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The Aspect Of Playing The Penguin That Made The Batman’s Colin Farrell ‘Giddy With Excitement’

I have been lucky enough to see Matt Reeves’ new The Batman twice (I know, I know… perks of the job). And no matter how many times I dive back in to that criminal underbelly of Reeves’ Gotham, I’ll never fully believe that it’s Colin Farrell hiding beneath makeup and prosthetics to play Oswald “Os” Cobblepot in what he calls “tasty” scenes. It’s a masterful turn that masquerades every aspect of the keen Irish actor, and as he told CinemaBlend, it was that desire to totally disappear that appealed to him the most about playing Penguin in The Batman

We spoke with Colin Farrell as part of the press days for The Batman, and when we brought up the brilliant craft that went into hiding him for the role, he opened up by saying: 

I didn’t know when I signed on to do it. I didn’t know. So I was already, just in my own head, struggling with what I could do with the character. Because it wasn’t that many scenes, but they were all drawn, written – of course – by Matt (Reeves). He’s a wonderful writer. But when I saw for the first time the design of Os that Mike Marino had so creatively and imaginatively constructed, I just was blown away. I was giddy with excitement, man!

It blows my mind that Colin Farrell agreed to play The Penguin in The Batman without knowing how much his facial appearance was going to be altered. Because for real, look at this. This looks NOTHING like Colin Farrell, no matter how much fans try to convince me that they see it.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

But the part that I didn’t expect is how much the makeup and prosthetics allowed the star to risk and stretch, unleashing a version of the Penguin that’s unlike any we’ve seen on screen before. As Farrell continued, he said:

I didn’t know it would be as profoundly liberating an experience as it was. You know, I thought it might be a bit constricting, but it would be interesting. But when I got inside it, man, it was just a blast. I just felt like I was a puppeteer. It just felt like I was operating this thing that was capable of going to places that I might not have been capable of going with it, you know?

I love the fact that the prosthetics freed Colin Farrell up to explore the seedy underbelly of this criminal character in ways he didn’t think possible. It reflects in his performance, which he claims is influenced by The Godfather. And the look fooled his co-stars, who legitimately didn’t recognize the Phone Booth star when he was on the set of the movie.

The Batman is in theaters right now, so read our review of the movie, then grab tickets (even if they cost a little bit more) and go.  

Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who’s Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.

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