Robert Pattinson refuses to exercise for Batman: ‘No one was doing this in the ’70s’

Renee Zellweger in the press room during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on...

Robert Pattinson was already in production on The Batman when the pandemic came and shut down everything. I still don’t know how much Robert prepared physically for the role, because this version of Batman isn’t supposed to be some beefed up martial arts expert. He’s supposed to be more like a brainy detective. A Bat-nerd if you will. So with that in mind, Rob chatted about his lack of physical transformation for The Batman in a new GQ interview – the interview was part of his promotion for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which is still scheduled for a summer release. You can read the GQ cover story here. Some highlights:

Losing time in quarantine: “I almost immediately totally lost all sense of time. It’s a complaint which a lot of people have about me. This total… I don’t have a sense of time. I think something two years ago could actually be a week ago. It’s definitely been a complaint about my personality.”

He’s not staying fit for Batman: The film studio hired a trainer who left Pattinson with a Bosu ball, a single weight, and a sincere plea to use both, but right now, he says, he’s ignoring her. “I think if you’re working out all the time, you’re part of the problem,” he says, sighing. By “you” he means other actors. “You set a precedent. No one was doing this in the ’70s. Even James Dean—he wasn’t exactly ripped.” He says that back when he was the star of the Twilight franchise, “the one time they told me to take my shirt off, I think they told me to put it back on again.” But Batman is Batman. Pattinson called another actor on the film, Zoë Kravitz, the other day, and she said she was exercising five days a week during their exile from set. Pattinson, well: “Literally, I’m just barely doing anything,” he says, sighing again.

He’s used to being isolated: “I spend so much time by myself, ’cause you’re just kind of always forced to, that I can’t really remember what it was like not really having that kind of lifestyle… I just realize, everyone is so, so vulnerable to isolation. It’s quite shocking.”

He did go for a run: “I went for a run around the park today. I’m so terrified of being, like, arrested. You’re allowed to run around here. But the terror I feel from it is quite extreme.”

He eats gross things: “I’m essentially on a meal plan for Batman. Thank God. I don’t know what I’d be doing other than that. But I mean, yeah, other than—I can survive. I’ll have oatmeal with, like, vanilla protein powder on it. And I will barely even mix it up. It’s extraordinarily easy. Like, I eat out of cans and stuff. I’ll literally put Tabasco inside a tuna can and just eat it out of the can. I… It is weird, but my preferences are…just sort of eat like a wild animal. Like, out of a trash can.

He just talks sh-t constantly: “My, um, my publicist always calls me up after an interview, and she’s like, “Is there anything, like, is there any kind of fires you set now? What do I have to fix for you now?” And I’m like, “I don’t even remember anything I said.”

[From GQ]

I actually love Robert Pattinson and I love covering his interviews. Once you get into the rhythm of his thought process, he’s quite funny, self-aware and extremely charming. I’ve always wanted to mother him a little bit – cook for him, remind him to get some sleep and tell him he shouldn’t eat tuna out of the can. Oh, and the thing about “You set a precedent. No one was doing this in the ’70s” is amazing to me. HE IS BATMAN. There are so many expectations for the dude playing Batman, that Batman has to be buff and has to know how to kick ass. And Rob is like “nah, bitch” and “I’m gonna play Batman as a pale, flabby dude, how about that.”

Guests pose as they arrive to the Dior Mens fashion show during Paris Fashion Week

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, cover courtesy of GQ.

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77 Responses to “Robert Pattinson refuses to exercise for Batman: ‘No one was doing this in the ’70s’”

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  1. Renee says:

    I CANNOT love him more!

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, I’m with you and kaiser…I LOVE his interviews, and he’s so funny and self-deprecating…just a lovely person.

      and this:

      He says that back when he was the star of the Twilight franchise, “the one time they told me to take my shirt off, I think they told me to put it back on again.”

      I mean, how can you NOT love him?!

    • Eleonor says:

      For the first time in ages I am interested in a Batman movie , because I have the impression he is trying to do in his own term, he has reached fame through a big franchise and he knows how this kind of thing work

  2. frenchtoast says:

    He is setting a precedent for laziness.

