Second only to his enduring fib about once witnessing a clown dying at a circus, the British actor admitted that he pulled the “family emergency” card on the set of his new film Tenet in order to sneak away for Batman-related duties.
Except this time Pattinson got caught because the much-delayed spy film is directed by Christopher Nolan, who, of course, helmed three previous Batman films.
“It’s funny because Chris is so secretive about everything to do with his movies,” Pattinson told The Irish Times in a recent interview. “And then I had to be really secretive about Batman stuff.”
In May, the actor was cast as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Matt Reeves-directed film titled The Batman, which will reportedly explore the superhero’s formative years. Pattinson beat out such contenders as Armie Hammer and Nicholas Hoult for the part.
But production on Tenet overlapped with the audition process for the Batman film, which left Pattinson with a dilemma.
“I had to lie to Chris about having to go for a screen test,” he admitted. “I said I had a family emergency. And as soon as I said ‘it’s a family emergency’ he said: ‘You’re doing the Batman [audition], aren’t you?’”
Pattinson didn’t reveal Nolan’s reaction to the lie, but it’s safe to say no one understands the importance of secret-keeping more than the director, who famously bans phones on set. Last year, the actor revealed that Nolan had given him a few tips about playing the Caped Crusader.
And it turns out the stunt-heavy Tenet was just the kind of preparation Pattinson needed for the superhero role.
“When I’m running on screen I’m generally paired with John David [Washington] who is an ex-NFL player so it was the most unfair thing in the world,” Pattinson said of his Tenet co-star. “The maximum workout I do most of the time is a casual stroll. John David can run all day long. It was good that I ended up being pretty fit. But definitely, at the beginning, there were days I just could not walk afterwards.”
But then the coronavirus lockdown arrived and his fitness regimen went out the window, much to the dismay of his personal trainers.
“I think if you’re working out all the time, you’re part of the problem,” Pattinson told GQ magazine this spring. “You set a precedent. No one was doing this in the ’70s. Even James Dean ― he wasn’t exactly ripped. ... Literally, I’m just barely doing anything.”
Production on The Batman was suspended in March due to coronavirus concerns but filming is rumoured to begin again in the UK in September with increased safety precautions. The movie is still set to hit cinemas on 1 Oct 2021.