'The Dark Knight Rises': Christian Bale Praises Anne Hathaway's Catwoman

Access Hollywood
Anne Hathaway as Selena Kyle, the alter-ego of Catwoman, in 'The Dark Knight Rises' -- Warner Bros.

After photos of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in "The Dark Knight Rises" surfaced in August, doubts arose over whether the 29-year-old actress was right for the feline fatale. However, Anne's co-star, Christian Bale, says he more than approves of her performance.

"I had plenty of scenes with Anne and I was there when we did the screen test for her," Christian, star of the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman films, told the Philippine Inquirer. "The thing that I said to Chris [Nolan] that day was that there were many very accomplished actresses who had read for the role. I'm terrible at auditions, so I'm very impressed when somebody really seems to acquire an ownership of a character without having worked on it or prepared for some amount of time."

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Christian said Anne has been tasked with the "hardest job" in the film -- finding a fresh approach to Selina Kyle/Catwoman, who previously was portrayed by screen icons like Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry.

"In many ways, she has the hardest job," he said. "There are a number of people who feel that the Catwoman role has been defined previously. So, I always saw Anne's role as being the toughest job of any of us."

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Additionally, Christian praised his co-star Tom Hardy -- who will portray juggernaut Bane in the highly anticipated film -- calling the British "Warrior" star "a phenomenal actor."

"I like working with [Tom] a great deal. He goes the whole hog," Christian said. "I know that Bane has been seen in movies before, but in my eyes, Tom is essentially creating Bane for the first time."

"The Dark Knight Rises," which also stars Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, hits theaters on July 20, 2012.

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