    • FrenchGirl says:

      Warner bros hired 2/3 personal trainers ,1 nutritionist and 1 chef for Affleck for BvS because Affleck forgot to workout before the filming .

      • Gobo says:

        And even though Affleck bulked up, he was so bloated from the drinking he might as well not have. They avoided shots which would show his gut and doctored those that did. Pattinson is lean and tall enough that they should be able to dress him for the role, as Michael Keaton was.

    • Erinn says:

      Maybe laziness. But let’s not pretend that putting your body into starvation mode and training like a maniac for specific roles is a healthy way to live, either. There’s a happy medium in there for sure. I’m just so sick of the idolization of these freakish looking guys who have starved and steroided their way to the muscles on muscles look in the same way that I’m tired of the idolization of the Kardashian bodies.

    • Laurie says:

      It’s not laziness, it’s about portraying more realistic-looking images in film for women and men. Most women and men don’t have the time to be working out 24/7 to have perfect abs, therefore we shouldn’t be idolizing those types of bodies all the time. We need to embrace more body shape diversity in the movie industry. Not everyone has the body type that can sustain abs and bulging biceps.

    • pitch says:

      Better to be lazy than to be roided up.

  3. Aims says:

    He’s so rad. I love him.

  4. Kate says:

    I like him more and more with each interview. And also double standards bc how many actresses would love to be that laissez faire about their body shape in front of a camera.

    • Mika says:

      Seriously! I was just thinking “of COURSE Zoe Kravitz is working out 5 days a week while you’re just hanging out eating trash. It’s DIFFERENT FOR WOMEN.”

    • Tooby says:

      I mean, the double standard is that he’s Batman so he has more leeway than Zoe Kravitz

      There’s clearly a ton of pressure on many male actors to look buff in their superhero roles, even though logically there’s no reason Superman can’t be a pencil-pusher.

      Hugh Jackman,Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Henry Cavill, Christian Bale all had to buff up in their movies (and then dehydrate themselves to make the muscles stand out). Even Ant-Man had an abs scene.

      Hell, Disney sent people to Chris Pratt’s house to make sure he was losing weight so Pattinson is totally right; everyone is held to “unrealistic” (by the standards of the past) body types and the more actors who play along, gaining unrealistic amounts of mass (likely by using steroids, LBH) the more it’s just considered normal.

    • Elizabeth Rose says:

      The sad part is that Zoe also had an eating disorder if I’m not mistaken and this kind of excessive exercise for someone who is already rail thin is a recipe for relapse IMO. Just sayin’

  5. Guest says:

    I love Rob because you know he is upsetting the fanboys by saying he’s not exercising. We all know very well is got into shape maybe not buff buff but into shape none the less. the fanboys will take everything literally.

    • Huge Batman Nerd says:

      Long time lurker here and Batman fan all my life.

      Everyone I know is totally fine with this, Batman is not a “one size fits all” (pun intended), how he is being portrayed can be as varied as the Joker, there is no one true thing, and the fun thing about the DC universe is all the angles you can view the same thing.

      I don’t think you can find that many Batman fans who believes he should be beefed up.

  6. Darla says:

    That microwave story is insane tho. I’ve never read a celebrity interview like this one.

  7. emmy says:

    LOL I actually started running again after 4 months during this lockdown. It was getting crazy, there was too much cake and couch time. So on the one hand, I understand. On the other hand I feel like “Nobody was doing this in the 70s” is not a great argument. I love how he thinks that was a better decade just because actors could get away with being out of shape. And of course Zoe Kravitz is working out because if Catwoman shows up on set and is out of shape, she won’t be able to talk about the 70s and get away with it. I love this guy but they had to PAINT ABS ON EDWARD! Again, imagine Kriste S showing up with an extra 20 lbs.

    • frenchtoast says:

      Peak white male privilege

    • Anname says:

      He’s a master troll, and this interview is “peak Rob”. I’m dying at the thought of the million dollar wardrobe that he is rolling around in! A $3900 hat, really?

