Batman Actors Reveal What It's 'Really' Like to Wear the Batsuit: 'I Couldn't See Where Anything Was!'

Donning a Batsuit may seem like a super idea, but these former Batman actors have a lot to say about their time in the iconic costume

01 of 07

Adam West

Silver Screen Collection/Getty.

West — who played the original Batman in the 1960s TV show — was one of the few former Batman actors who was a big fan of his costume, which he said was as close to the comic book renderings while "still being able to move well." His Batsuit was different from the ones that came after, and was mostly made of stretchy, moveable material.

West said that his "being somewhat ill at ease" with the suit came from fears about how the crew was going to make fun of him, but he added that he "took a deep breath, opened the door and walked across the stage in character … and I'll be damned, there wasn't a sound." He said that he felt that they "accepted him as Batman."

02 of 07

Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton in Batman
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty

Keaton, who played the role in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), revealed that he struggled with feeling claustrophobic in his iteration of the famous Batsuit — in addition to not being able to do some more practical things.

"I'm very claustrophobic and we didn't even know that the suit was going to work at all until hours before we were about to start shooting," Keaton said of his time in the costume. He described his experience saying, "you couldn't get out of it" once you were in it, which meant that he couldn't drink his usual coffee or water because he "couldn't get out of it to go to the bathroom." He said that it also posed some challenges while filming, describing how he had to turn with his entire body to be able to see his scene partners.

03 of 07

Val Kilmer

val kilmer
Batman Forever. Photo by Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Kilmer did not hold back while discussing his disdain for the Batsuit that he wore in the 1995 movie, Batman Forever.

He said in his 2021 documentary, Val, "The costume was a pain to put on. When you're in it, you can barely move and people have to help you stand up and sit down."

He added that the costume wasn't just uncomfortable, it was "isolating." The actor shared, "You also can't hear anything and after a while people stop talking to you. It was a struggle for me to get a performance past the suit, and it was frustrating until I realized that my role in the film was just to show up and stand where I was told to."

Kilmer felt like he couldn't really act in the suit, saying, "It was just so huge I think it made no difference to what I was doing." Finally he resorted to "soap opera" acting. "I tried to be like an actor on a soap opera. The way I would turn to Nicole [Kidman]. Go count how many times I put my hands on my hips. I don't know how they come up with this style of acting but they seem to go, 'Go to soap opera school.' "

04 of 07

George Clooney

Moviestore/Rex USA

In 1997, Clooney wore the Batsuit for Batman & Robin, and his biggest complaint was with the suit's nipples. In an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, the actor said, "Well I wasn't thrilled with the nipples on the Batsuit. You know that's not something you really think about when you're putting it on. You figure all Batsuits have nipples and then you realize yours was really the first. Batman was just constantly cold I guess."

05 of 07

Ben Affleck

ben affleck, batman
Ben Affleck as Batman. Warner Bros. Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Affleck — who played the superhero in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Justice League (2017), Zach Snyder's Justice League (2021) and The Flash (expected in 2022) — says predecessor Christian Bale left him with a piece of advice about the Batsuit: "Make sure they put a zipper in that suit." He told Graham Norton that he took that advice and "it proved quite useful." Otherwise, Affleck hasn't made too many complaints about his costume.

06 of 07

Christian Bale

christian bale
Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight (2008). Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Bale, who played Batman in The Dark Night trilogy, said that he was extremely claustrophobic in the suit at first — so much so, he almost gave up the role.

He shared, "I told [Director Christopher Nolan] he should recast because the claustrophobia was just unbelievable. I stood there and I thought, 'I can't breathe; I can't think; this is too tight. This is squeezing my head. I'm about to have a nervous breakdown or panic attack right this second.' I said [to the crew], 'Could everyone just leave me alone for 20 minutes?' I just stood there and thought, 'I'd really like to make this movie. I'd like to be able to get through this moment here.' I called them back in and said, 'Okay, let's just talk very calmly and quietly and maybe I can get through this.' "

He told Extra, while discussing his advice to Ben Affleck in regards to the suit, "It's a nightmare when you can't turn your head when you're meant to be fighting people. Having a cape is silly when you're in a fight anyway but we'll just have to ignore that ..."

As for why he told Affleck to add zippers, he said, "Be able to take a piss by yourself otherwise it doesn't feel very super-heroic ... I had to have somebody take care of business for me."

07 of 07

Robert Pattinson

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

Pattinson revealed that the costume he wore for 2022's The Batman was "Frankensteined" from past Batsuits, explaining that he had tried on all of the former costumes for his screen test, "And then you're boiling hot. This is before I'd even got the part. This is the screen test. So you're absolutely terrified."

Pattinson told PEOPLE that donning the iconic suit wasn't exactly easy, either. "The main thing was the shoulders and also the neck. Because I could technically get out of my clothes, but I couldn't see where anything was."

He added, "...try and turn around, you get trapped in rooms. You could get in, but you couldn't get out without going backwards."

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