Superhero movies changed a lot between Batman (1989) and Iron Man (2008), but one thing has remained the same: Those very uncomfortable costumes. In this clip from Hollywood Sessions: Lead Actor, Michael Keaton (who parodied his Batman success in this year’s Birdman) discusses superhero suits with Robert Downey Jr., who will reprise his role as Iron Man in 2015’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. “What nobody understands either, is that you were the guinea pig for the [first version] of all of those suits – which by the way, twenty years later, I’m told only got infinitesimally more manageable and comfortable,” Downey tells Keaton during the roundtable (note: this clip contains some NSFW language).
The Birdman actor agrees, and demonstrates how the stiff Batman suit forced him to make full-body movements in Tim Burton’s film. “I’m very claustrophobic,” Keaton says of the elaborate Batsuit he wore in the 1989 film. “The first time I was locked in [to the outfit], I thought, ‘This is never going to happen’ … but this fear ends up working perfectly for the character.”
Also featured in the roundtable are actors Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), who have an unusual resume item in common: both have played Stephen Hawking. The two British actors compare notes on the genius physicist in the second clip, below, with an interjection from the interview’s fifth participant, Foxcatcher star Steve Carell. The full hour-long episode of The Hollywood Sessions, featuring the actors in conversation with Los Angeles Times writers, airs on EPIX on Monday night at 8pm ET/PT and is available to stream on Epix.com. To watch a clip from the supporting actress episode, go here.