As The Dark Knight continues to leave tantalizing clues and leak spoiler-hinting trailers, Anne Hathaway's recent interview with The L.A. Times delved into one character that's been kept pretty tight under wraps: Selina Kyle, also known as the anti-heroine (and sometimes villain) Catwoman.
After the interview, which covered everything from Hathaway's love for Christopher Nolan's directing to using Hedy Lamarr as her inspiration, fans were eager to dig up everything they could about Catwoman in The Dark Knight, from whether she'll be allied with Bane or Batman to what gadgets her costume will include and how much the interpretation will stay true to the comics.
Below, scroll through a rundown of everything we know about Anne Hathaway's Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises so far, from whether she'll be Bruce Wayne's love interest (unlikely) to why Hathaway insists that, even amid the chaos, Gotham City is full of grace.
Selina Kyle's signature look has changed almost as often as the actresses who play here, but Anne Hathaway couldn't be happier with her Catwoman costume in The Dark Knight Rises.
I love the costume because everything has a purpose Hathaway told The L.A. Times. Nothing is in place for fantasy's sake, and that's the case with everything in Christopher Nolan's Gotham City.
In a clip shown to reporters, meanwhile, some of the details of that Catwoman outfit has come to light. Hathaway still has the leather catsuit and high-tech goggles that flip up to look like cat ears, a look she continues to defend. But she's also got something sharper up her sleeve... or, rather, down her boots.
As Anne Hathaway's Catwoman strolls down the steps to Bane and Batman in one scene, her stiletto heels turn out to have serrated edges, able to leave gashes as well as claw marks in a fight. No word yet on whether Catwoman will sport her signature claw-tipped gloves, but we're sure Christopher Nolan will have made something similar for Hathaway's anti-heroine.
Even in the seconds we hear Hathaway speak in the new Dark Knight Rises trailer, her warning to Bane is half purr, half hiss and all exhilaration. When it came to decide who she wanted to model her voice after for the role, Hathaway says she chose Hedy Lamarr, the Viennese actress whose work inspired Batman co-creator Bob Kane.
“I know this sounds odd, but her breathing is extraordinary,” Hathaway said. “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.”
Anne Hathaway only began getting into Batman universe when she landed the role. After she read a few comics, however, she became hooked on her character's history.
Catwoman first appeared alongside Batman in 1940, as a cat burglar who would eventually become Bruce Wayne's love interest, antagonist and ally, depending on the year and what comic you're reading.
The level of complexity, almost to the point of contradiction, actually made the Catwoman role easier for Hathaway to get a hold on.
“What’s come before doesn’t limit or even affect this new version,” Hathaway told The Times. “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, she continued. 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.”
And while Anne Hathaway is still a fan of the original comics, she's glad that Catwoman and Batman's relationship has changed since it began.
When she made her first appearance, she meets Bruce Wayne and says ‘Let go of me or I’ll claw your eyes out,’ and he says, ‘Careful, claws in or papa spank,’” Hathaway said. “So I’m glad we’ve come a long way since then.
One of the most important things to grasp about Catwoman, and about Batman's Rogues Gallery in general, is that all the villains and anti-heroes, even those like Mad Hatter and the Joker, have a code that they follow, and a woven-in place in the DC universe.
It's something that Anne Hathaway assures audiences she'll bring to the screen, and is already exhibiting in the Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer.
“Gotham City is full of grace,” Hathaway said. “You look at Heath’s performance as the Joker, 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, she finished. 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.”
The Allegiance (and The Agenda)
Of course, there is one answer that no amount of teaser trailers, posters or glimpses on the set will be able to tell us about The Dark Knight Rises, and that is whether Hathaway's Catwoman is on Batman's side or allied with his enemy, Bane.
A recent clip shown reporters seems to indicate that Nolan's Catwoman is more femme fatale villain than than saucy sometimes-hero of recent takes. As Bane holds Gotham City's elite captive, including one playboy billionaire, Selina Kyle comes sauntering into the crowd as a hooded Bruce Wayne is dragged into view.
Sorry to spoil things, boys, she says. But Bane needs these guys himself.
This dialogue, and her not-so-friendly advice to Wayne in the trailer about living so large and leaving so little for the rest of us, all points to Catwoman working against the Dark Knight and allied with Bane.
But not so fast. Selina Kyle's warning is to Bruce Wayne, and Catwoman appears to at least be involved in Bane's plans, but that doesn't mean she not a spy or a villain who turns heroine by the end. Moreover, her antagonism so far has been saved for Wayne alone, not the Caped Crusader, so it's possible that Hathaway's Catwoman, not knowing the Dark Knight and the playboy are one and the same, is actually fighting both sides at once.
For those who've read Batman comics, it wouldn't be the first time Catwoman was caught playing both sides. As she tells the Dark Knight in her own comic: My world is all just shades of grey, Batman. That's why you'll never really understand me.
What is certain is that this Catwoman means business (in a way that often harkens to the 99 percent), and that this is one feline villain who won't rely on gimmicks to make her point.
For more about what we know from The Dark Knight Rises, check out Bane, Bale and the Eight-Year Gap and Dark Knight Rises Trailer: 5 Things We Learned, 3 Reasons We're Worried.