Robert Pattinson Was 'Counting Sips of Water' Before Shooting Shirtless Scenes for 'The' 'Batman'

The actor joked that "shame is my biggest motivator" when it came to losing weight to play the ripped superhero

As the days ticked by before Robert Pattinson had go shirtless for the new Batman reboot, he was cutting down his diet so much that he was "counting sips of water."

The 35-year-old actor, who stars as the title superhero in the 2022 reboot, premiering Friday, told PEOPLE that he put in months of work to prepare his body for the role.

"I had about three months before the movie started, and then you're working out before and after work all the time," he told People (the TV Show!) senior correspondent Jeremy Parsons on the red carpet at The Batman premiere on Tuesday night in New York City.

As shoot days grew closer, Pattinson had to be careful about every single thing he was consuming.

"You just cut down and cut down and cut down before the couple of scenes with your shirt off, and you're counting sips of water," he said.

the bat man
Robert Pattinson in The Batman (2022). Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.

Pattinson agreed with Parsons that knowing that he had to go shirtless in the movie was motivating.

"Oh yeah," the star said with a laugh. "Shame is my biggest motivator, 100%."

In the scenes when he wasn't shirtless, Pattinson got to don the Batman suit, and he said the first time he put it on and looked in the mirror was an emotional moment that helped him feel more connected to the character.

"It's funny because you read the script and you spend loads of time trying to figure out, 'How can I play this character who does these sort of audacious acts?' And the closer I got to the shoot I got more and more paranoid — you know, it feels ridiculous when you're just sitting at home in a t-shirt — and then you put it on," he said of the suit. "It's got an elemental power to it."

Zoe Kravitz Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson. ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty

Once it was on, Pattinson said, "People react to you differently, the crew reacts differently. Your entire world suddenly changes."

"And then you kind of catch this glimpse in like, the subtle reflection or a shadow on the floor and you realize that the character's just way bigger than you," he continues. "It's kind of like wearing a crown or something."

Pattinson has lost weight for roles before, and told PEOPLE in 2016 that he had basically "eaten nothing" to play an adventurer who was lost in the Brazilian jungle in The Lost City of Z.

"I had literally eaten nothing for the entire time," he said. "I loved it afterwards, for like a week in London, where I have a 28-inch waist. I was like, 'Ooh! Skinny jeans!' "

But "that lasted for like, three days," Pattinson said.

"After six or seven weeks of just eating half a little tiny bit of fish and like a crumb of rice, and then you eat a sandwich and you've got on 15 pounds afterward."

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