Day Three: Favourite actor in a Batman film?
This is a strangely difficult decision to make. I think it’s a bit of a cliche to say that Heath Ledger’s Joker had a significant effect on the way that The Dark Knight was received by audiences, but it’s absolutely true. However, his performance does kind of overshadow many of the other brilliant actors in Batman Begins as well as The Dark Knight. Liam Neeson is one that comes to mind especially. Cilian Murphey played a fantastic Jonathan Crane. And let’s not forget Eric Roberts as Salvatore Maroni in The Dark Knight. I was a huge fan of Aaron Eckhart before his portrayal of Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and he definitely gave Ledger a run for his money. I can’t forget Christian Bale, whose Batman was, for once, as believable as his Bruce Wayne.
Then, of course, there are the pre-Chris Nolan movies. I’m not a huge fan of any of the actors who played Batman in any of Burton/Schumacher films. I can go on and on about those, so I won’t do that here. The best casting decision that was ever made during this period was Jack Nicholson’s Joker. He is brilliant. He’s every bit as terrifying as Ledger’s but in a totally different way. He’s a sort of darker, more twisted play on the Cesar Romero Joker from the 1960s television series.
But if I had to pick someone who I truly enjoyed most out of everyone, it’d probably be Michael Caine’s Alfred in the Christopher Nolan series. Alfred has always served as a sarcastic, light-hearted comic relief character whose concern for Bruce was always underplayed in the Burton/Schumacher series. But Caine perfectly translates Alfred from page to screen, making a character often overlooked into someone who becomes another star of the show. That’s definitely commendable. Plus, he delivers everyone’s favorite line in The Dark Knight: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” I can’t wait to see how big of a role Alfred plays in The Dark Knight Rises.