Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Anne Hathaway is catwoman?

How did Anne Hathaway prep for her role as Catwoman? She followed an "almost vegan" diet!

Shape magazine reports:
While preparing for her role as Catwoman, Hathaway followed an almost vegan, anti-inflammatory diet, which includes whole grains to control blood sugar, avocados, almonds (she doesn’t like walnuts), sesame seeds, dark chocolate, bright red and orange vegetables that are high in antioxidants (Hathaway loves yams), dark leafy greens, ginger, and turmeric. Keeping her protein levels up to build muscle during intense training sessions was the main challenge Hathaway faced, so Keller worked a lot of Seitan and tempeh into the meal plan.
Some of her favorite meals included "miso soup, a tempeh club avocado sandwich on gluten-free bread, Tuscan brown rice salad, vegetarian chicken fried steak made with seitan, egg white frittatas, and vegetarian egg rolls." (That's why her diet was 'almost-vegan' - eggs.)

When she wanted sweets Anne went for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies!

There’s no such thing as the purrrrfect Catwoman. The character’s background, dating back to her origins on television on the 1960s series Batman as well as her appearances in the comics run the gamut from wiley adversary to a whiney ex-lover who calls Bruce Wayne just to say “Bruce, I’m lonley” in Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. There’s not one perfect rendition to aim for. But Anne Hathaway’s complex cat burglar in Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film The Dark Knight Rises may be the closest thing we’ve seen to a perfect rendition of the infamous and beguiling Selina Kyle.

The first part of her success comes purely from Nolan’s decision to leave off the Catwoman moniker. If anything, we can assume those Gothamites who’d witnessed her work might whisper the name jokingly, but for the entirety of the film, she is solidly Selina Kyle, professional cat burglar and not some acrobatic she-villain in a spray-on leather suit (though her suit of choice is rather curve-hugging). The removal of her alias lends gravity to a character whose past iterations have been largely defined by the necessarily catty costume. Even Hathaway’s “cat ears” are merely a wink at Kyle’s cartoonish villain name. Instead of putting Hathaway in a dinky pair of pin-on faux-ears, we merely think we see the signature cat profile, when in reality, it’s the shape of her tactical spy-goggles perched atop her level head. We know she’s Catwoman, but she doesn’t have to become some flag-waving obtuse version of the conflicted character to tell us that.

But it’s not just the costume. Hathaway’s Kyle is not a criminal born out of the usual Catwoman origin. The first film iteration with a significant background is the very memorable performance from Michelle Pfeiffer in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (before that, fabulous Catwoman portrayers like Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar were simply perfectly executed bad, bad kitties). Pfeiffer's Kyle is a downtrodden, mousy woman, fed up with the way men and the world stomped all over her. And one night, in the privacy of her sad, cat-filled apartment, she gets angry enough to sew together a patent leather catsuit, get her groove back and strike out at Gotham City with all her pent-up womanly rage. Her assault on the city and her partnering with the Penguin are petty and driven by a sense of selfish injustice. She’d been personally wronged, ignored, mistreated, and as such, everyone else is going to suffer her wrath. (Halle Berry’s Stretch Armstrong of a Catwoman suffered from a similarly unflattering origin story.) Even when she sacrifices herself to kill Shreck (Christopher Walken) at the end of the film, she does so in a way most people would file in the looney bin. Pfeiffer’s Catwoman is entertaining, and even sexy at times, but she is not a woman for modern viewers to relate to. If anything, she’s the depiction of women most modern ladies are trying to quiet. Let's just say there's a reason that as even as a child and major fan of Batman Returns I chose to imitate the caped crusader, gender be damned, and not his confuddled could-be sidekick with the long, pointy nails.

Still, Hathaway’s Kyle is no picnic. And she’s certainly no role model. She is, however, a woman that most contemporary audiences can truly relate to and understand. On one hand, she spends her time using men as playthings in her scheme to better her life. But on the other, she sees her role as almost modern day, feminist Robin Hood. She comes from nothing and she sees her “career” and her eventual involvement with Bane’s “impending storm” as methods of leveling the playing field between the haves and the have-nots, as evidenced by a scene in which she whispers “You’re going to wonder how you lived so large for so long and didn’t leave enough for the rest of us” in Bruce Wayne's million-dollar ear as a pudgy, stodgy man in a suit gluttonously cracks open a juicy lobster, allowing chunks of the precious meat topple onto the floor. It’s this gross inequality that drives her, but only so far as her own want for self-preservation will allow. The way Kyle sees it, she’s part of the solution, and she’s not approaching it with the feverish, knee-jerk reaction of so many Catwomen before her.

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