Actor Anne Hathaway was introduced to the superhero world by being cast as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. As rewarding as the part was for the actor, it also put a lot of pressure on Hathaway. Especially when she realized an important detail about the role that made her nauseous.
The advice Christopher Nolan gave Anne Hathaway for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
For Anne Hathaway, being in The Dark Knight Rises came with a certain level of expectations. Nolan wanted Hathaway to become as strong as she possibly could for the role. So much so that he referenced another actor’s training for Inception to motivate Hathaway.
“’When we did Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt trained for 12 weeks to do a four-day stunt sequence because he wanted to do every shot,’” Hathaway recalled Nolan telling her in Variety. “’I want you to do as much of the stunt work as you can. I need you to be strong enough to do that. I can’t have you be one of those actors that does one take, two takes and then you’re too tired. I want you to do everything.’”
Hathaway felt that was what she needed to hear to truly dedicate herself to Catwoman.
“That was what he told me to get me to embrace the physical side of the character and really commit that,” she explained.
Anne Hathaway once realized something about her Catwoman that made her nauseous
For Hathaway, being Catwoman in a Christopher Nolan film was a dream come true. Even back in her Princess Diaries days, she would’ve rather been the Gotham anti-hero instead of royalty.
“It was funny for me because when I got my start, I kind of got my big break with The Princess Diaries, and during the press rounds for that everyone asked me: ‘Did you always want to be a princess growing up?’ And the truth was, no I wanted to be Catwoman. And I think a lot of women feel that way,” Hathaway once opened up to Collider.
It also dawned on Hathaway that Catwoman was going to be Nolan’s first female action hero. Up until Rises, it was mostly male actors that did the more physical and heroic roles. When this was brought to Hathaway’s attention, it was a revelation for the star.
“I didn’t realize I was the first and I feel a little nauseous, that’s a lot of pressure. I couldn’t feel more privileged to walk on the set every day. I’m the most annoying chipper person, because every day I walk on set I just want to do backflips at how happy I am to be here. I would have played street cop number three if it meant getting to work with Chris Nolan, and I get to play Catwoman! I hope I don’t let him down,” she said.
Anne Hathaway watched Youtube videos of cats to get ready for Catwoman
To further prepare for the role, Hathaway wanted to work with real cats for Rises. But she was later talked out of the idea to purchase a pet for the sole sake of an acting role.
“I actually had this moment when I convinced one of the assistant directors on the London portion of the film to get a cat with me, the idea being that we were going to get a kitten from a rescue shelter, and he was going to live with me, and I was going to observe it, and when I left London I was going to give it to her,” she once said on Interview magazine. “Then, thankfully, her husband pointed out that that was a terrible idea on so many levels, not least of which being that it would probably be really confusing to the cat.”
Still, the Oscar-winner would go on to find another way to use cats as inspiration for her performance.
“So I turned to YouTube instead and got a National Geographic video on cats,” she added.