      Re Batman, there is no way he is showing up on set NOT in shape. Like everyone else is saying, he’s not going to be a hulk, but martial arts-style, lean and fit. I’ve been a Rob fan for years, and his directors always comment about how professional he is and how seriously he takes the work. The fanboys will go nuts now, but the proof will be in the work. I think Rob takes some enjoyment seeing them spin and rant :) . He will be in the shape Matt Reeves wants him to be.

      • L84Tea says:

        Who or what are the fanboys? This is the second comment I’ve seen here using that word. I know who/what Twihards are, but fanboys? What am I missing?

      • Erinn says:

        Fanboy has been a term used since the 70′s.

        ” In 1973 a handful of copies of a fanzine were distributed at a Chicago comics convention. The zine was credited to two fans who took Marvel Comics, the work of Frank Frazetta, and other matters a wee bit too seriously, Alfred Judson and Bill Beasley. And its name was Fanboy”

        Similar to a twi-hard – it’s basically people who take their fandom too seriously.

      • Anname says:

        L84Tea – I was referring to the Batman fans who weren’t happy about Rob’s casting in the first place. Overall it seems like most Batman fans are at least cautiously optimistic, and have accepted that Rob is talented and has lost the sparkles long ago, but there is a subset that are in love with Zac Synder’s Batman (Affleck) and cannot fathom that the new Batman is not going to be built like a tank. Rob’s trolling in this interview just gives them more grist to freak out over.

        Rob is super weird, no question. But I can’t help enjoying the way he finds so much amusement and humor in life. The Twilight years would have sunk him if he wasn’t able to laugh at himself and the absurdity of the whole thing. This interview put me in a good mood this morning, which is a great thing these days!

    • Lady D says:

      That happened on the Big Bang Theory. At one point in the show, Johnnie Galeki had put on about 25 pounds. His stomach and face were huge. At the same time, Kaley Cucou was papped going to yoga classes every single day, and it showed. They were both collecting a million per show, but I’d bet that much they wouldn’t pay Kaley that amount if she had become 25 pounds overweight. He was supposed to be the ‘hot’ male lead of that show, and he got away with, and was paid huge to look sloppy.
      ftr, Jim Parsons wins the hot male lead, with Raj a close second.

      • Erinn says:

        I’m mostly horrified that he would be considered a ‘hot’ anything, lead or not. Johnny Galecki is just… such an overall dweeby looking guy. How can you make a character that squints up at everyone around them a hot lead ahhaha. It’s actually super amusing.

    • Mia4s says:

      Yeah that was my thought: Zoe Kravitz. I’m sure the reaction would be exactly the same if she said this. Peak privilege. 🙄

      Honestly this movie just makes me roll my eyes now. They have interesting people in place, but now they’re back on the “it’s going to be dark” train. DARK. We’re going to be so dark! No really dark this time.

      Wow…Batman is going to be dark everyone. Never seen that before except for six or seven of the movies. Calm down edge lords. 🙄

  8. line says:

    He doesn’t have really to take a muscular back like Ben Affleck does, but just be in a good enough shape for it to be credible in terms of the Bruce Wayne’s history .

  9. leena says:

    Ugh, I do not find him attractive whatsoever and his whole vibe is exhausting. I’m curious to see what his Batman is like. Side note: Why are all of these franchises constantly redone? I guess they are money makers but its so redundant. Bale, Batfleck, now Pattison, not to mention all of the 90s iterations. Same with spiderman.

    • S says:

      Same. The whole thing is just such peak privilege. Like, all these people are mobilized to help him do a job he’s being paid millions for—meal delivery plans, personal trainers and exercise equipment, all funded by the studio—and he’s bragging about how he just can’t be bothered.

      I don’t find that cool, edgy or subversive…just entitled. And the ‘Ha, ha, I’m always saying terrible things and making a woman clean up my statements for me, and I can’t even be bothered to giver her a heads up,’ stuff with the publicist? What makes this guy feel so irreplaceable?

