Robert Pattinson Lied to Tenet Director Christopher Nolan About His Batman Audition

Production Still - John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in Tenet. Opening September 3 at Regal Theatres.

Director Christopher Nolan is a master at keeping secrets, from The Prestige to Inception and beyond. Heck, we still don't really know what his upcoming movie Tenet (opens at Regal theatres on September 3) is really about. However, Tenet star Robert Pattinson isn't so good at keeping his cards close to his chest.

The Lighthouse actor pairs with BlacKkKlansman's John David Washington for a cryptic, globe-trotting story of espionage and 'time-inversion'. Midway through filming this mega-budget epic, Pattinson was called in an audition for a little movie called The Batman. Of course, we know how that particular audition went, but Nolan immediately saw through Pattinson's ruse to get off the set and participate.

“It’s funny because Chris is so secretive about everything to do with his movies,” Pattinson told The Irish Times. “And then I had to be really secretive about ‘Batman’ stuff. So I had to lie to Chris about having to go for a screen test — I said I had a family emergency. And as soon as I said ‘it’s a family emergency’ he said: ‘You’re doing the Batman audition, aren’t you?’”

That's one point to Nolan. Nevertheless, Pattinson's duplicity paid off handsomely as he nabbed the Batman role from rival Nicholas Hoult. The film, directed by Matt Reeves, is scheduled for an October 2021 release. In the meantime, we have Pattinson's upcoming role in Tenet to savor, which according to the actor is an intensely physical one.

“When I’m running on screen I’m generally paired with John David who is an ex-NFL player so it was the most unfair thing in the world,” Pattinson explained. “The maximum workout I do most of the time is a casual stroll. John David can run all day long. It was good that I ended up being pretty fit. But definitely, at the beginning, there were days I just could not walk afterwards.”

There was also the small matter of a car chase filmed in Estonia, which required Pattinson to perform more than a bit of parallel parking. “There was a scene where we went about five miles of a freeway in Estonia with hundreds of cars. So John David gets in the passenger seat and Chris is like just follow the camera car. Take it easy the first time. John David turns to me and said: ‘Are you like a really good driver or something. So I’m s***ting myself as I’m whipping between cars at 80 miles an hour and Chris is behaving like this is completely normal.”

It's a testament to Nolan's love for stunts and practical effects, which has already impressed fellow Tenet actor Himesh Patel. He told GQ India: "The scale of it is just incomprehensible and then when you find out that it's all been done in-camera – there’s maybe a tiny bit of CGI in his movies – it’s mind-blowing... I don't understand how they even do that, but [Nolan] finds a way. And that means that the whole crew is part of these huge stunts that he pulls off - like the thing you would have seen in the trailer with the plane. That was an actual plane that production had to buy to blow up!"

Co-starring Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Clemence Poesy, Tenet is scheduled to open at Regal theatres on September 3. Don't forget about the 10th anniversary IMAX screenings of Inception, which get underway on the 21st of August.