I’ll set the scene. On a damp Wednesday afternoon, a giant, demolished bat mask landed in the centre of Leicester Square. If you pair that strange occurrence with fire canons, a flaming bat symbol and hundreds of fans, it could only mean one thing. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES European premiere was about to begin – and did it go off with a bang!
Being considered one of the most anticipated films of the year, TDKR has a lot weighing on it to impress. I suppose, in a way, the premiere gave us a taster of what’s to come, as the first ‘person’ to walk the red carpet was a machine. Not just any machine – but Bane’s tumbler. After appearing from behind a gate-cage (which no-one seemed to notice beforehand), the beast was unleashed and took a lap around the Square, roaring and revving with all of its might. This also helped announce the arrival of the first guest – Grammy and Academy award-winning composer Hans Zimmer. As he walked the red carpet he graciously took the time to sign as many items of memorabilia fans could throw at him, marking him as one of the nicest people you could meet. When we asked him what kind of challenges he faced creating music for the new film, he laughed and replied,
‘A new villain! Not getting sad that it was our last one. Figuring out how to not procrastinate forever because it was our last one and I didn’t want it to end…Chris and I have been working together now for eight years so, you know, it felt a little bit sad.’
I don’t think Zimmer was the only person feeling like that. As he left us to answer the screaming fans, Jonathan Nolan (brother of Christopher and co-writer of MEMENTO, THE PRESTIGE, THE DARK KNIGHT and TDKR) approached. Surely the evening was a sign of closure? Far from it.
‘I’m very satisfied with the ending and I hope the audience are too…And hopefully someone really talented is going to come along in a few years and pick it up and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with it.’
Although Jonathan may be looking a little too far into the future, Tom Hardy was right in the moment. When asked what it was like to work with such a talented group of people, he remarked,
‘They’re all incredible actors and of course Nolan’s an incredible director, so it’s a dream come true.’
And what kind of preparation did he do to prepare for his role as Bane, Batman’s nemesis?
‘I went to the gym and put some weight on…I put a mask on…and I did an accent. That was it.’
One star who would be able to relate to Hardy’s training is Anne Hathaway, as she’s said she learnt martial arts for her role as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. When asked did she feel any pressure playing such a well-known and loved character, she answered,
‘I probably should have felt a bit more but I knew who was directing me. I knew what he’d done with other characters…I just focused on trusting Chris. [On the costume] I just felt so lucky to be the one wearing it that I didn’t care if it was uncomfortable…I just loved wearing it every chance I got. [On working with Christian Bale] The first minute you act with him you’re like “Oh yeah, that’s why you won an Oscar, because you’re amazing!”…I found him really inspiring. Everything about this job made me feel privileged and lucky.”
As for the rest of the cast – and Chris himself – interviews were few and far between. The Square was packed to the brim with television cameras, photographers, microphones, lights and PR and as the rain came over, everyone marched their way indoors. However, photo opportunities were a’plenty, so enjoy the collection below!
, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman, is out in cinemas from Friday.