It’s been eleven years since Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and it’s still highly regarded as one of the best Batman movies. The first of The Dark Knight franchise, the movie re-introduced us to Bruce Wayne, his origin story, and the journey to becoming Batman.
Gus Lewis, who played the younger version of Bruce Wayne, is getting the chance to relive that role once again with Playstation’s Arkham VR. The actor, now in his twenties, recently discussed working on the film and with Nolan and Michael Caine.
“Casting agents came to my school during lunchtime one day and within three auditions I’d got the part. The final audition was with the director Christopher Nolan, and I remember being struck by the gentleness of his demeanor. It was the same throughout filming. He would crouch down to my level to deliver his softly spoken notes and was always receptive to anything I had to say in return. He was very different from the gregarious and voluble Michael Caine, but they were both equally welcoming to me in their own way.”
Lewis didn’t get to share any scenes with Christian Bale, but the younger actor recalls briefly meeting him on set just once.
“It was here that I had my only encounter with Christian Bale – I was lucky to meet him, we didn’t share any scenes. He was sat in his chair, in full Batsuit minus cowl, having a rest between takes where he was rescuing Katie Holmes from Falcone’s henchmen on the monorail stairway. Black circles were painted around his eyes to ensure no bare skin was visible through his eyeholes when masked. I can’t remember much about our conversation, except that he was very nice to me and apologized for having to look like a panda. Afterwards my mum said I looked a bit like him, but that I shouldn’t worry, I didn’t have such thin lips.”
Lewis also spoke about the Arkham VR game where he reprises his role as Bruce Wayne and has to experience the scenes of Bruce’s parents dying all over again.
“The game starts off with the young Bruce witnessing his parents’ murder – a scene I know only too well. It was a bizarre feeling reliving it. I genuinely did feel a bit like my ten-year-old self again, watching the action unfold from waist height – I had what I’d describe as a flashback of a flashback (triggered by a flashback). Well, I did until the thug went off-script, leaned in close to my face and warned me: “That’s what happens when you try to be a hero.” It was the kind of thing that would have been cartoonish in film, but terrifying in VR.”
Arkham VR is now available from Playstation.