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Following the events of ‘The Dark Knight,’ it has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Caped Crusader sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane. The epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate. The film arrives in cinemas and IMAX on July 20th. Look out for another ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ interview with Anne Hathaway on the site closer to the films release date.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between your character and Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne and Batman. Selina Kyle’s encounter with Bruce at Wayne Manor has an unexpected effect on him….?

Anne Hathaway: I think Bruce owes Selina a big thank you because he was leading a pretty lonely life until she came in and got his blood pumping and reminded him that there are fun people out there in the world (laughs). One of the things that fans have always enjoyed about Bruce and Selina, in the comics, is the playful side of their relationship. They may operate very differently, but they actually have a lot in common: they like to keep certain things hidden; they’re usually several steps ahead of everyone else in the room; and they prefer to dress in black (laughs). I had so much fun working with Christian Bale. He’s quick to laugh and have a good time, but he’s also so solid. He’s the kind of actor that raises your game. I would have played a footstool in this movie, but it was pretty cool to play such a wonderful character. I loved that the focus was on who she was as Selina Kyle and that there wasn’t a schism within her, that she didn’t change when she put on the suit. It was kind of her uniform, which she had to wear for her job.

With the more grounded approach of the character in ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ in this world Christopher Nolan and his team have created, what sources did you use to flesh her out and get a grasp on her way of thinking?

Anne Hathaway: Selina, she has her own code of ethics, which sometimes involves doing things that other people might consider questionable. I found that interesting. I did look back at some archival comics and read a lot about Bob Kane’s inspirations for Catwoman, but the most important thing was to be Catwoman in this film and fit into Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City – I’m such a huge fan of Chris’. With Batman, he has been able to pose some really interesting philosophical questions, while shooting these spectacular action sequences and also finding the humour. It was a thrill to work with someone whose mind is so brilliant and whose talent is so very evident.

I think Selina does what is necessary to survive, and that includes crossing a few lines that others might find unforgivable. Even if she wants to change, it’s hard to escape your past…and she does have a past. That makes her vulnerable, especially these days when anyone with a computer or Smartphone can look up almost anything about you. Everybody has moments in life when they think, “If I knew then what I know now…” Selina might like the opportunity not to have to live by the choices she was forced to make up to this point.

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Then with a character like Selina Kyle and the action-sequences in the film, you’ve got the added physicality that the role entails. How did you find that aspect of the character?

Anne Hathaway: I saw it less as a challenge and more as an opportunity to go to a place I had never been required to go before. I also had the benefit of an amazing team, including Tom Struthers and my stuntwoman, Maxine Whittaker, who could not have pushed me harder or been more supportive. I knew I was in great hands with them and with Chris. Coming into this role, I knew it was going to be some of the most exciting work I’d ever done and I was going to have the time of my life, but my expectations were far exceeded. And the skin-tight costume, It doesn’t really hide much, so I worked with a movement coach to make sure that I was going to be very comfortable in my body. If you had to wear a Catsuit in front of the entire world, I guarantee you would get your butt to the gym (laughs).

What notes did Christopher Nolan give you when you first got the part, with the fighting aspects of her?

Anne Hathaway: When I had got the part, Chris had called me into his office and said, “OK, so, there’s going to be a lot of fighting. When we did ‘Inception,’ Joseph Gordon-Levitt got in really good shape, Joe went to the gym for months. So that way when we did his fight sequences, he did all of his own fighting….I really liked that.” (Laughs) So I went, “Gotcha, I’m reading between the lines here.” And I just went to the gym and I came out when we wrapped (laughs). It was a complete transformation, I’d never done anything like that because it wasn’t just about looking a certain way. I had to learn to fight, I had to become strong enough to be able to fight for many days at a time. That was something I felt very lucky about, because I feel like in a situation like this….I don’t know what other actresses have gone through, but I feel like sometimes there’s a mandate that comes to you, an ideal of how you have to look. The way I was always treated on this movie was from the point of: learn how to do what you need to do, then however you look, that’s the way the character looks. I just felt, as a woman, very protective in that way.

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