup of Rob talking about why he pursued the role, what drew him to it and what he’s hoping to achieve. Here’s what Rob has had to say thus far:

VARIETY – 3 September 2019 (watch HERE at 2.51):

“What About ‘The Batman’ with Matt Reeves?”

“I really like Matt Reeves and his set up for it. I mean, it’s an interesting direction and it’s something from the comics which hasn’t been really explored yet. Yeah it’s kind of crazy shoes to fill. I mean it’s interesting what the different directions he can take with it and the kind of fit in a somewhat quite specific character – there’s actually quite a lot of leeway I mean when you look at all the different tones of all those movies and the TV shows. You can do quite a lot with it.

Yeah, Batman was really the only kind of superhero who I really had any kind of connection with when I was growing up and really from the Tim Burton ones I was just kind of obsessed when I was a kid. I don’t know it’s very very daunting. It’s weird I’m quite glad I’m doing Chris’s movie right now so I’ve got something else to be nervous about as I don’t have quite enough anxiety space in my head to really get too anxious about it yet. So I’m kind of quite happily just like figuring out how to do things without really thinking about the pressure yet.

Where were you when you learned you were going to be cast as the next Batman?

I think my first day with Chris Nolan which is pretty insane.

NYTIMES (Kyle Buchanan – 19 October 2019 (PRINT Here)

You were saying earlier that we should be skeptical of any actor who wants to play the hero, and yet here you are playing Batman.
Batman’s not a hero, though. He’s a complicated character. I don’t think I could ever play a real hero — there’s always got to be something a little bit wrong. I think it’s because one of my eyes is smaller than the other one.


What is it about Batman that excites you?
I love the director, Matt Reeves, and it’s a dope character. His morality is a little bit off. He’s not the golden boy, unlike almost every other comic-book character. There is a simplicity to his worldview, but where it sits is strange, which allows you to have more scope with the character.

BBC ARABIC NEWS – 22 October 2019 (watch HERE)

Why have you shifted back to big budget films?

Batman was kind of a surprise to me. Now that I’m starting to get into it, I don’t want to approach it as if it’s that kind of a big studio thing … I want to approach it in exactly the same way, I want it to be frightening – something which you lose yourself in. I think it’s more difficult to do because it’s such a familiar character to lots of people but I think, if you can find a place to lose yourself in it then I think it’s really exciting.

INQUIRER (Ruben V Naples – 25 October 2019 (PRINT Here)

And for a part in which your face is basically covered, there is something quite simple about the character in lots of ways. But to see the scope of how many different people have interpreted it, it could be put into so many different genres—it can be played for laughs, for anything. I thought Christian’s idea was absolutely brilliant. I’ve got a little idea of it (his take of Batman), but we’ll see how it works.


JLo: … Now you’re about to play Batman was it a choice to kind of move away from [large studio films] for awhile and why Batman were you ready to get back into that big thing again?

… Even my agents were like, I was very very focused on it I don’t know why I kind of just kept coming back into my head. It’s probably like 2 years ago, and even my agent was like really?

JL: You wanted to do Batman so you sought out the part – oh I didn’t know that?

Yeah. Well not sought it out directly but I was interested in it. … I knew they were doing another one and it just really appealed to me and there’s just something – there was definitely – I don’t know what is that happened inside me but I kind of want to do – it’s a different feeling when you know there’s an audience who has – there’s anticipation from an audience that’s already there and it’s a different kind of pressure. I like doing something which an audience doesn’t know that it wants and try to get it out to them. And that’s a whole different thing, but there’s a competitive side as well when you just know that everyone’s kind of going “oh yeah you wanna play Batman”. And it’s kind of fun. The challenge of it is kind of interesting. … Whenever I see the little action figure or something I still haven’t got my head around it yet. …

JLO: I think you’re going to be an awesome Batman, because he’s a dark character …

I have no interest whatsoever in playing someone who is heroic. The only time I want to play someone who an audience knows they’re supposed to like is when they really shouldn’t like them. … He’s a very very troubled person – there’s very few of sort of a character who is regarded by everyone as a heroic character, most of them know that they need to save the day, that they’re saving the world and they know they’re good, and I always found it interesting that Batman he’s always struggling a little bit especially in some iterations of the story and he doesn’t know if he’s that great or not and that’s kind of interesting. Walking the line all the time.

VARIETY – THE BIG TICKET (Marc Malkin) – 2 November 2019 (Podcast – listen HERE)

I know you can’t tell me any details about Batman, but how excited are you?

