Catwoman: Kitten with A Whip

Catwoman: Kitten with A Whip

The character is based on the comic book character of the same name but no origin is provided within the series. She is presented as an experienced professional cat-burglar when first introduced in the series.

Principal photography on Catwoman began in late September of 2003, but leading lady Halle Berry had begun preparing for the physically demanding role long before the cameras started rolling. “I knew this was going to be a huge undertaking for me,” says Berry, “and I actually started intensive fitness training with Harley Pasternak in June of 2003. I’ve always worked out and been in shape, but I needed to take it to a whole new level to meet the physical challenges of this character and create the kind of body that Catwoman ought to have.”

Berry’s grueling training schedule did not let up once filming began – the actress pushed herself right through the course of principal photography. “My fitness and nutrition regime was constant throughout pre-production and production,” says Berry, “but there were many other skills that I had to work on for the film, like whip training, fight training and movement.”

In the course of her exploits, Catwoman tests the theory that cats have nine lives by getting herself involved in some truly spectacular fights. “Halle did an unbelievable amount of fight work and stunts for this role,” praises Di Novi. “From the beginning she wanted to do as much of it herself as she could.”

Catwoman: Kitten with A Whip

Stunt coordinators Steve Davison and Jacob Rupp and fight coordinator Michael Gunther were responsible for teaching Berry choreography for the elaborate fight sequences and making sure she always landed on her feet. Davison calls the actress “one of the fastest learners” with whom he has ever worked. “Halle is just amazing, a total pro,” he says. “Her level of concentration, focus and determination is unlike any I’ve ever seen.”

Anne Fletcher, the film’s choreographer and physicality designer, oversaw Berry’s training in Capoeira (pronounced Cã-po-we-rã), a Brazilian martial art that combines traditional martial arts with dance and gymnastic movements. “It’s one of the most difficult disciplines to learn, but is one of the most beautiful holistic art forms in the world,” says Fletcher.

While Capoeira’s distinctive low-to-the-ground stances and high-in-the-air kicks, jumps and flips might come easy to a Catwoman, they were a challenge for Berry to take on. “Capoeira is probably the hardest thing on the planet to learn to do,” says the actress. “And I had to learn how to do everything in high heels!”

Berry was also charged with learning to properly wield a bullwhip, as the weapon is an inherent part of Catwoman’s lore. It comes in handy when she needs to disarm or dispatch her foes, and also acts as an accessory to her cat suit, whether hanging from her hip or dragging behind her like a long, leather tail.

The task of teaching Berry how to crack a whip like a pro fell to whip master and coach Alex Green. “Halle was one of my best students ever,” says Green. “She was a very quick study. She listened intently and practiced constantly and her hard work paid off. The whip became a true extension of her character.”

Green goes on to explain that the “crack” sound a whip makes is due to the fact that the tail on the whip is actually breaking the sound barrier. When a whip is cracked properly it travels at 950 miles per hour – 1,400 feet per second. “The speed and force of a whip crack is something you must be very respectful of,” says Green. “Halle recognized that immediately. She was never fearful, but always respectful.”

Green began Berry’s whip training with what he considers to be the easiest crack to learn, the vertical, or `circus’ crack. She then worked her way up to the forward crack, the horizontal crack, the reverse horizontal and some “other surprises” that Green does not want to give away.

“Of all my training, learning to crack the whip was the most fun,” says Berry, who was gifted by Green with a custom bullwhip all her own. “The whip is probably the most elusive tool you can play with, but it’s also the most sexy and the most fun. Once you get that first good crack, there’s nothing else like it!”

On top of preparing for her fight scenes and undergoing special training to become whipproficient, Berry also took on extensive dance and movement training to perfect her feline style. “A lot of the action that Halle does in the movie is based on actual cat movement,” comments Di Novi. “When you see cats leaping from eight stories or doing figure eights in mid-air, it’s almost supernatural, and re-creating that with a female human body was fantastic.”

Catwoman: Finding a balance to create a believable character

Catwoman: Finding a balance to create a believable character

Acting alongside Christian Bale was not the only reason Anne Hathaway was excited to portray what she calls “one of the most famous female comic book characters ever.” She recounts, “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’s. With Batman, he has been able to pose some really interesting philosophical questions, while shooting these spectacular action sequences and also finding the humor. It was a thrill to work with someone whose mind is so brilliant and whose talent is so very evident.”

Nolan offers, “We needed to find the balance between the classic image of the character and a believable person you care about. Casting Anne Hathaway in the role was the key to that. She was able to combine those facets seamlessly so they aren’t in conflict, but one is amplifying the other.”

Catwoman: Finding a balance to create a believable character

“I think Selina does what is necessary to survive,” relates Hathaway, “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.”

Bane, however, has no such compunctions. Everything he does is a means to an end. Tom Hardy attests, “Bane has come to do a job and has no feelings of remorse or shame about the death and destruction he’s causing. There is nothing ambiguous about Bane. He is clearly a villain…just a horrible piece of work.”

Anne Hathaway Career Milestones

Anne Hathaway Career Milestones

Born: Anne Jacqueline Hathaway
Birth Date: November 12, 1982
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Height: 5′ 8″ (1,73 m)

Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Kate McCauley Hathaway, an actress, and Gerald T. Hathaway, a lawyer, both originally from Philadelphia. She is of mostly Irish descent, along with English, German, and French. Her first major role came in the short-lived television series Get Real (1999). She gained widespread recognition for her roles in The Princess Diaries (2001) and its 2004 sequel as a young girl who discovers she is a member of royalty, opposite Julie Andrews and Heather Matarazzo.

