Hollywood star Colin Farrell, who will be seen playing the role of Penguin in the upcoming ‘The Batman’ movie, has talked about what it was about director Matt Reeves’ take on the story that drew him in.
Talking about his character and the director, Farrell said: “I’m an actor for a living, but I also have a very robust child inside me that’s still alive and seeking out the comfort of entertainment at times, and still, as a man, relates to things that I loved as a child or as a teenager. And I grew up watching Adam West in the TV show and Burgess Meredith, and what have you, playing The Penguin.”
The actor revealed that he also loved Tim Burton’s first Batman, and his subsequent Batman Returns, with Danny DeVito as Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.
He added: “So, when I heard, I got just terribly excited at the thought of being able to embody, to approach, a character as iconic as Penguin. And I had known Matt Reeve’s work from Cloverfield and from Let Me In, and then the Ape films, and Matt’s an extraordinary filmmaker.
“He is one of those rare filmmakers that really, I feel, mixes altruistic brilliance with a sense of commercial entertainment as well.
Farrell said that Reeves makes movies for “the masses, but not to the concession of any kind of emotional or psychological intellect, or specificity, so I was delighted when I heard that. And then I read the script, and I sat with Matt.”
How did Penguin’s role come to him?
Farrell said: “I got a call from my agent, just saying did I know they were doing The Batman? He told me that Matt Reeves was directing the next Batman installment and that they wanted to talk to me for The Penguin, which I was very excited at the thought of it.”
This film takes place early on in the Batman career, so to speak, so it’s early for The Penguin, too, or Oz, rather. That gave him an opportunity to introduce a version of this character that hasn’t been seen in film, as well.
The actor agrees and said: “I mean, he’s referred to in the film as Penguin, but it was expressly articulated in the script that he’s not particularly happy with that moniker. It’s not something that he’s embodied yet. It’s not something that he’s stepped into. I don’t know if he’s never okay with it.
“I don’t know if it’s ever something that he adapts to and is okay with, because he understands that it can instill fear in people. But here he’s Oz and he’s somebody who’s on the rise” at least that’s how he sees himself. He’s working within a criminal organisation, but he’s not at the top of the organisation.”
“I mean, he’s close to the man who is the top, Falcone, played by John Turturro. I don’t know if he’s his right hand man, but if not, he’s pretty close to being his right hand man. Pursuant to my conversations with Matt, he’s a complex character who has his own fears and his own hopes and his own deeply burning ambitions to make a success of himself.”
Farrell says he comes from very humble origins and is dangerous, like anyone who exists in a world of violence that has a deep ambition. He’s a dangerous man, I suppose.”
Warner Bros. Pictures is all set to release ‘The Batman’ pan-India on March 4 in Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.