      If there’s anything that’s more dime a dozen than overly buff gym rats in Hollywood, it’s pretentious douche bags. If being rich and famous is too much trouble for Pattison, sure there’s someone slightly less put out by it all that would happily take his place.

      • Anname says:

        It’s actually the opposite – he hated the blind adulation he was getting as Edward, so at every opportunity he would cut himself down. He says it was his way of coping and keeping his own sanity, because felt all that attention was totally unearned. He has spent the last decade “earning” his place in the industry, putting in the work. He didn’t even have a publicist until 2 years ago. So I would have to disagree with you about the entitlement thing. I think he might have to filter himself in interviews a bit more, now that he is doing big studio films again. The humor doesn’t always translate, obviously.

      • Lolo says:

        I agree with S 100%!

      • MM says:

        YES S – I totally agree. He seems like he would be exhausting to be around with his constant need for someone even helping him with a simple thing like time. UGH.

      • S says:

        @Anname, if that were true and he genuinely “hated the adulation” the last thing he’d be doing is making a major studio superhero film. He made millions from Twilight series. He could easily do nothing but make indies for scale, or do theater, for the rest of his life if he really and truly hated the attention, was only about the art, and didn’t actively care about how people perceived him.

        Nah, wanting the job, but not wanting to do what is generally now considered a requirement for the job—while gently teasing your female co-star who is working her butt off, while scoffing at those paid to help you is definitely entitlement in my book.

      • Anname says:

        S, read his comment about this in the GQ article. He doesn’t get to make his artsy independent movies if he doesn’t maintain his commercial viability. He has to make big studio movies to get the other stuff made. So after 10 years, he jumps back in. What projects does he choose? Christopher Nolan, the director who Rob says makes movies that are “essentially a very personal, independent movie that has a huge scale.” And Matt Reeve’s Batman, which Reeves describes as emotional, dark, humanist, and that Batman goes through a transformation. Rob isn’t choosing Transformers 12 or a romcom – he is still going for the type of movies he prefers, just on a grander scale.
        Rob is still eating his Batman diet, and he was photographed running in the park last week. He is staying in shape, clearly. It defies logic to say that Rob will choose Batman to be the first project for which he doesn’t show up prepared, seriously.
        And Zoe K said she is “eating whatever the f— I want” during this filming break, so it’s not like she has perfectly maintained her routine either. Yes, there is a double standard (of course!). But look at Rob in these pics… he’s clearly not letting himself go.

    • lucy2 says:

      I find him kind of exhausting too. I’ve never understood the appeal, but to each their own I guess.

  10. Jerusha says:

    Well, James Dean died 9/30/55, so he wasn’t doing it in the 70s. They definitely weren’t doing it in the 50s. Look at George Reeve, who played Superman, not exactly buff.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I was thinking–didn’t Arnold do Pumping Iron in the ’70s, which brought muscles to the movies?

      • Jerusha says:

        Yep. And wasn’t Rocky 70s?

      • Janet says:

        The fitness craze really hit the public in the 80′s. There may be a few films to cherry pick like Rocky where the star was buff, but it wasn’t a “thing”.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Forgot about Rocky. There was also Taxi Driver, and DeNiro again in Raging Bull.

  11. Rianic says:

    Michael Keaton was the best Batman ever.

  12. Winterberry says:

    Whatever. Fight the perpetuation of destructive unrealistic body image. Batman is a bat. How many bats do you know who work out?

  13. maya536 says:

    He’s hilarious. I also think it’s nice that both he and Kristen Stewart turned out to be cool, low-key people and talented actors who do interesting work.

  14. Jem says:

    He is amazing. I’d love to see him in more comedies!

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Do we actually believe this?? Lol. Nah. He’s working out. He will have nice little baby abs for the film and maybe some arm definition. He’s just being self-deprecating but I dont think his personality would allow him to slack off on training,

  16. S says:

    Guess I’ll be more eager to applaud this when even the biggest A-list female star can book a leading lady role and say she’s gonna gain 30 pounds, because no one was a size 0 in the ’70s, and isn’t fired on the spot.