Very very. … There’s still a bunch of things that I’m nervous about doing.

How do you wrap your mind around that?

Batman? I’m glad I’ve had quite a lot of time. I’ve been reading – I didn’t realize there were so many Batman comics. Hundreds and thousands. But I’ve been reading a lot of those, and not really just the kind of classics. I just like reading the sort of individual periodicals. It’s nice to kind of see the absolutely contemporary ones – the Tom King ones stuff like that. It’s interesting to see what people are sort of expecting, where the character sits now within that world – it’s very different to where it sits in terms of the movies people see. It’s interesting. I don’t know how much you can bring from those comics but it’s nice to get as much assimilation as you can.

FRESH AIR (Terry Gross) – 19 November 2019 (Podcast – listen HERE)

Do you continue Bruce Wayne/Batman morally ambiguous?

I’ve got a lot of thoughts about this, it’s funny I’ve been doing so many movies where you play this partially monstrous characters and whenever I’ve been promoting them normally noone cares what you say about them, but I’ve noticed every single time I say one sentence about Batman I’m offending swathes of Batman fans. The interesting thing about Batman itself is that it’s been played in so many different ways – the comics cover so much ground, the movies cover so much ground. If you are going on … if you trying to play a historically accurate Batman you could literally play anything. I guess it’s what Matt Reeves who is directing it kind of wants to go for and I’ve always found that until you are on set, and until you can feel what it feels like to be around the other actors, to be in the costume, the few times I’ve been in and it’s not even the real costume yet, just when doing the screen test and stuff, it’s pretty astonishing how different you feel when you put it on. You can have as many ideas as you want and as soon as put that costume on it feels an entirely different situation which you could never have predicted.

How does it feel to have the tights and the cape …?

It makes you a lot larger and people – I think the main thing as well is something where covering your face, like going around with a mask on to anybody, it does something to everyone around you, even though they know who it is underneath. I could feel even in the few minutes I was doing it people behaved differently around you and you’d never really know until you’ve done it.

SUNDAY TODAY (Willie Geist) – 19 December 2019 (watch HERE starts 6.38)

I have to ask you about Batman. That came to you and you thought what? You wanted to be a superhero

Batman’s not a superhero.

How do we classify him? It’s weird I always baulk at it. It doesn’t count you need to have magical powers to be a superhero.

He has a cape? Yeah the cape is – ok i’ll give you that one.

What did you think when you first heard that offer? Like an immediate yes.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (Piha Sinha-Roy) – 6 January 2020

Your choices are really interesting in that you always veer towards these unconventional roles that require you to be quite fearless – then you sign on to be Batman, which requires you to be fearless in a whole new way, but what drew you to the role after you’ve been taking on a lot of smaller and riskier projects?

I had it in my head that there’s something about that part, I had my eye on it and I don’t know why, for a while and then there’s something about the part itself which I always kind of liked – there’s one part of me, the competitive part of me that I really like doing a small movie and helping it find an audience when audience doesn’t know if they want to watch it or not, but it’s also fun to have that anticipation and when there’s doubt or whatever from an audience, it triggers that competitive thing in me. But also there’s something, I did want to do a big thing and there’s something about Batman, his motivations in every iteration of the story are always a little shady. He has this centerpiece backstory of his parents being killed but I think that’s the interesting part of the story, like your parents are killed in a mugging but then … it’s a pretty big leap to become Batman afterward and it allows for quite a lot of scope in what you can do with the character. And also, the Batman is always really cool.

Have you been working on your gravelly deep voice? How are you hoping to put your specific spin on a character that has been previously played by so many great actors as well?

We’ve got a couple of ideas but I’m still finishing Chris Nolan’s movie but I’ve been reading a lot of the comics. I didn’t realize there were like, a hundred thousand Batman comics, it’s really astonishing so I’m reading as many as I can. The line of where the character’s gone in the comics, there’s a kind of strangely, there’s a storyline you can follow the whole way through, a macro storyline from the inception of the character in the comics, which is slightly different from the movie, and I think you can get quite a lot out of it.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (Clark Collis – The Awardist) – 8 January 2020 (watch HERE at 14.43)

How did you decide to put on the cowl?”

