December 29, 2011 12:50pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Key 'Dark Knight Rises' Scene Revealed
For anyone who's seen the recently released trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the conclusion to director Christopher Nolan's Batman films, the stakes appear higher than in the franchise's previous efforts.
Gotham City dissolves into a near-apocalyptic state, thanks to the work of new villain Bane (Tom Hardy), but what the trailer doesn't show is what role Anne Hathaway's Catwoman plays in the melee.
VIDEO: 'The Dark Knight Rises' Full Trailer Hits
The Los Angeles Times will run a story in its Jan. 1 issue, including an interview with Hathaway, which details a scene in the film not yet screened for fans.
"Gotham City is a war zone," reports the paper. "A ruthless madman named Bane has ripped away any sense of security and the citizens, haggard and clutching suitcases with refugee anxiety, sit behind barbed wire waiting to see what will blow up next. A hooded prisoner is dragged — it's Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), one of Gotham's most famous faces, but the eyes of the crowd go instead to the woman in black standing at the top of the staircase."
That woman is Hathaway's Selina Kyle, decked out in Catwoman's serrated stiletto heels and feline-esque goggles.
“Sorry to spoil things, boys," she says, "but Bane needs these guys himself."
For an idea of just how she might sound as Catwoman, just rent any of actress Hedy Lamarr's films from MGM's golden age in the 1930s. The Austrian-born actress was Batman creator Bob Kane's original inspiration for the character, and Hathaway studied her voraciously for the part.
“I know this sounds odd, but her breathing is extraordinary,” Hathaway said of Lamarr. “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.”
Nolan, her director, noted that any inspiration Hathaway drew from Lamarr does not take away from the unique qualities she brings to the role.
“She had something very important we needed for this character," said Nolan. "She’s an incredibly talented but naturalistic actress, which makes her great in film. She also has terrific theatrical skill so she can project a persona and there’s a big aspect of the character that is a persona. She’s a multilayered character and we needed a great actress that could rise to that challenge.”