It’s not unheard of for major movie stars to big-time their scene partners by having them speak their lines to their doubles. It’s generally garbage behavior, but on the set of “Batman & Robin,” it was a time-saving compromise necessitated by the tight production schedule.
In the documentary “Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight,” which was shot for the four-film “Motion Picture Anthology” DVD set, Chris O’Donnell recalled the situation thusly:
“[I]’m in a lot of scenes with Mr. Freeze, I never worked a single day with Arnold. Not a single day. I was on the set with him a lot. I’d hang out and talk to him, I did a lot of publicity with him, but literally, they had a double for him that was so good, and that suit was so complicated and involved to get on, that unless Arnold was talking in a scene, he wasn’t in that costume.”
During a 2020 appearance on “The Howard Stern Show,” Clooney expressed amusement at the whole boondoggle.
“[T]hey paid Arnold $25 million to be in it. They paid me, like, one. And we never even worked together, we never even saw each other. It was … a big monster machine, and I just sort of jumped in and did what they said.”