CULTURE

PETER SARSGAARD ON BEING IN BATMAN AND LOVE ON AND OFF SCREEN

MARCH 4, 2022

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PHOTOGRAPHY & INTERVIEW

by TATIJANA SHOAN

@tatijanashoan 

STYLING

by STACEY JONES

@staceyjones 

GROOMING

by EVY DREW with EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS MANAGEMENT

@evydrew 

@exclusiveartists 

With the much-anticipated new Batman film out—The BatmanAS IF Magazine sat down with one of our favorite actors who plays District Attorney Gil Colson in the film, Peter Sarsgaard. Known for his deep, darker roles in films like Boys Don’t Cry, or his soft rugged sex appeal in films like The Lost Daughter and The Sound of Silence, and his fiercely impassioned characters in films like Shattered Glass and Jackie, Sarsgaard knows how to captivate an audience with an unapologetic raw presence.

AS IF recently sat down with the actor to discuss his new role in The Batman, life as a working actor, father, and husband of a fellow thespian turned writer, producer, and director, Maggie Gyllenhaal, what it’s like doing love scenes with and for his wife, and why music is his favorite art form. (The below interview has been abbreviated for online. The full interview can be found in spring/summer issue 21 out in May).

Gucci black-brown-multicolor thin houndstooth pinstripe jacket with label detail. Berluti silk shirt with giant scritto print.

AS IF: You have The Batman coming out. You play District Attorney Gil Colson. What attracted you to this project? Were you a Batman fan?

Peter Sarsgaard: I was a Batman fan for sure. He was my favorite superhero character. I think I’ve seen most Batman movies and liked them. There’s something about the character itself that’s appealing because, you know, it’s all his mind. It’s his brilliant mind that’s working hard, his mind that is struggling, and that’s really appealing to people and to me as a kid for sure. 

What captivated you about this particular project?

The director Matt Reeves, I think he is the absolute best. I thought that this was an opportunity to be a part of something really great, and I wasn’t wrong! There’s a car chase scene in this movie that I wish would go on for another 20 minutes it is so good. I love the visceral stuff he creates in this movie and that he lets actors act. My character has very high stakes in the movie, so I just played those stakes like I would in any movie. But, we shot it over six days, so I’d go to work and by the end of the day I’d just be so exhausted and he wanted all of it. He wanted all the wild and fun stuff to come out, to let loose. When I watch the performances in this movie, I can see the actors are truly having a good time. 

On set was there a sense of responsibility, in terms of the history of Batman?

Not for me, and it was obvious that we were in good hands so there was a lot of trust. Robert Pattinson has done so many interesting movies lately, not only do I love his choices as an actor, he has this quality as an actor that really makes you come to him, and that’s a great quality for Batman. Robert kept the door open just enough that you learn more about Batman as the movie progresses. And the film is 3-hours, so it has serious tones, lighter moments, it’s got some comedy. It’s got a lot of bandwidth!