Los Angeles: Actress Anne Hathaway says her performance as a Catwoman in the latest Batman movie is based on Hedy Lamarr, the glamorous 1940s film star who first inspired the character.

The 29-year-old is the latest one to take on the role of Batman's feline nemesis, following in the footsteps of Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer, in Christopher Nolan's upcoming 'The Dark Knight Rises', reported Aceshowbiz.

Hathaway says she went back to the character's roots for her portrayal, basing her performance on late Hollywood legend Lamarr, who was cited as the inspiration for Catwoman by comic book artist Bob Kane.

"I know this sounds odd, but her breathing is extraordinary. She takes these long, deep, languid breaths and exhales slowly. There's a shot of her in (1933 film) 'Ecstasy' exhaling a cigarette and I took probably five breaths during her one exhale. So I started working on my breathing a lot," Hathaway said.

The actress also said she isn't fazed by stepping into such a famous role.

"What's come before doesn't limit or even affect this new version. It doesn't affect me because each Catwoman - and this is true in the comics as well - she is defined by the context of the Gotham City created around her."