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“The Batman” stars Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz recall their sweaty first day on set
Written by Chancellor Agard

Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz were thrown into the deep end on their first day shooting The Batman.

In the Matt Reeves-directed movie, Batman (Pattinson) crosses paths with Kravitz’s Selina Kyle, who isn’t Catwoman yet, while investigating Gotham City’s new serial killer, Riddler (Paul Dano). He tails Selina and catches her breaking into the mayor’s mansion, the scene of the Riddler’s first crime, because she’s looking for a lead on her missing roommate. Naturally, the two end up fighting.

According to Pattinson and Kravitz, this brawl was the first thing they shot in the entire movie when principal photography began in January 2020. The Tenet actor was in his brand new Batsuit, and the Big Little Lies star was rocking a motorcycle suit, which is supposed to serve as the foundation of her Catwoman suit should there be a sequel.

“It was a really intense way to kick things off,” says Kravitz, who appears on EW’s latest digital cover story alongside Pattinson. “It was almost good because I had all this training beforehand, and learning that fight was very intense. But there’s just something comforting actually in starting [with] something that’s more physically-focused versus a monologue or something. That’s the stuff that actually is more intimidating to do, especially in a film like this.”

Pattinson adds: “That was a pretty rough introduction to playing a character because Matt likes to do a lot of takes, and we were shooting a fight. It’s hard to fight in those suits. We were doing that for weeks.”

The costumes created another unglamorous obstacle because Pattinson was, understandably, burning up in the Batsuit. At one point, Batman pins Selina to the top of a table, and during each take, his sweat would trickle down his forehead, between his eyes, and out through the cowl’s nose tip as he hovered above his costar.

“There’s only one place where sweat can be released,” says Pattinson. “And it would drop directly between Zoë’s eyes or nose. I could almost see it quivering at the end of my nose like, ‘Don’t drop!’ It’s like Mission: Impossible.”

“I’d just be trying to do the scene, but also just looking at the one bead of sweat that I knew was about to fall,” says Kravitz.

Beginning with the fight also challenged the actors’ performance. “A lot of our interactions, in the beginning, are these physical kind of set pieces, and you’re kind of trying to do character stuff in amongst the action,” says Pattinson. “And kind of trying to establish a relationship while simultaneously hitting each other. It’s an unusual dance.”

While Jeffrey Wright’s first day on set as Lieutenant Jim Gordon wasn’t as action-heavy as Pattinson and Kravitz’s, it was still unforgettable. In the Westworld actor’s first scene, Gordon leads Batman through a sea of wary cops at the mayor’s mansion (this moment is featured in several trailers.)

“It was so memorable because one, it was like, ‘Okay, we’re a Batman movie,'” says Wright. “But it was [also] the introduction of these characters together to a world that had never seen them before. And it asks a lot of questions: Who is this guy in this strange suit? Why is he wearing this strange get-up? And why is Gordon with him? ​​It raises all of these questions for which sometimes the answers may be assumed in other versions. It was just a wonderful introduction for us as actors to the story, and I think also as characters.”