ByTom Bacon, writer at
I'm a film-and-TV fan who grew up with a deep love of superhero comics! Follow me on Twitter @TomABacon or on Facebook @tombaconsuperheroes!
Tom Bacon

The modern age of the Dark Knight really begins in 1989, with the release of Tim Burton's . It didn't take long for Batman's sexiest nemesis, , to make her big-screen debut; and ever since then, we've seen a steady parade of actresses playing the sultry sneak-thief.

But here's the catch; as amazing an experience as it must be to play such an iconic role, it's also something of a nightmare for any actress. At Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in London, Camren Bicondova - who plays the part in Gotham - admitted that she's just the latest to struggle with the Catwoman costume. Let's take a trip down memory lane, and revisit those actors who've had to don that form-fitting catsuit...

Camren Bicondova - Selina Kyle in Gotham

Camren is the latest. [Credit: Fox]
Camren is the latest. [Credit: Fox]

Only 14 years old when she took on the role in Gotham, Camren Bicondova told that the first season was easily the most difficult. She's a trained dancer, but even Camren found it hard to be lithe and agile when wearing a form-fitting corset! Thankfully, as the show's gone on it's become more military-style - in part a result of conversations between Camren and the costume designers.

Ann Hathaway - Catwoman In The Dark Knight Rises

Ann Hathaway famously described the Catwoman costume as "a psychological terrorist" - she knew that it would expose every muscle of her body, and wound up training for the role for 10 months! Of course, the Nolanverse Catwoman costume was very different to anything we've seen before; costume designer Lindy Hemming worked hard to merge the traditional Catwoman concept with the realism of Nolan's Batman films. The cleverest detail was undoubtedly the trademark cat-ears, which were created by giving Hathaway flip-up infrared goggles that gave her the classic look.

Halle Berry - The Star Of Catwoman

Michelle Pfeiffer was originally slated to return for Catwoman, but passed on it in large part because she didn't want to return to that costume! In contrast to most other actresses who played the role, Halle Berry actually reveled in it. At the time, her marriage was on the skids, and she told the New York Post that "putting on that suit made it a whole lot easier."

Although fans weren't won over by the costume, Berry loved it, and rather hoped the trousers would catch on. That said, I doubt a Pfeiffer-style costume would have worked for Berry, who prefers to do her own stunts - that classic look would have been far too restrictive. In an amusing twist, the costume's thick leather headpiece protected Berry from injury when she collided with a piece of stage equipment while filming a chase scene!

Michelle Pfeiffer - Catwoman In Batman Returns

As stunning as Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman may be, you can't help feeling sorry for the actress. The costume was literally vacuum-fitted, and she could only wear it for a short time before feeling faint. It was incredibly restrictive - there are actually scenes in Batman Returns where, if you listen carefully, you can hear the catsuit creak. Meanwhile, because the leather covered her ears, Pfeiffer couldn't even hear herself speak; she frequently had to be asked to talk more quietly, as she was unwittingly shouting!

Years later, Pfeiffer was asked if she ever felt nostalgic and put on the catsuit to, ah, 'amuse' her husband. Her response was simple; she never wanted to see that costume again for as long as she lives.

Of course, with Gotham City Sirens in the pipeline it won't be long till another actress joins the ranks of the Catwomen. It's going to be interesting to see how David Ayer's film adapts the role - and what problems the next actress faces!


Which is your favorite modern Catwoman?

(Sources: MTV, New York Post,


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