Global — My next mission will take me to the screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," starring Christian Bale as Batman and Anne Hathaway as his whip-wielding nemesis, Catwoman. There's been much controversy on the web as to whether she will be the purr-fect Catwoman or not. Many say not. I, however, am still on the fence. I can recall when rumors of Heath Ledger playing the Joker in "The Dark Knight" (2008) was cause for grumble, especially when compared to Jack Nicholson, who mastered the role in "Batman" (1989) starring Michael Keaton as Gotham City's dark knight.
So, now I'm on a quest to answer the quandary, "Who's the best actress to ever play Batman's female foe?" There has been many actresses to portray the feisty feline and her alter ego Selina Kyle (depending on the storyline) who is meek, mild-mannered, and a bit messy in the style sense. Like most comics, there are many versions of the Catwoman tale, but what remains consistent is her image. Catwoman has stealth-like moves that make her the beautiful bandit that turns Batman a.k.a. Bruce Wayne's world upside down. She's savvy and conniving with cat-like features such as shapely eyes and a pouty puss; all of which she uses to beguile men, including Batman. Did I mention that the caped crusader had a thing for the flirty feline?
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This is where it is questioned as to whether Anne Hathaway, known for playing quirky girl-next-door roles, can convincingly capture the essence of the sassy seductress. Past notable actresses to don the mask of Catwoman include small screen starlets Julie Newmar (TV series 1966-67), Lee Meriwether (Movie 1966, TV series 1967), and Eartha Kitt (TV series 1967-68). But, when it comes to a supervillain like Catwoman, it is no shock that her persona would make it to the big screen and be depicted by superstars of the era including Michelle Pfeifer in "Batman Returns" (1992), Halle Berry in "Catwoman" (2004), and now Anne Hathaway.
The afforementioned actresses each brought something to the role. Newmar's character was cunning and Meriwether exuded more charm, while Kitt actually purred and strutted like a cat. Pfeiffer was a stellar actress, believably transforming from a mousy frau to a vampy vixen. Whereas Berry was the quintessential sex kitten, but the acting and special effects fell short.
So where does this leave Hathaway? She obviously has big shoes (or paws) to fill. Only time will tell if her version is wicked and sinister or sly and sultry. Regardless, I revel in the fact that Catwoman is a character with nine lives. Whether Hathaway delivers or not, someday, another actress will.
The Chic Spy