Hedy Lamarr was a darkly beautiful, iconic star of the 30s and 40s, probably best known for her starring role in Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah. She is also, apparently, a great inspiration for Anne Hathaway as she crafted her Catwoman/Selina Kyle character for Chris Nolan’s forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises.

“I know this sounds odd, but her breathing is extraordinary,” Hathaway told the LA Times. “She takes these long, deep, languid breaths and exhales slowly. There’s a shot of her in Ecstasy exhaling a cigarette and I took probably five breaths during her one exhale. So I started working on my breathing a lot.”

Apparently nothing about Lammarr shockingly going topless for the movie back in 1933 made its way into Catwoman.

Hathaway talks more about breathing and delves a bit more into the challenges in the must-read piece from Geoff Boucher, but beware of a mild spoiler for one of the scenes. The most reassuring part of the talk? That the costume is more functional than fantasy. Once again, Nolan seems to be looking out for logic, even in a world that defies it. This is more great information about one of, if not the most, anticipated movies of 2012.

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