There was something that always appealed to me about it. I feel like it sort of exists outside the realm of, the Batman movies have always attracted really really good directors and really good actors playing it has a legacy and a lineage to it. It’s never seemed to me that it’s just bein a cash in for something. It’s always seemed like – you like at the Burton ones and even how the TV series was done – People still watch the TV series – that is a classic TV show and it’s like very very very well done and he performances are great. It’s a very interesting pop arty TV show and it’s funny and I just always feel like it’s not like they just made a movie so they could sell toys, I’m sure that was a part of them that did it – in the first Batman Jack Nicholson is playing the bad guy. I think there’s something very special about it and those Tim Burton’s Batmans when I was younger I was obsessed with them.

Is it true you found out about Batman on the first day of shooting Tenet … did you talk to Chris Nolan about it?

Yeah. It was like a big scene on the first day and I was all over the place and it was an unusual day, but I guess it was all within Warner Bros. I was keeping everything so secret but everyone seemed to know everything before I even knew it.

WWD – 18 January 2020 (PRINT)

Playing Batman in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” is up next

“I’d done quite a few sort of crazy people in a row,” Pattinson said. “I was thinking ‘Hmmm, this is becoming a rhythm, a habit.’ So I need to break it. I was thinking that is kind of what I am afraid of. I realized maybe subconsciously I’ve been avoiding big movies, and so I thought I wanted to do something where it felt dangerous for me to do it. It felt scary.“I liked it when my announcement came [about the role] and everyone was like ‘Nooooo!’” Pattinson laughed. “It’s kind of like ‘Ahhhhh — this feels good.’”Despite there being no real comic book culture in England, as a child he felt a connection with Batman.“But — I mean — I think everyone had a Batman outfit at one point in their lives,” he said. “I can’t really claim it to be a special thing.“As I got older, the Batman movies always seemed to exist as a sort of canon unto themselves,” continued Pattinson, explaining that since the Tim Burton ones “they seemed very unique. That’s my first real awareness of comic book movies. Still now…it seems a little bit independent [from] all the other ones. I think they all seem a bit darker.”Pattinson called Batman “a strange character.”

TIMEOUT LONDON – 28 January 2020 (PRINT)

Robert Pattinson on how he almost lost The Batman role before he even got it

Robert Pattinson was annoyed when news leaked that he might be in line to play Batman, the London-born actor has revealed in a Time Out interview. It wasn’t because he didn’t want the part though, it was because it wasn’t even close to being confirmed.

‘I hadn’t even done the audition’, he told Time Out. ‘It’s just nerve-wracking because I was really excited about it and you think: really, is this how I’m going to lose this role? It’s the most annoying circumstances to lose something.’

He says that the rumours led to him getting grilled about it at the premiere for his new arthouse flick ‘The Lighthouse’, which stars him and Willem Dafoe playing lighthouse keepers on a remote island on the New England Coast. ‘Everyone was like: “Is that true, is that true?”,’ he said. ‘And it wasn’t true at the time, I hadn’t got the job. It was pretty terrifying.’

Pattinson did get the part, but that wasn’t the end of the drama around his casting. Within months of the announcement he appeared on the Today show where he riled fans by saying Batman was not a superhero because he doesn’t have superpowers.

‘I wasn’t educated about the subject,’ he joked. ‘People got very angry about it. It’s bizarre. I still can’t understand the argument. Okay, he’s a superhero, I’m sorry! The next headline: “Pattinson retracts: Batman is, in fact, a superhero. He takes it back.”’

Joking aside, he does care what people make of it. ‘I’m only worried about if people like it when it’s done. Right now, people can think what they want.’ ‘The Batman’ is out in 2021, but in the meantime, Pattinson isn’t keeping his cool about how excited he is. ‘It’s the coolest thing ever,’ he says. ‘I still can’t really believe it.’

TELEGRAAF (Netherlands) – 27 February 2020 (PRINT)

“I can’t say much about the story. Except that I go to the border with my Batman. I want to take him on a psychological journey of discovery full of traumas and darkness. A bit à la Joker . For an actor that is and remains the biggest challenge. “


GQ: Can I ask why The Batman is something you wanted to do? I can think of a lot of reasons to want to do it. But I can also, frankly, think of a lot of reasons to not want to do it.
Pattinson: What are the reasons not to do it? [laughs]

Well, you just starred in a Christopher Nolan film; Nolan has already made three iconic Batman films. Also, I think of you as being a pretty specific actor, and Batman is as much of an archetype as it is a character to be played.
I think sometimes the downsides—which I’ve definitely thought about—the downsides kind of seem like upsides. I kind of like the fact that not only are there very, very, very well-done versions of the character which seem pretty definitive, but I was thinking that there are multiple definitive playings of the character. I was watching the making of Batman & Robin the other day. And even then, George Clooney was saying that he was worried about the fact that it’s sort of been done, that a lot of the ground you should cover with the character has been already covered. And that’s in ’96, ’97?

