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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Purr-fect Casting

Okay, okay, that’s a terrible and unoriginal pun in the headline, but forgive me, I’m still distracted by the potential of seeing Anne Hathaway in a catsuit for the better part of two hours.

Yesterday’s news that Hathaway had been cast in the pivotal role of Selina Kyle (Catwoman’s alter ego) in the supposedly last film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise brought about a mixed reaction from the Internet community. Many doubt Hathaway’s ability to play the traits most popularly attributed to Catwoman, sultriness, danger, etc. There was also mixed reactions to the announcement that the previously cast Tom Hardy (Inception) would be playing the villain Bane (but again, I’m a little too distracted by the Hathaway news to care much.)

I have little to no credibility on this issue since I am an unabashed Hathaway fan. I think she’s the best combination of beauty and talent working in the movies today. So it’s no surprise that I think she’ll do wonders as Selina Kyle, but I think there are other reasons than sheer admiration to have confidence.

First and foremost, I think we should by this point all be trusting in Christopher Nolan’s judgment. When I first heard that Heath Ledger would be playing the Joker, my first reaction was bemusement. Him? The guy from 10 Things I Hate About You? Gimme a break, right? One (sadly posthumous) Oscar later and I think the time for skepticism has passed. No one on the Internet has seen Hathaway audition for this role as Nolan has, and his past performance indicates that he must have seen something he could use.

Remember, Nolan has made his corporate backers untold millions of dollars. He has, to be crude, “Fuck You money” which means he doesn’t face the kind of pressures less proven directors may face in terms of casting. Hathaway is the hottest name in the business to be sure, but it’s extremely unlikely, bordering on preposterous, to think that any studio boss’s pressure could have put her in the movie over another actress favored by Nolan. That means he must have thought her the best for the role.

Secondly, if you look at Hathaway’s filmography, you see that she has an incredibly broad range as an actress. She’s played goofy and awkward, she’s been rebellious and uninhibited, she’s done cold, and in Rachel Getting Married she was bitchy, selfish, and vulnerable. It was a tour de force performance. I think she’s capable of anything, and I’m excited to see her try.

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