Health & Fitness | January 20, 2022 1:03 pm

So Did Robert Pattinson Get in Shape to Play Batman or Not?

The British actor originally said he "barely did anything" to prepare for the role, but now he's walked that back

Robert Pattinson on the set of the upcoming superhero movie The Batman, which debuts on March 4, 2022. Did he train for the role? In a new interview, he says he did.
Don't worry. The man learned jiu-jitsu.
Colin McPherson/Getty

After a good 20 months of speculation, Batman fans can finally breathe easy. It appears that Robert Pattinson did indeed train for his debut as the Dark Knight.

Back in May of 2020, during an interview with GQ, Pattinson admitted that while costar Zoë Kravitz (who plays Catwoman in The Batman) was exercising “five days a week,” he was “barely doing anything.” He alluded to an untouched Bosu ball in the corner of his London apartment, and gave the publication a juicy take on the literal modern arms race amongst male actors.

“I think if you’re working out all the time, you’re part of the problem,” he said. “You set a precedent. No one was doing this in the ’70s. Even James Dean — he wasn’t exactly ripped.”

That quote … really bothered the online Gothamites. No one ever needed to question Christian Bale’s dedication to the Caped Crusader. He performed three-hour gym sessions six times a week on top of getting cardio in every day. Even Ben Affleck, who has played Batman in four less-popular films in the 2010s, employed “chaos training” to transform his body.

In a recent interview with MovieMaker, though, Pattinson claims he was just kidding around. “That [joke] really came back to haunt me,” he said. “I just always think it’s really embarrassing to talk about how you’re working out. I think it’s like an English thing. Unless you are in the most unbelievable shape, where people are just genuinely curious, going, ‘How have you achieved, like, physical perfection?’ or whatever.”

Pattinson also stresses that he was in lockdown at the time. It’s a really important point. No matter how much money goes into these movies, keep in mind that the entire apparatus was upended in those early months of the pandemic. For a second there, we had star tennis players practicing serves against mattresses and marathon runners jogging loops around their roofs. Batman might be a superhero, but Robert Pattinson is human, just like the rest of us.

Rest assured, when The Batman comes out on March 4, you will be pleased with the size and ripple of Pattinson’s deltoids. “You’re playing Batman,” Pattinson told MovieMaker, “you have to work out.” Expect the film to play to his brooding strengths, too — this release is a different look for the franchise, a moody noir where Batman has to solve a killing spree amongst Gotham’s elite.

Still, expect a ton of action sequences throughout, as always. According to Men’s Health, Pattinson trained with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Rigan Machado for the fight scenes.