To play The Riddler, the main antagonist of The Batman, Paul Dano underwent his own transformation, but of a more psychological nature. The Emmy nominee discussed with Seth Myers how he prepared to play one of scariest and most sadistic iterations of the DC villain yet after the Late Night host brought up comparisons to the Zodiac Killer:
"That’s something Matt Reeves… cited in the beginning. So, when you get the phone call - the Ridder, Batman - it’s like, ‘Oh, my god. That’s so exciting.’ And then when he goes, ‘Zodiac Killer,’ you go, ‘OK, that’s like a much more sort of real to life reference.” … So, it was the kind of thing where, especially now that I’m a parent, a lot of my research for this I did during the daytime at coffee shops because I just didn’t want those books next to my bed."
Myers then joked about the awkward moment that might take place after Dano’s kids would find the books. Of course, even keeping his research away from where he sleeps could not prevent him from having trouble sleeping after playing the Riddler, telling Entertainment Weekly that the character was “a little hard to come down from.”