    Heck, would love to see the scenario where Scarlett Johansson’s body changes as much as Robert Downey Jr, Chris Pratt or Chris Evans did during the course of playing Marvel Superheros, while still keeping her job. Sure, it’s pretty likely that Evans was doing something less than healthy to get that physique he had in the first Cap and Avengers films, but it’s not like actresses aren’t expected to do unhealthy things every day to stay slim. Scarlett had a baby during the course of these movies, and was still expected to get right back into Black Widow’s catsuit costume. (And, as much as Johansson sucks, didn’t hear her complaining about that.)

    Superman (1978) is widely seen as the first comic book, superhero movie, and while Christopher Reeve wouldn’t be considered buff in the 2020 Hemsworth sense, he was definitely in shape, and that’s a big part of why he was hired: he looked the part.

    I honestly could care less about ANY of the Batman iterations, but it is frustrating to hear men whine about on-camera beauty standards they’e been held to for the past 20 years, when women have been expected to meet nearly unattainable beauty standards since film began over 100 years ago..

    Look up the story of how silent star Molly O’Day, just 18 at the time, paid a surgeon to literally cut flesh from her body to lose weight, in order to try and keep working—likely one of the first “weight loss” surgeries—which lead to hideous, irreparable scarring on her legs and hips and lifelong pain.

    • janna says:

      Weren’t the men in those films also encouraged to take pills to stay flacid?

    • BeanieBean says:

      I listened to a podcast about her in a series for the You Must Remember This podcast. Poor Molly. And to be the focus of newspaper articles about your weight at such a young age.

    • Adr1s says:

      My mom was definitely a size 0 in the 70s, but that also came with no boobs or butt, she was just a stick. These people want a size 0 waist with a kardashian butt and will totally bitch if they don’t get to have the boobs “in ya face”

      • S says:

        Well, size 0 didn’t exist, as a size I mean, in the 1970s. It’s a recent affectation. Now usurped by 00, because, ugh.

        And, yes, you can’t have boyish hips combined with a DD rack, or bodonoadonk behind. That’s not how nature makes humans, only plastic surgeons, padding and “waist trainer” (a.k.a. corsets and girdles, but with fresh, 21st century branding).

        Go back and watch even movies from the 1980s, and you’ll be stunned how much larger the leading ladies were. No one was fat, it was just what we considered thin and gorgeous has changed tremendously just in the past 40 years. For God’s sake, designers call Bryce Dallas Howard, a size 6 max, “plus size.” It’s out of control, and the expectations for women remain so much higher and more difficult to achieve than for men; No question.

        Chris Pratt or Paul Rudd have to get ready for one shirtless scene a movie, and get nutritionists and trainers and help out the wazoo to achieve that look for a day or two, where they’re also lovingly lit, etc.

        While their female superhero counterparts, like Zoe or ScarJo, are expected to appear in skin-tight catsuits every day for the entirety of a four-month film shoot.

  17. Tina says:

    This article made my day! 😂😂😂. I love Rob and his weird personality I feel the same way about mothering him.

  18. Natalee says:

    I wish I could be just as lazy and still get paid millions. What are the chances Zoe kravitz is still having to work out like crazy (or maybe not since she’s naturally skinny as hell, but still) 🙄🙄🙄

  19. FHMom says:

    He seems like a cool guy. I wonder how much of the “i don’t work out” bit is real and what is just his self-depricating humor. Also, he may not be buff, but he is thin and not over weight. I think a thin actress would still get work over an athletically built, in shape actress.

  20. Grant says:

    I love how Robert–who is playing BATMAN in the movie titled BATMAN–isn’t working out, whereas Zoe Kravitz is working out five days a week for Catwoman. The double standard is real. Like, I’m sorry but in this day and age, Batman isn’t just a “brainy detective.” He’s also an accomplished martial artist. That’s become an essential component of the Batman mythos. So silly.

  21. Mel says:

    If you don’t want to do the work for the role, don’t take the role. I’m not into starving yourself and exercising 24-7 but sorry, I don’t think this is cute at all. I thought this was a bad choice from the beginning , we’ll see…..