Yeah, 1997.
And then there’s Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck’s one. And then I was thinking, it’s fun when more and more ground has been covered. Like, where is the gap? You’ve seen this sort of lighter version, you’ve seen a kind of jaded version, a kind of more animalistic version. And the puzzle of it becomes quite satisfying, to think: Where’s my opening? And also, do I have anything inside me which would work if I could do it? And then also, it’s a legacy part, right? I like that. There’s so few things in life where people passionately care about it before it’s even happened. You can almost feel that pushback of anticipation, and so it kind of energizes you a little bit. It’s different from when you’re doing a part and there’s a possibility that no one will even see it. Right? In some ways it’s, I don’t know… It makes you a little kind of spicy. [laughs]

You were talking about fear. You were gearing up to say something I was excited about regarding terror and Batman, but now I’ve lost the thread.
My, um, my publicist always calls me up after an interview, and she’s like, “Is there anything, like, is there any kind of fires you set now? What do I have to fix for you now?” And I’m like, “I don’t even remember anything I said.”

VANITY FAIR FRANCE – 5 November 2020 (Print – translation via Google)

Rob talks about building his character and playing the role with ambiguity

To start, The Batman, I’m using things at the moment that seem fragile compared to the importance of the project. Conversations I’ve had with close friends, embryos of dreams. This is the secret and sensitive part of the actor facing the heaviness of the project. On The Batman, on Tenet, a gigantic team of technicians surrounds you and when you say, “Let’s go Robert…Action!” you have to forget this mass of people and play in front of your own thoughts, your own demons. Yes, I have an actor’s excitement to face the tension of the set, the inordinate expectation of all these people and to transform it into a dialogue between me and myself. …

“I invented a pressure that ended up going crazy. And I like it. The duty to surprise, my audience and above all myself, has become the only worthwhile challenge. And it’s much more difficult, believe me, than the box office challenge. With The Batman and Tenet, you could always say that I’m trying to get back to those heights – we’re talking about millions of entries. But Tenet is also an experimental film. As for The Batman, I look first at the character and what I have to do with it, how I’m going to have to invent nuances in this shell, making it more complex, more complex all the time. Batman is a role in which I have to learn how to play ambiguity better. It’s out of the question to interpret a character of a single color. It’s beautiful, people who seem to live in two states at the same time. And then, imagine: you love to cook and after years you succeed in obtaining the perfect dish, the healthiest, the most balanced, the tastiest, the most subtle; would you honestly eat it at every meal? No! What would you secretly dream about? To make you a nice fat cheeseburger, ah ah ah ah. …

CINEMACON – 25 August 2021 (WB Featurette via ComicBook)

“‘For some reason, Batman has always stood to as one of the major characters of the 20th century,’ Pattinson says. We see him in the cowl, removing it. He says it is ‘radically different’ from other Batman movies. … ‘He’s really working out this rage,’ Pattinson said. ‘All the fights seem very personal.’ 

Access asked Rob about the jawline and whether Rob’s found his Batman voice and if Willem Dafoe was an influence. Starts at 2.50

Rob talks about Christian Bale’s advice (at beginning of this interview)

Rob talks about working out for Batman – starts at 2.50

  • sue
    Posted on August 29, 2021

    OMG when I clicked on that first video I almost felt like crying. That voice is what dreams are made of and it’s been a while since I’ve heard Rob’s actual voice! I’m off to read the rest of the post now – thanks Maria!

  • PM
    Posted on August 30, 2021

    Hi Maria, what a great round up! I remember reading or hearing in an interview where he says something about his face being covered most of the time and that he was going to try to do something (to counter or make up for that). He does not say what — can’t remember where I saw it. I will be watching to see what he does specifically to counter the mask effect.

    He is the king of metaphors with gems like this: “And then, imagine: you love to cook and after years you succeed in obtaining the perfect dish, the healthiest, the most balanced, the tastiest, the most subtle; would you honestly eat it at every meal? No! What would you secretly dream about? To make you a nice fat cheeseburger,…”

  • Maria
    Posted on August 30, 2021

    Hi PM – I came across that and I thought I included it. Will have a hunt back through my research and add it.

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