The Batman explores many dark themes and highlights the Dark Knight’s second year of vigilantism. But perhaps one of the most terrifying parts of the film is the Riddler. Paul Dano, who plays the infamous villain, fully embraced his character in The Batman. And per one of the movie’s crew members, the actor scared them while on set.
Paul Dano plays the Riddler in ‘The Batman’
The Riddler, played by Paul Dano, is one of the main villains of The Batman. Bruce Wayne, who is still an inexperienced vigilante and crime fighter, discovers that a serial killer, aka the Riddler, is targeting Gotham’s elite. The villain toys with Batman and the police department by giving them riddles to decipher.
The Riddler’s real name is Edward Nashton, and, like most bad guys, he has a troubled past. And the motivation for his crimes is linked to his desire to reveal the truth about Gotham.
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, The Batman director Matt Reeves confessed that he had Paul Dano in mind for the Riddler when he was writing the script. He said, “Paul is just off-center in a way that makes him very relatable. I didn’t want this character to be a villain. Even in his darkness, I wanted to see that humanity.”
Paul Dano creeped out Matt Reeves on the set of ‘The Batman’
Paul Dano truly became the Riddler while on the set of The Batman. And his performance as the villain was so real that he even scared Matt Reeves.
“I remember, early on, we had this thing where he has the voice changer, and he said, ‘I kinda need to get used to it, so do you think we could have a session where you and I get together?'” Reeves told Digital Spy. “He did this thing where he put on that mask, and he had the voice changer, and I had the headphones in, and he just kept going, ‘Matt, I’m talking to you, Matt.’ I was like, ‘This is really creepy, Paul.'”
The director continued, “For like an hour, he was just getting into seeing how his voice would sound. He had to get into what’s called mask work because so much of Paul in the movie is this voice that’s disguised and a face that’s disguised. It’s fascinating work, and I think he’s amazing at what he does and how he projects through that very scary mask.”
If Matt Reeves found Paul Dano creepy while filming The Batman, then there’s no doubt that his performance as the Riddler will terrify audiences.
The actor reveals how he prepared to play the Riddler
During the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Paul Dano recounted preparing for his role in The Batman. Since the Riddler wears a mask for most of the movie, the actor worked with a mask expert before filming. And Dano revealed that the mask gave him a sense of power.
“Power, because you don’t want the person wearing that mask walking toward you,” he shared. “And for somebody [like the Riddler] who felt powerless in their life, that’s a big feeling to be given.”
Dano was fully dedicated to the preparation for the film. He even tried on hundreds of glasses to determine which ones worked best with the Riddler’s mask.
“I’m not the guy who’s like, ‘If you don’t see my feet in the shot, I’m going to put on more comfy shoes,'” the actor said. “That’s just not how it works.”
The Batman is now playing exclusively in theaters.