Anne Hathaway received Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Spirit Award nominations for her performance in Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married; additionally, she won the Critics’ Choice Movie Award and the National Board of Review and Chicago Film Critics Association’s citations for Best Actress.

Previously, she memorably starred opposite Meryl Streep in David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada. With her fellow actors from Ang Lee’s multi-Academy Award-winning Brokeback Mountain (also for Focus Features), she was a Screen Actors Guild Award nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Anne Hathaway Career Milestones

Among Ms. Hathaway’s other movies are such blockbuster hits as Garry Marshall’s The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and Valentine’s Day; Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland; and Peter Segal’s Get Smart. She notably portrayed author Jane Austen in Julian Jarrold’s Becoming Jane; and voiced lead roles in two animated features: Cory and Todd Edwards and Tony Leech’s Hoodwinked, and Carlos Saldanha’s Rio. Her voiceover work as guest star in an episode of The Simpsons earned her an Emmy Award.

Filmgoers have also seen her in Edward Zwick’s Love and Other Drugs, which reteamed her with Jake Gyllenhaal of Brokeback Mountain, and for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award; Gary Winick’s Bride Wars, opposite Kate Hudson; Tommy O’Haver’s Ella Enchanted; and Douglas McGrath’s adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, among other pictures. She first gained industry attention through her work on the television series Get Real, earning a Teen Choice Award nomination for her portrayal.

Theatregoers have seen her in Daniel Sullivan’s acclaimed Shakespeare in the Park staging of Twelfth Night; and in Lincoln Center’s Encores! production of Carnival, directed by Kathleen Marshall, for which Ms. Hathaway won the prestigious Clarence Derwent Award. She has also performed in the Encores! Concert Gala, the Stephen Sondheim Birthday Gala, and (in workshop) Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White.

Anne Hathaway Career Milestones

She supports several philanthropic initiatives, and has traveled to Cambodia for the documentary project A Moment in the World; is active with Step Up Women’s Network, a foundation created to strengthen community resources for women and girls; and serves on the advisory board of Lollipop Theater Network, which screens movies in hospitals for pediatric patients suffering from chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

Ms. Hathaway studied acting at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, and with the award-winning Barrow Group in New York City; in April 2005, the latter honored her for her achievements, which included being the first and only teenager ever admitted into their intensive acting program.

She also studied in the musical theatre program of the Collaborative Arts Project (CAP 21), which is affiliated with New York University. She is additionally an accomplished dancer, having studied at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City; and is a first soprano, having performed in two concerts at Carnegie Hall as a member of the All-Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus.

She recently co-hosted the 83rd Annual Academy Awards telecast with James Franco; and is currently at work filming Christopher Nolan’s globally anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, in which she stars as Selina Kyle opposite Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne.

Marion Cotillard Talks The Dark Knight Rises

Marion Cotillard Talks The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises actress Marion Cotillard recently attended the premiere of her new movie Contagion, where she coyly talked about her character, Miranda Tate, in The Dark Knight Rises.

Almost immediately after she was cast, speculation rose that Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member who is not featured in the comic books, is actually an alias for Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul. Here’s what she had to say below, when asked if she looked to the comic books for inspiration.

When asked if she was lying to protect the secretive nature of Christopher Nolan’s production, she denied the allegation. It is possible that Miranda Tate really isn’t the alter-ego of Talia al Ghul, but at the same time, it is possible that they are one and the same. Take a look at the actresses video interview below.

The Dark Knight Rises comes to theaters July 20th, 2012 and stars Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film is directed by Christopher Nolan.

Anne Hathaway tipped to play Fantine in Les Miserables movie

Anne Hathaway tipped to play Fantine in Les Miserables movie

Anne Hathaway has been tipped as the frontrunner to land the iconic role of Fantine in a new movie version of musical Les Miserables.

Anne Hathaway who is currently playing Catwoman in the new Batman movie, belted out ‘On My Own’ from the musical at the Oscars in February, and now it looks like that performance may have earned her a leading role in the movie, Contactmusic reported.

According to, Hathaway’s pal and one-time Academy Awards duet partner Hugh Jackman will play leading man Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Hayden Panettiere, Miranda Cosgrove, Lucy Hale and Emma Watson are also being courted for roles.

The website reports Amy Adams and Rebecca Hall are both in contention for the Fantine role should Hathaway turn it down.

See Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises

See Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises

Warner Bros. has released the first promo image of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, the next installment in the Batman franchise.

The 28-year-old Anne Hathaway joins veterans Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine in the Christopher Nolan-direction action flick.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story,” Nolan said in January.

Though Hathaway hasn’t revealed much about her role (“I signed a blood oath,” she says), the actress is looking forward to portraying the iconic D.C. Comics character.

See Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises

“I want to be the best actress I can be and that means working with the best people and taking the most challenging roles,” Hathaway tells Total Film. “That’s the plan and so far it’s led to some really exciting places.”

Catwoman was first played by actress Julie Newmar (now 77) in the 1966 Batman TV series; Eartha Kitt took over the role in the show’s third season. The feline vixen was last played by Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992’s Batman Returns. (Halle Berry starred in the 2004 flop Catwoman; the heroine’s alter-ego was renamed Patience Phillips.)

Arriving in theaters July 20, 2012, The Dark Knight Rises also features three new characters: John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon Levitt), Miranda Tate (played by Marion Cotillard) and Bane (played by Tom Hardy).

Read Full Production Notes for The Dark Knight Rises.