Actor Paul Dano did “70 or 80 takes” for a scene in 2022’s The Batman movie.
Director Matt Reeves opened up about Dano’s perfectionism in an interview with The Guardian and noted how Dano did multiple takes for his character – The Riddler – and his final confrontation with Batman in the movie.
He said Dano took two days and a huge number of takes to get the scene with Batman/Bruce Wayne, played by Robert Pattinson, just right.
Reeves 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.”
He also went on to say Dano would continue to develop the scene as the takes went on.
Reeves explained: “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.’”
Elsewhere in The Guardian interivew, Dano opened up about one of the most unnerving roles of his early career.
In the 2001 drama L.I.E., Dano starred as a neglected teenager being groomed by a paedophile, played by Succession‘s Brian Cox.
In one of the film’s most disturbing scenes, Cox’s character tenderly shaves Dano’s face with a cutthroat razor. It’s a sequence that didn’t weigh too heavily on Dano at the time (he was 17 years old), but now has a much greater impact on him.
The actor said he couldn’t believe they got away with the scene, admitting that he now views it in a completely different light.
“My first thought now is: ‘how did we do that?’” Dano said. “When you’re young, you’re like, sure, whatever. Now it would weigh on me more, frankly. It was a good experience, though. I love Brian, and he was lovely to me.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Dano discussed his new film Dumb Money, an adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s non-fiction book The Antisocial Network, which dramatises the true story of how YouTuber Keith Gill became rich after capitalising on a stock movement for the video game retailer GameStop.
On preparing to play Gill, Dano said: “I became totally smitten with him. He’s such a buoyant spirit. I could see there was something so beautiful in him. It’s all about: here I am, I’m wearing a headband and a cat shirt because I think it’s cool.”
In reference to dressing like Gill, Dano added: “It makes you feel younger. As an actor, you’re always looking for anything to grab on to. What’s behind that door? What’s under that rock? Anything that’ll help.”
Dumb Money arrives in cinemas on September 22.