    • Zaza says:

      I agree with Mel & Natalee – the double standards for men & women are ridiculous. In fact, it pisses me off.

  22. SamSam says:


  23. Goldie says:

    The food that he’s eating may not sound appetizing, but it doesn’t sound unhealthy. Oatmeal, tuna, etc. are healthy foods. I tend to agree with those who said that he was being self-deprecating about exercising. You’d need to work out to have the stamina to do the role, even if you don’t look buff. He’s probably working out and eating healthy, just not torturing himself. I can’t complain about that.

    Zoe may be working out a lot, but I’m not expecting her to look as ripped as Halle Berry’s cat women circa 2004(?). It seems like they’re going for a more earthy vibe for this film.

  24. Zaza says:

    He annoys me. Stop acting like a kid & grow up.

  25. matahari33 says:

    “A Bat-nerd if you will.” XD

  26. Valerie says:

    The 70s were a time when the fitness and health industries were just taking off. Vegetarianism was gaining popularity, people were getting into growing their own foods and getting used to going to health food stores and what they called health clubs. At that point, going to the gym was something (mostly) only guys did, so he’s kind of right about the fact that no one was doing it — It was kind of an exclusive domain for fitness buffs, not the average person.

    It wasn’t until the early 80s that women started getting into it, and then it was more aerobics and dance-fit classes. Think Jane Fonda and her legwarmers, lol.

  27. guest says:

    If you could see my face when I see women write that they want to “mother” this guy. SMH. I don’t find it cute or funny that he can’t handle a microwave at 34 years old.

  28. Barbiem says:

    They are paid millions to get ridiculously fit for a role. If they offered him 1970′s money for him to do 1970s preparations then that’s a conversation.

    • Anname says:

      No, they are being paid millions to be in the shape the director wants them to be in. This Batman was never intended to be ridiculously big like Affleck was. Slacking off a bit during a 2-3 month quarantine is hardly cause to freak out.

      • Barbiem says:

        No. They paid millions to be ridiculously fit like I stated. They being the actors who need to fit that role. For this specific batman role If director okay with him not looking like thor cool. But if the director hired him a personal trainer or 2 to tone up, lose 10, gain 10…idk….mmmm he getting paid. And he not getting paid 1970 cash. I dont freak out rather they do or dont lol…just a little gossip.

  29. McMom says:

    I used to date guys like this – ironic, funny, thin, pale. After a while, I wanted a man who I thought would have a fighting change of surviving the apocalypse.

  30. Ange says:

    Batman is still a thing? Yikes.

  31. Angel says:

    He’s wrong. Flabby wasn’t a thing in the 70′s. I grew up then, and people were constantly outside, doing things. Walking, playing, running, swimming, skateboarding, doing aerobics some of them, working on cars, playing with pets, socializing.

    The men that I saw were slender and toned. Not flabby. And they were strong! My father could move a refrigerator by himself without a problem, and he might’ve been 150 pounds soaking wet at a height of 5′ 11″.

    And they had great hair. His hair looks horrible in those photos. They are making a mockery of what it was to live in the 70′s. The more that I hear about this movie, the worse it sounds.

    Also, I think it’s disgusting that Zoe has to work out so much to look fit and trim, while he is lazing away, becoming flabby. The double standard needs to go away.

  32. Dizzy says:

    This guy needs to watch some old movies. Actors definitely worked out in the past. They might not of been jacked up but they were definitely toned. I just watched a movie with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, amazing bodies! Drool!

  33. manta says:

    “The film studio hired a trainer who left Pattinson with a Bosu ball, a single weight, and a sincere plea to use both, but right now, he says, he’s ignoring her”

    I really hope those trainers, chefs , coaches and other staff members hired by studios are paid the big bucks, not only for the skills that got them there but for the pain of dealing with such entitled brats.
    On a plus side , maybe that left this trainer with some time to spend with clients actually motivated.

  34. Ash says:

    I really like his attitude and his whole vibe. His interviews are always interesting to me.