Dark Knight: Anne Hathaway Thought She Auditioned for Harley Quinn

The Dark Knight trilogy remains the best live-action adaptations of Batman. When Anne Hathaway came in for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Catwoman wasn't what she had in mind. In fact, she thought she auditioned for Harley Quinn. The Academy Award-winning actress spoke to BBC Radio 1 about her embarrassing first meeting with the director. "I came in and I had this lovely Vivian Westwood kind of beautiful-but-mad tailoring top with stripes going everywhere," she said. "And I wore these flat Joker-ey looking shoes. And I was trying to give Chris these crazy little smiles. Sticking to her eccentric choice of outfits for a while, Nolan broke to the news to Hathaway about the role he had in mind.

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Margot Robbie in Birds of Prey (2020). Images courtesy of Warner Bros.
Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Margot Robbie in Birds of Prey (2020). Images courtesy of Warner Bros.

Nolan Had Different Plans for Anne Hathaway for The Dark Knight Rises

"About an hour into the meeting he said 'Well, I'm sure I don't have to tell you this, but it's Catwoman,'" Hathaway said. "And I was shifting into a different gear. 'Now ok, we're slinky. We're slinky. And I hate my shirt. I love my shirt, but I hate it right now. We're slinky.'" Unfortunately, the actor didn't reveal how she got the impression of auditioning for Harley. Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy is not part of the DC Extended Universe. So the Harley Quinn currently played by Margot Robbie never existed with Christian Bale's gravelly Caped Crusader. Robbie's version is the first live-action film version of the character with her appearances in Suicide Squad (2016) and Birds of Prey (2020).

Harley Quinn was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm originally for Batman: The Animated Series. Initially voiced by Arleen Sorkin, Dini and Timm conceived the character as the romantic love interest for The Joker. Formerly a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, Dr. Harleen Quinzel worked to help rehabilitate the inmates. When meeting the Joker, the doctor's interest turned to infatuation twisting her morals. She completed her transformation to Harley Quinn after the Joker subjected to the same "chemical bath" he did. Aside from sharing their sadistic desires, she became a poster child for Stockholm Syndrome, always on the receiving end of "Mr. J's" abuse. Eventually, Harley split with her on-and-off-again relationship and paired with Poison Ivy adopting her as her bestie. How do you think Hathaway's approach to Harley Quinn would look?

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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