The Batman’s Andy Serkis Sheds Some Light on Alfred’s Backstory

So much of Alfred Pennyworth’s background remains a mystery, but Andy Serkis is filling in some of the blanks.

Andrew Serkis
Warner Bros. Pictures

Matt Reeves’ The Batman is now in theaters, introducing a new cast of characters bringing to life the various heroes and villains of The Batverse. Among them is Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, the longtime butler and confidant to Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne. It’s very clear that this Alfred has had quite the history, but there’s so much about the character that’s left unexplored in the film. What led to this Alfred getting to this point?

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Serkis opened up about his incarnation of Alfred. The actor saw the character as someone whose military background still affected the way Alfred carries himself, a stark contrast to Bruce Wayne’s personality.


“Alfred is very much out of sorts. Being a military man, he is used to rules and regulations, structure and precision. I wanted him to have that military solidity in the way he dressed and carried himself, which is ruffled with Bruce’s nihilism and refusal to listen to him anymore. It’s a relationship built on shifting sands.”

Concerning Alfred’s unique look, Serkis says it was his idea for the butler to have facial scars. Like the Joker, we don’t have the full story behind those scars at this time, but they certainly add a deeper sense of mystery to the character. Director Matt Reeves envisioned the cane for Alfred, though Serkis says designing the overall costume was a group effort.

“The cane was written, Matt wanted to suggest that he had been retired from the military, and I suggested the facial scars. The costume was collaborative. I really wanted that, despite the fact that Wayne tower is falling apart, Alfred is holding on by having firm, sharp attire.”

Related: The Batman Deleted Scene Features THAT Surprise Villain, Will Be Part of Home Release

Andy Serkis Wants The Batman to Be Recognized at Awards Season

Warner Bros.

Superhero movies never get a lot of attention at the Academy Awards, and this was something that has gotten a lot of criticism lately after this year’s ceremony neglected to nominate Spider-Man: No Way Home for anything more than Best Visual Effects. Andy Serkis feels that The Batman has turned out to be such a work of art that it’s more than deserving of being recognized for the film come awards season.

“The artistry that is in this movie, the level of precision that is in the design and cinematography — it’s a piece of art, but also a story that speaks to millions of people. I think it is time that the Academy supports movies of this scale. The stories are reaching the biggest audiences globally. They may not be the small art-house movies that feel worthy, but in this case, the story is as compelling and powerful as anything that I can think of this year. I think this is a growing understanding these films, which are the stories of our time and speak to such a wide range of audiences, need to be supported and awarded.”

The Batman is now playing in movie theaters everywhere.

The Batman Is a Masterpiece According to Venom 2 Director Andy Serkis
The Batman Is a Masterpiece According to Venom 2 Director Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis, who plays Alfred in The Batman, is certain that director Matt Reeves has made a masterpiece.

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