You were probably too distracted by Tom Hardy's massive arms and muffled carnival barker voice to notice the dude standing next to him in The Dark Knight Rises, but that guy would be Josh Stewart. The actor played Bane's main man Barsad in the Nolan trilogy conclusion, and also starred in an entirely different movie, The Collection, out on DVD this week. We talked to Stewart about both movies, but before we get into all that, it's time for a quick This or That: Batman supervillains edition.
Ra’s al-Ghul or Bane?
Bane. Why? He’s just Bane, man. He’s Bane.
The Joker or The Riddler?
Probably The Joker. All my references are going right back to the movies and what more can you do with a role than what Heath Ledger did, you know?
Mr. Freeze or The Penguin?
The Penguin, for sure. He’s freaking creepy, man. Waddling around, flopping those fish down. I mean, you’ve got evil, but you’ve got the disgust factor as well.
On the Bane voice
Look, it was really hard for me to hear him and I was standing right next to him. But to me it made perfect sense. It was just right. I’m not a huge comic book guy, I’m not someone who comes from that world, so I didn’t have any sort of preconceived notion as to what that should be. But when I heard it, it felt right, it fit the character that I was looking at -- that physicality, that attitude, that power that he held in his eyes. For me, it worked completely. I thought it was pretty unbelievable to stand next to that dude for six months and watch him do it.
On unforgettable moments with Batman
It was one of the first days I worked -- it was probably within the first two weeks I worked on the movie. We were in the sewer outside of London. And it was the first day of the big fight scene between Bane and Batman when Catwoman brings Batman down there and sorta traps him. It was just surreal. I felt like a little kid again standing there, seeing Batman walk up on set, Catwoman on set, and then standing on the other side with Bane, watching him get ready to throw down. It’s just one of those moments that’ll be burned into my mind forever.
On why you should stop hiring him for slasher movies
You know, the serial killer movies have never been something that attracted me or I flocked to go see because I always felt it was sort of fantastical and a hyper-reality or whatnot. And they usually have a lot of blood and guts and I’m not [laughs] the toughest of guys when it comes to that stuff. I still can’t watch The Collection when my arm breaks. I was there, I shot the movie, know it’s coming, and I still can’t watch it. A lot of those blood and gut horror movies, I’m such a puss when it comes to it.
On the horror movies he prefers
The movies that always really bugged me were like The Shining. That movie really got to me. Just a lot of Stephen King in general. Misery was another one. Movies that could really happen to you, that make you look in your closet when you go home. Like, is that chick waiting for me to break my ankles with the sledgehammer? [Laughs] That kind of stuff bugs me, that’s what gets to me as far as putting me on edge.
On filming his Walking Dead webisodes
I gotta say, being on set, doing that with [director] Greg Nicotero and seeing what he had created in those zombies -- I’ve never been so creeped out in my life. Like being down inside that basement when I was working on that breaker, trying to get the light on, and I knew the dude was coming up behind me, it was just freaking creepy. That’s another world. That’s a whole ‘nother thing.
On why he keeps subjecting himself to creepy acting gigs
I don’t know, man. I just go where the work goes. It's pretty crazy stuff.