Meet Robert Alonzo, the Filipino-American stunt coordinator who’s behind the thrilling fight scenes in Warner Bros. Pictures The Batman starring Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz. He was responsible for training the two lead actors for their fight scenes in the movie.
According to a report by Rappler, Robert Alonzo was born in Manila, Philippines, but was raised in the United States with his brother. His father is from Cagayan, while his mother is from Tarlac.
In an interview with Warner Bros., when asked about how he came up with Batman’s and Catwoman’s specific fighting styles, Alonzo shared his methodology: “I studied each character and their respective journeys throughout the story so that we can design movement based not only on their physical attributes, but also on the emotional state for each specific moment. Every move had an objective and we strayed away from inefficient action that was ‘action for the sake of action.’”
And did you know that Robert Pattinson had to learn the Filipino martial art arnis for this role? Alonzo talked about it in his interview: “The goal of fight training with Rob Pattinson was to allow the jeopardy to come in much closer than he’s used to in order to eliminate anticipatory movement and heighten his close proximity reactivity. With this as a primary goal, we trained him in FMA: escrima/kali/arnis, penjak silat, muay thai, JKD, boxing, and kickboxing.”
And discussing Zoë Kravitz, it was revealed that Alonzo has known the actress since she was seven years old—when she started taking his taekwondo classes. Alonzo shared, “Yes, it’s true! I’ve known Zoe for such a long time. She was one of my students that took regular group classes and also did private lessons with me on a regular basis. She was really good and was so driven and focused even at such a young age, when I noticed a lot of kids were so easily distracted.”
He also recounted their reunion for The Batman. “When she showed up to our first training session, we hugged it out and took a stroll down memory lane with an already established level of comfort and trust. She even texted me a picture of us back then that her mom took of us in class together. It brought back some pretty cool memories.”
When asked about working with Alonzo, Pattinson had good words to say. The actor and lead for The Batman shared, “Rob [Alonzo] has a great style. You learn certain signature moves, which you can build into different patterns really quickly.”
On the other hand, Kravitz shared about him, “He was really concerned about everything feeling grounded and being motivated by emotion, and that’s really great.”
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Talking about his future in Hollywood though, Alonzo had this to share: “I hope to start my directing career in the action genre because that is what I’m most comfortable with, but I look forward to a time when I would get the opportunity to potentially direct a crime thriller, a historical biopic, and even an animated feature.”
Alonzo has worked as a second unit director for many other Hollywood movies like Oblivion with Tom Cruise, Incredibles 2, Tomorrowland, Deadpool, and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek.
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