Christopher Nolan has written and directed some very imaginative films, including the Batman trilogy, the Prestige, Insomnia and Inception. So when we went to see him talk about behind-the-scenes aspects of Batman, I was surprised to find he was so conservative in dress and in manner. He seemed almost bored – maybe there is so much going on in his head that he has to keep a cool countenance just to be focused. He is English as well – that accounts for keeping calm and carrying on. But while I didn’t find him inspiring, he did make some interesting comments. He talked about casting Heath Ledger for the role of the Joker, and how Heath originally turned the part down. It was only when he was allowed to put his own vision of craziness in the role that Heath became interested, and of course won an Academy Award for it. Nolan also talked about a scene where Heath and Batman were sparring and where the footage was slightly out of focus. But when they tried to recapture the emotion of the scene with another take, it just didn’t have the same magic. So the final cut was slightly fuzzy. I feel so vindicated!
Emerging into Gotham after the event, it was so cold we jumped into a cab for a comfortable ride home. But when Columbus Circle was blocked by a bus and taxi collision, the driver assumed batmobile capabilities and overrode the curb. So we were flying high – until we hit 5th Avenue, where the Rockefeller Center was barricaded bumper to bumper for the lighting of the Christmas tree. What luck to have a caped cabby! He managed to wrangle position just at that electric moment when the crowd said ‘Ahhhhhhh!!!!!’ and there we were, in full view of the most magnificent glowing Christmas tree in the city.