LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway admits she underwent a "complete transformation" to play the villainous vixen Selina Kyle in the big-screen blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rises."
Starring Christian Bale as Batman and Tom Hardy as his nemesis Bane, the movie is the third and final installment in director Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Returning for the final movie are "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" cast veterans Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.
Best known for her roles in "Rachel Getting Married," "Becoming Jane," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Princess Diaries," and a likely Oscar contender for the upcoming musical "Les Miserables," Hathaway said she worked hard to prepare physically to play her first action heroine, a character Warner Bros. describes as a "cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda."
"When I got the part, Chris called me into his office and said: 'So, there's going to be a lot of fighting and when we did 'Inception,' [Joseph Gordon-Levitt] got in really good shape. Joe went to the gym for months, so that way when we did his fight sequences, he did all his own fighting.' I really liked that," Hathaway laughed during a recent press conference in Los Angeles.
"And I went, 'Gotcha, I am reading between the lines here,'" recalled the 29-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y. native. "And I just went to the gym and came out when we wrapped. And it was a complete transformation. I had never done anything like that because it wasn't just about looking a certain way. I had to learn how to fight and become strong enough to fight for many days at a time. And that was actually something I felt very lucky about. ... I don't know what other actresses have gone through, I feel like sometimes there is a mandate that comes to you, an ideal of how you have to look and the way I was always treated on this movie was, 'Learn how to do what you need to do and then however you look, that's way the character looks.' And I just felt as a woman very protected in that way."
So, how did she manage all that wearing sky-high heels?
"You just do. It's part of being a woman. You just figure it out. 'The Devil Wears Prada' was really good training for that," she quipped. "For that, I ran up and down Manhattan, for this, I ran up and down Gotham."
"The Dark Knight Rises" is set for DVD and Blu-ray release Tuesday.