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In any superhero universe, there are heroes and villains — and sometimes, anti-heroes. From Marvel to DC, every character ends up having a fanbase of their own. But there’s one villain, time and time again, that has people so excited for a new portrayal all over again. No, we’re not talking about Batman, we’re talking about the character that’s been on screen just as long (over 60 years now!) — Catwoman.
Catwoman — or Selina Kyle — is a staple in the DC universe who’s sometimes solely a villain or hero, and sometimes somewhere in the middle. Most of the time, she’s an antihero, which is basically a hero-like figure without typical heroic traits and mindsets. Ever since her television debut in the late 1960s, fans have loved when another beloved actress takes on the legendary role.
Here’s what you can typically expect from Catwoman: she’s sexy, she’s powerful, and most of all, she loves her cats. But sometimes, the actresses like to add another layer to the character, like changing her sexuality, hobbies, and overall personality, as we’ll see.
From Halle Berry’s portrayal to Zoë Kravitz’s upcoming portrayal, every actress knows how to uniquely make Catwoman their own. Check out all the actresses who played Catwoman in Batman movies and TV shows below.
The latest Catwoman to hit the scene is the ever-so cool Zoë Kravitz in the upcoming film called The Batman. Unlike any Catwoman portrayal before, Kravitz told Australian Pedestrian per NBCNews that she interpreted Catwoman as bisexual, saying that her Selina Kyle calling her friend Anika her “baby” was intentionally romantic. “That’s definitely the way I interpreted that, that they had some kind of romantic relationship.”
Camren Bicondova starred as a teenage Selina Kyle/Catwoman in the hit series Gotham. Despite being a fan favorite, she issued a statement on her Twitter about not reprising the role any further in Gotham, even for the series finale. You can see the post HERE. Summed up, she believed it didn’t feel right to play an adult Selina Kyle when she was still so young herself and passed the torch to Lili Simmons for the finale.
Anne Hathaway played Catwoman in the 2012 hit film The Dark Knight Rises and her audition story is hysterical. According to IGN, Hathaway recalled, “I came in and I had this lovely Vivian Westwood kind of beautiful-but-mad tailoring top with stripes going everywhere. And I wore these flat Joker-ey-looking shoes. And I was trying to give Chris [Nolan] these crazy little smiles.”
Then he dropped the bombshell, saying, “About an hour into the meeting he said ‘Well, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but it’s Catwoman,'” Hathaway said. “And I was shifting into a different gear. ‘Now ok, we’re slinky. We’re slinky. And I hate my shirt. I love my shirt, but I hate it right now. We’re slinky.'”
Despite being one of Halle Berry’s most notable roles to date, it’s actually one of her least favorite characters she’s ever done. 2004’s Catwoman had a whopping budget of $100 million and a lot of buzz around it but was sadly a flop in both critics’ opinions and the box office. Berry got a Razzie Award for Worst Actress of 2004, and accepted it in person, calling the movie a “piece of s–t, god awful movie” and has said she wants a do-over, according to the NY Post.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s rendition of Catwoman in the 1992 film Batman Returns may be one of the most beloved portrayals. Pfeiffer talked about how much she loved the character, but not so much the outfit. According to Morning Call, it was a lot of work getting into the costume, with oiling and powdering everywhere. “It was like an assembly line to get into. I remember walking up to my trailer in the morning and [there was] this line of people waiting to help me get ready.”
Lee Meriwether replaced Julie Newmar in the 1966 Batman film. In a clip from a 1966 interview, Meriwether said that filming the movie was a “marvelous experience” and talked about how she taught herself to properly meow like a cat. You can watch the clip HERE.
Eartha Kitt took over the role of Catwoman in the Batman series for its third and final season in 1968. Kitt was the first Black Catwoman, and her daughter Kitt Shapiro told Closer Weekly how big of a deal that was. “I was about nine years old when she played Catwoman on Batman, and that was a really big deal. This was 1967, and there were no women of color at that time wearing skintight bodysuits, playing opposite a white male with [the] sexual tension between them! She knew the importance of the role and she was proud of it. She really is a part of history.”
Julie Newmar was a frequent guest star in the Batman TV series from 1966 to 1967, quickly becoming the most recurring villain in the show. She loved her role, saying, “It was so wonderful being on that show, because you could be nasty and mean, and in the ’50s women could never, unless you were in some B pictures actress, be mean, bad, and nasty. It was so satisfying, I can’t tell you how satisfying it was,” according to the 1966 Batman Pages.
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