Good news for Ben Affleck – "Classic Batman" has got your back!
While fanboys — and more — have been up in arms about the prospect of Affleck playing Batman in Zack Snyder's upcoming "Man of Steel" follow-up, he's won a few high-profile supporters, including Joss Whedon and Patton Oswalt. Now he can add another to the list: Adam West, the man who played the Caped Crusader in the iconic television series from the 1960s. In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Movies, West declared he's on Team Affleck.
"I like Ben," West said. "I think he's really a splendid actor, and now he's proved his chops as a director. For Batman, I have no idea, because I'm not a Batman critic. He might have to shave his beard. Maybe he'll be paid twenty mil to shave the beard. It'll buy several razors. For twenty million, I might cut my ear off!"
Not to worry Mr. West, Affleck shaved his facial hair off way back when — on Oscar night!
West, who jokingly refers to himself as "the Classic Batman" ("Not the original, the classic!"), makes it clear he's not going to dish on anyone else that played Batman, saying an actor who criticizes actors is "not quite true to his profession." But he thinks Affleck has the talent for the role, and he also spoke favorably of a few other actors who have worn the cowl over the years.
"I thought Christian Bale was quite good," West said. "He was brilliant in 'The Fighter' and different things, and he can play this kind of Batman very well. It was Gothic, it's dark. I was the Bright Knight, if you will!"
And when West was reminded that George Clooney had volunteered that he wasn't very good in the much-maligned "Batman & Robin," West came to his defense. "The thing about Clooney is, he's remarkable," West said. "He's honest, and he's got a great sense of humor, which I love! George was being honest about himself, and there are some roles, things that you do, that you're not quite satisfied with. I've never been satisfied with anything I've done!"
Asked for advice he'd pass along to Affleck and other actors who might play Batman in the future, West had plenty to say, starting with the Batsuit.
"First of all, let the costume work for you," West said. "I know it's working from the outside in, but you can adapt. And don't take yourself too seriously. I think you should always have a little bit of reserve spark of what's going on out there outside the costume. 'Is this really me? Am I this crazy? That was kind of funny!' You know, something that brings out of the mask and the costume."
While West made Batman a major part of the cultural zeitgeist in the 1960s and arguably turned the character from a comic book hero into an icon, that's hardly the beginning and end of his career. West has been a member of the voice cast on "Family Guy" as Mayor West ("Seth [MacFarlane] and I realized we had the same kind of comic sensibility"). West is also the host of a new ReelzChannel series "FanAddicts," debuting August 28.
The 84-year-old actor extraordinaire says that he enjoys doing voice work, and that it provides opportunities for older actors. "When you go in, if you know what you’re doing, it's easy," West said. "No makeup, no costuming, no big egos to deal with. You just go in and do your thing. I like it! I do a lot of voice over stuff. But if you've got a good script, I'll do the other."