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Pattinson Explains Why His Take On Batman Feels “Spicy”

The former teen heartthrob talks taking on the darkest superhero in the universe.

Robert Pattinson did an interview with GQ Magazine over the course of several days (and several FaceTime sessions) to not discuss the hotly anticipated gender-flipped Twilight novel, Midnight Sun, a version of the saga that re-tells the story from Edward’s, not Bella’s, perspective. Instead, Pattinson spoke about his upcoming blockbuster films, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and the upcoming Matt Reeves’ Batman reboot. Many people were surprised when Pattinson took on the Batman project, as the Ben Affleck version has functionally just been released and there have been almost more iterations of the caped billionaire superhero in the past 15 years than can be counted. But, according to Pattinson, that’s exactly the reason why he wanted to take on the project.

In an interview with Zach Baron, done over the course of several virtual interview sessions and featuring self-portraits of the actor who is currently camped out in London for stalled Batman shoots, Pattinson said that the sheer number of iterations on the Batman helped inspire him to take the role. When Baron said he felt there were a lot of reasons to not want to play The Batman, Pattinson responded: “I think sometimes the downsides…seem like upsides. I like the fact that there are very … well done versions of the character which seem pretty definitive, but…that there are multiple definitive playings of the character.”

To Pattinson, that Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck have tried their hand at The Batman since 1997, all putting their own spin on the titular character, actually makes the project of taking on the often-storied superhero more fun. “It’s fun when more ground has been covered. Lie, where is the gap? You’ve seen this sort of lighter version, you’ve seen a kind of jaded version, and a kind of more animalistic version… Where’s my opening? … Do I have anything inside me which would work if I could do it?”

Pattinson also pointed to the legacy aspect of the character, which might scare off more actors but to him felt like a satisfying and interesting challenge. “There’s a few things in life where people passionately care about it before it’s even happened. You almost feel that pushback of anticipation, and so it energizes you a little bit,” he says. When talking about how it pushes him to make daring choices, “It makes you a little kind of spicy,” he says.