Paul Dano’s Perfectionism: 70-80 Takes for the Ultimate Riddler Showdown in ‘The Batman

The ultimate showdown between the Riddler and Batman in 2022’s “The Batman” required “70 or 80 takes,” according to Paul Dano. Perfectionist Paul required two days and numerous retakes to nail the scene with Robert Pattinson (Batman/Bruce Wayne), according to director Matt Reeves. He told The Guardian: “Paul loves doing a lot of takes, as do I. We took two days on the final scene between him and Robert Pattinson as Batman. We must have easily done 70 or 80 takes. Paul loves exploring. He’s obsessive that way.”. Paul also challenged Matt by abruptly switching up scenes.

Matt clarified, “There were all these moments as the Riddler where he’d be tickled by something and then fly into a rage, and you never knew from take to take where that switch would come. I’d be sitting there with the headphones on, trying to stifle my laughter because he’d always do something surprising. Paul would ask me: ‘Was that crazy? Was that too much?’ I’d say: ‘No it’s fantastic. Let’s do another.’” Dano received compliments for his portrayal of the Riddler. Reeves disclosed last year that Dano recorded 200 takes for a scenario in which he had to record the Riddler’s voice over the phone. At the time, Reeves stated, “[Paul Dano] goes, ‘OK, let me try one where I’m off camera and I stick my head in. Let me try one where I’m already sitting there. He’s directing this one-person play on an iPhone…It was the giddiness that really got to me. Calling out the passing time, like he was a game show host. He was so inventive and creative. He’s also very critical of himself.”

Paul also acknowledged that he finds it odd to now be treated as an elder on set, although he enjoys giving guidance to younger actors. He elaborated, “ “I’m glad I’ve graduated to a new class of character. The work has to meet your life in some way. It’s offering you something you need somehow. It’s really a trip to have been the 18-year-old on movie sets and to now have 18-year-olds asking you questions, and you’re the adult.”

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