If no one had told you that Colin Farrell was among the cast of The Batman, you wouldn’t have spotted him.
Underneath the fearsome layer of prosthetics, one of the most handsome men in the world but unrecognizable is Oz Cobblepot, a small dog in the Gotham underworld who dreams of criminal greatness.
Of course he’s going to be Penguin later on, and if Matt Reeves’ bloody epic is the big hit that Warner Brothers thinks it should, we’ll see Farrell make a comeback in the sequel. as Batman’s sewer-dwelling enemy.
In BatmanHowever, Oz is merely the friendly companion of Jon Turturro’s utterly vile crime boss, Carmine Falcone, and isn’t all that bad.
“Well, he’s not really doing well either,” Farrell told me over Zoom. “He is working his way up and has very clear aspirations to be the top dog. He doesn’t share those aspirations with anyone, but he is someone who wants to reach the top and will do anything to get there. And he’s not really Penguin yet, he’s Oz Cobblepot, hasn’t become the finished article yet. ”
In Penguin, Colin is taking on a role played by many beautiful actors, from Burgess Meredith to Danny DeVito, and Robin Lord Taylor in the TV series. Gotham.
When preparing for this part, did he think about any of the previous Penguins or did his best to ignore them?
“I grew up watching Burgess Meredith and Adam West do their thing in t-shirts, and I loved that show when I was a kid – it was so much fun and actually, I showed it to my kids. time and they’ve joined in, it’s lovely to have your kids visit it again.
“And I am a huge fan of the two Tim Burton movies. I love Michael Keaton as Batman, I love Danny DeVito as Penguin, and Michelle Pfeiffer is brilliant.
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“So when this movie came out, I was very excited because okay, I’m 45 and I’m an actor and all that, but there’s still a strong kid inside of me, and whatever Anytime I can discover anything that sparks the imagination and excitement I had as a kid, that’s a really lovely thing. I want a bit of that to go into the Potter universe with Magical Creaturesand i have a lot of that about this too.
“But I don’t go back and see Danny, I don’t go back and see Burgess. I already know them well and besides, this movie has always been designed in a very unique and different way.
“From the beginning, Matt was really clear that he wanted it all to be grounded, that the audience wouldn’t have too many doubts. As you can see from the trailer, it’s not as fanciful as Tim’s, and that’s not a good thing or a bad thing – it’s just different, but grounded and has a sense of danger, and a kind of believable. trust in the real world.
“And so, with that in mind, the character of Oz is drawn from the pages of gangster movies more than any previous iteration of Batman mythology.”
And in fact, that’s exactly how Farrell’s Oz comes across, like a hideous, slick version of the classic thugs played by James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. Surely it can’t be easy to act under all those prosthetics?
“It was really a blast because with makeup, I’ve never done so much of it before,” he said. “I did a thing called Terrible boss It was a few years ago when I had a combo set and all this makeup, but this is the next level and the work that Mike Marino, the makeup artist, has designed Oz with is incredible.
“I mean I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no character I’ve played that I have less ownership of than this one because I can claim at best 50pc of ownership.
“There are six or seven individual pieces and they fit really well, but just the look of the character, the scar, the size of the face, the way he’s padded out, the way it moves with me, it’s just incredible. often. .
“Actually, I really didn’t really get the character at first, I’m struggling to figure out what I can do with it and maybe I’m feeling a little bit of pressure with Burgess and Danny and do How can I make it my own? And then I saw the bust of what Mike Marino had made, and I thought OK, f***, this is starting to make sense to me now. hour.
“And then on the first day we put on our masks and bodysuits, I felt like I had it. The walk, the voice, whatever the character was, that became a reality for Warner Brothers that day. ”
As we speak, Farrell has yet to actually see the finished film but, from his work on the set, he has a strong idea of the mood Matt Reeves is looking for.
“It’s a dark world he’s created, it really is. Gotham is a broken place, there’s a huge sense of pervasive crime, not only high profile organized crime but petty crime everywhere. The city is falling apart and it’s been really dark times for the people of Gotham, and that’s where we meet this young Bruce Wayne, this young Batman iteration.
“I think Matt is brilliant, I really did. He’s a good artist who also makes movies for the masses, you know, and you don’t get that mix very well. You get it with Chris Nolan and you get it with Steven Spielberg, but you don’t get it often. I’m crazy about that guy. ”
Farrell was speaking from Los Angeles, where he lives, and when he heard about the storms that were hitting us, he reminisced about the Atlantic weather. Last year, he spent several months in Mayo and Galway filming Martin McDonagh Inisherin’s Banshees with Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, who also make brief but important appearances in Batman.
“That’s right, I still have the scar from that shot!” he says. “It’s in the west, we’re in Inis Mór for five weeks and then we’re in Achill for three or four weeks. It was great, the weather was great, for once, it was like Greece out there, it was beautiful.”
Batman is at the cinema from today.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/colin-farrell-im-45-but-theres-still-a-robust-child-inside-me-41404771.html Colin Farrell: ‘I’m 45, but there’s still a healthy kid inside of me’