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Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz & Matt Reeves On Balancing The Action Sequences And Emotional Scenes in ‘The Batman’

The Batman is almost here! Continuing our coverage of the caped crusader, we’re talking about the highly anticipated action sequences The Batman delivers.

In this discussion Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, and Matt Reeves talk about what it was like training and filming the stunts with coordinator Rob Alonzo. The trio also went into detail about balancing the action with the emotional scenes.

BatCat - The Batman
(Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Pattinson: We didn’t have that much time. So we went kind of the from the first day of rehearsals, we were doing, I think, like six hours a day. A lot of it concentrated on our first big fight in the mayor’s mansion. And it was fun, though. I love the way Robert Lanza teaches choreography. It’s not like how — it doesn’t feel like you’re learning it completely by yourself. Like, the kind of dance you learn in these little patterns. And it’s kind of like actually doing combinations when you’re doing boxing. And he can kind of rearrange the patterns into different fight sequences. And so it feels like once you get the hang of it, if you can, you can do these fight scenes. And it feels very real when you’re doing it and you kind of and it keeps you very reactive. 

We were doing a lot of that kind of training. I remember training with Tara. And yeah, we’re both training officers. So it’d be training my double and I’d be training with [Zoë’s]. And I was always so afraid, saying “I really don’t want to hurt you.” And she’s, she’s like, “Trust me, you will not hurt me, but I will hurt you. So pay attention.” And then the first day she kicked me in.

Kravitz: But I think it’s cool the way Rob Alonzo, he really wants us to understand. I like having the skill to box and react. And then he teaches you to carry the choreography later so that it’s fresh. And I think that really keeps it really electric. The way he works is really organic. Yeah, it feels very alive.

Superheroes are inherently such a power fantasy. You guys get cool rides, cool costumes, cool fight scenes, but both of you approached the performances with such vulnerability. What was it like finding the balance between those two elements of the character?

Kravitz: I think for Selina, I think a lot of her power comes from her vulnerability. I think I really wanted to, you know, this idea of what it is to be feminine and what it is to be sexy, what it is to be strong. I didn’t want to have to imitate masculine strength, or you know, power. I really wanted to allow her to be soft and feminine and still have that be part of her power. And a lot of it was, I mean, it’s in the script. I didn’t have to do a lot of work, you know, in order to create a grounded character. Matt, you did such a wonderful job at keeping us grounded, whenever we would kind of go off the rails a little bit and get too excited. You know, I’m playing Catwoman when I’m gonna do a cat thing. You’d be like, “Don’t do that. Don’t do the Catwoman thing that you’re doing.” And it was helpful, you know, and it really keeps the tone of the film very, very clear.

(Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Pattinson: Yeah, I think, again, it’s definitely in the script. But, I think there’s something about the way Bruce builds everything. He builds the Batmobile himself, it’s not kind of, it never feels like he’s built something to be cool. Or it doesn’t come from a place of like supreme confidence. It’s not like there’s an extreme amount of high technology. It kind of it feels like it’s the suit, the Batmobile, and all these tools — they all seem like [Bruce is] just a guy obsessing in his basement building. And I mean, they even have the grappling hook, the grappling grapple gun. I mean, it’s just like, it’s a travesty. Like, it’s kind of, it’s a guy who’s sitting there going, “My city is collapsing around me, and I need to build these little tools.”

So it’s kind of I don’t think that even Bruce even really feels like a when I’m in the suit. Like, everyone’s gonna be scared of me; it’s just something that’s kind of born out of this need and kind of obsession. And so I don’t really think…I feel like the Batmobile and the suit and everything, it’s just really kind of parcels of the same thing. It’s kind of a part of him. So I don’t think there’s too much of a separation between the two between his vulnerable self and his competence, if that makes sense.

Kravitz: Also, all the action in the film is so tied to something emotional. There’s no action just for action’s sake. It’s all because, you know, something very complex is going on with both of our characters. And so you don’t really have to choose between one version or the other.

Reeves: I think, too, the thing that I was interested in and that we all sort of worked on and doing was, talking to Rob Alonzo, that [Batman] had to be able to fight, but I wanted you to feel the punches he was taking as much as the punches he was sort of dealing out. 

The Batman hits theaters on March 4.

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