Anne Hathaway Catwoman

December 30, 2011 by staff 

Anne Hathaway CatwomanAnne Hathaway Catwoman, To help her get into character as the latest version of Catwoman, actress Anne Hathaway says she studied the inhales and exhales of classic screen beauty Hedy Lamarr, who inspired the feline villain in the original Batman comic books.

“I know this sounds odd, but her breathing is extraordinary,” Hathaway tells The Los Angeles Times in a story about the key role she plays in The Dark Knight Rises. “She takes these long, deep, languid breaths and exhales slowly. There’s a shot of her in (the 1933 film) Ecstasy exhaling a cigarette and I took probably five breaths during her one exhale. So I started working on my breathing a lot.”

But, Hathaway’s version of Catwoman is not all about picking at past sources of inspiration. “What’s come before doesn’t limit or even affect this new version,” she says. “It doesn’t affect me because each Catwoman – and this is true in the comics as well – she is defined by the context of the Gotham City created around her. Catwoman is so influenced by Gotham and whoever is creating Gotham at the time. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman was informed by Tim Burton’s Gotham and Eartha Kitt was informed by Adam West’s Gotham. You have to live in whatever the reality of the world is and whatever Gotham is.”

As for the version of Gotham that director Christopher Nolan has created in The Dark Knight Rises, Hathaway describes the fictional city with an unusual word: grace.

“Gotham City is full of grace,” she says. “You look at Heath (Ledger’s) performance as the Joker (in The Dark Knight), there was a lot of madness there but there was also a grace and he had a code there. There’s a lot of belief and codes of behavior in Gotham and my character has one, too. A lot of the way she moves and interacts with people is informed by her worldview. Chris has given us all such complex, defined, sophisticated worldviews that it’s just a matter of doing your homework and getting underneath the character’s skin.”

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